TAMPA — Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, according to a source with knowledge of the team's plans.
Clearly, the Bucs are doing their due diligence on the quarterback prospects in this year's NFL draft. They had Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater in for a visit on Monday and met on Tuesday with Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo.
Tampa Bay has the No. 7 overall pick in the draft.
The Bucs signed free-agent Josh McCown in the offseason, with coach Lovie Smith anointing him the starter ahead of second-year pro Mike Glennon. Still, Tampa Bay is including several top quarterbacks among the 30 players it can entertain at One Buc Place prior to the May 8-10 draft.
Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, is easily the most recognizable and perhaps most controversial quarterback in this year's draft. But one former NFL general manager seems to like Garropolo over not just Manziel but every other quarterback in his class.
Speaking on WDAE (620 AM) on Wednesday, former Washington Redskins general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly explained why the Bucs are digging deeper into Garropolo and why he might be a good fit behind McCown and Glennon.
“He probably is the best (quarterback) on tape, believe it or not,'' Casserly said. “His level of competition is way below everyone else, but he has very good vision, he has the best release in the draft, he can move in the pocket and his arm seems good enough. The thing is, he's totally raw. You have to start from scratch with him.''
The Bucs probably wouldn't have a problem developing a player like Garoppolo. And if you listen to Casserly, they're not going to find an NFL-ready quarterback in this draft class, no matter how hard they dig.
“They're all prospects,'' Casserly said of this year's quarterback draft class. “They're not ready-to-play guys.''
In other news, the Bucs waived long snapper Patrick Scales.