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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Analyzing Bucs' 2014 NFL draft position: Quarterback

 The Buccaneers have six selections, including the No. 7 overall pick, in the 2014 NFL draft, to be held May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Tampa Bay has one pick in each of the seven rounds, except the fourth — that pick was sent to the New York Jets to complete the 2013 trade for CB Darrelle Revis. For eight consecutive days, the Tribune will analyze the team's needs at specific positions. Today: Quarterback.


Bucs coach Lovie Smith wants to take at least four quarterbacks to training camp. He has three on the roster, so it's likely the team will target this position in the draft. The question is where. Smith has expressed a lot of confidence in career backup Josh McCown's ability to lead the offense, but McCown, 34, is not a long-term solution. Mike Glennon, the team's 2013 third-round draft pick, could be a long-term solution. He was the top performing rookie quarterback in the league last year, but members of the Bucs' new regime have so far been coy about their feelings for Glennon. A quarterback could be the Bucs' first pick, or something they wait until later rounds to address.

On the Bucs roster

NFL Player Ht. Wt. Age seasons

Mike Glennon 6-6 232 24 1

Mike Kafka 6-3 225 26 2

Josh McCown 6-4 213 34 11

Remaining NFL free agents

NFL Player Ht. Wt. Age seasons

Jimmy Clausen 6-2 210 26 4

David Garrard 6-1 236 36 10

Rex Grossman 6-1 225 33 11

Dream pick

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Also known as Johnny Football, this Texas A&M product has a rock-star personality, and the former Heisman Trophy winner has a big arm and an ability to get out of the pocket and make plays with his feet. He's been compared to Fran Tarkenton, the former Vikings quarterback who led Minnesota to three Super Bowl appearances. Many scouts consider Manziel a risk because of his playing style and concerns about his commitment to the game, but he's sure to excite the fan base of the team that takes him.

Hidden gem

Aaron Murray, Georgia

Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy said a year ago that Murray might have been the first quarterback off the board had he left Georgia following his junior season. The former Plant High star stuck around for his senior season, though, and it ended early because of a knee injury. If he makes it all the way back from the torn ACL, he could be a value selection in the middle rounds, because he's a proven performer and as sound technically as anyone in the draft.

Bucs history

The Bucs have drafted a lot of quarterbacks, including several in the first round, but all either failed to play up to expectations or eventually did so with other organizations. The most recent bust was Josh Freeman, whom the Bucs drafted 17th overall in 2009. Tampa Bay also spent first-round picks on Vinny Testaverde and Trent Dilfer, who played their best for other teams. The Bucs also spent mid- and late-round picks on Shaun King, Chris Simms and Bruce Gradkowski, with middling results.

The schedule

Today: Quarterback

Thursday: Defensive back

Friday: Offensive line

Saturday: Defensive end

Sunday: Wide receiver

Monday: Defensive tackle

Tuesday: Running back

May 7: Linebacker

May 8: Tight end

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