The Buccaneers drafted North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon in the third round, which raised some eyebrows in Tampa Bay. But Glennon will likely compete for Dan Orlovsky's backup job more than challenge Josh Freeman for the starting job.
The Buccaneers wanted to upgrade the talent at the quarterback position and did so in the third round with the addition of North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon. The Wolfpack star is expected to be more of a challenger to Dan Orlovsky for the backup job than he will be to Josh Freeman for the starting job.
“I’m just excited to go down there and meet Josh,” Glennon said. “I was a teammate of [Bucs offensive lineman] Ted Larsen, I know some guys on the team and I’ve heard great things about Josh. By nature, I’m going to compete and do everything coaches ask of me.
“I want to go in and compete, whatever the situation is, but I am going to do what is best for the team. That is up to the coaching staff to decide. I am going to go there and be part of the team and just contribute in any way possible. I am going to do whatever it takes behind the scenes. I obviously want to go in there and compete, but that is up to the coaching staff to decide.”
In a bad quarterback draft, Glennon was taken by the Bucs in the third round and was the third signal caller selected in 2013. In a good quarterback class, Glennon might not have been drafted until the fourth or fifth rounds. If you are looking for a quarterback to compare Glennon to, think of Chris Simms. Simms was a backup for a while, got a chance to start, showed some initial promise before underwhelming the rest of his career.
At 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, Glennon is slightly taller than Freeman and has good size to see over offensive linemen and quickly find open receivers. Glennon, who sat behind quarterback Russell Wilson in college for three years, has the big arm that Tampa Bay head coach Greg Schiano and offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan like in a quarterback.
“My coaches did a great job with me at N.C. State,” Glennon said. “We ran a pro-style offense at N.C. State and I think my foundation of understanding an offensive playbook in the NFL is much greater than a lot of these guy coming out. [The N.C. State coaching staff] did a great job of developing me. The past two quarterbacks [the coaching staff coached] before me were Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan [in Boston College]. Those two went on to do extremely well as rookies. I feel like they prepared me really well.”
But Glennon has to overcome some accuracy issues at the next level and is probably two years away from really being ready to line up under center in the NFL. Glennon’s accuracy fell during his senior season from 62.5 percent to 58.5 percent, while he threw for 4,031 yards in 2012 after passing for 3,054 as a junior. Glennon threw 31 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, but saw his interceptions climb from 12 in 2011 to 17 last year.
The Wolfpack star needs to make quicker decisions with the ball and become more accurate. Glennon has a big-time arm and can make all of the throws, but will need time to develop in the NFL. He will likely challenge Orlovsky for the backup job more than he will put pressure on Freeman, who is in a contract year, for playing time.
The Bucs’ third-round pick needs to add about 15 pounds to his lanky frame and really work on his throwing motion and his mobility. He had 56 carries for minus-164 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Most of that lost yardage total came from sacks.
“I really worked on my throwing motion my whole life,” Glennon said. “Something I took a lot of pride in growing up and developing my mechanics. The ball comes out extremely well. I have an over-the-top delivery. It just spins out of hands extremely well. I am trying to continue my footwork and improve in that area.”
Glennon finished his senior season 7-5 after going 9-3 as a junior. His signature win came in a 17-16 come-from-behind win last year over a Florida State team that was unbeaten and ranked in the top 5. He threw a last-minute, game-winning touchdown in a nationally televised contest on ESPN.
I had intentions of going to NC State to win some championships and I wasn’t able to do that. I sat behind Russell Wilson for three years. The competitor in me wanted to be out on the field, but I learned a lot from him and he went on to have tremendous success. In those two years as a starter, feel I played pretty good. Wish I could have won some more games, but overall I had a great experience at NC State.
Glennon had 12 games with three touchdowns or more in college, including four in which he tossed five scoring strikes. His best game statistically came in a 62-48 defeat to Clemson in 2012 when he completed 29-of-53 passes for 493 yards with five touchdowns and one interception.
Glennon, whose brother Sean was a former starting quarterback at Virginia Tech, was recruited by Schiano out of high school, but turned down the scholarship opportunity at Rutgers in favor of N.C. State.
“I remember exactly what I said to him and he didn’t really like the answer, but I wanted to play in the ACC,” Glennon said. “At the time, I felt N.C. State was the best school for me. It’s kind of cool now to be coached by him.
“I’m actually pretty familiar with Coach Schiano and his staff. They recruited me five years ago when I was coming out of high school. I think we both kind of kept tabs on each other throughout those five years. Overall, through this process, I did not have a lot of contact with them. I wasn’t really sure what to think. I heard some whispers. I’m just real excited to get down to Tampa Bay, meet my teammates and get started.”
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