The Bucs' firsthand evaluations of the draft's top quarterbacks will continue next week, with a fourth confirmed visitor due at One Buc Place on Wednesday: Fresno State's Derek Carr.
Carr, whose draft projections range from a top-10 pick to the second round, will be the fourth top QB in 10 days to visit the Bucs, following Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel this week. If the Bucs aren't seriously considering using the No. 7 overall pick on a new franchise quarterback, they certainly want the rest of the NFL to think they are.
We've been writing about Carr's close personal ties to Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford since the Senior Bowl in Mobile back in January. Tedford coached Carr's older brother David at Fresno before he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2002, and Derek would throw and catch with Tedford when he visited his brother's practices. He also worked individually with Tedford this winter before the coach joined the Bucs' staff, so there's considerable familiarity between the two.
How many quarterbacks are likely to be gone by the time the Bucs pick at 7? Last year, there were none taken until E.J. Manuel went 16th to the Bills, but that marked the only time in the last 13 drafts that a QB didn't go in the top six picks. Over the past 10 drafts, an average of 1.2 quarterbacks have gone in the top six -- Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III both were gone in 2012, but more often than not, there's a single passer taken in that range.
If this were a match, where would Carr be the right pick for the Bucs? He would seem to be a reach at No. 7 based on most draft projections, but it's also doubtful he'll be there when the Bucs pick again at No. 38, which means Tampa Bay could deal down if they felt strongly about knowing how far down they could move and still be able to draft him.