At times, Bucs fans tend to get caught up in their teams’ misfortune through recent drafts, thinking about what could’ve been had they selected this guy instead of that guy or if one player could’ve fallen a few more picks down. You can play the what-if game, solely focusing on the bad, forever.
But it’s only fair to recognize the lucky times, too.
Take quarterback, for example, where Tampa Bay spent just one draft pick to land Jameis Winston, one of the most pro-ready QBs out of college in recent history, No. 1 overall in 2015. After 4,000 yards passing and a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, Bucs’ fans have reason to believe their team found its franchise quarterback, all without having to mortgage its future by surrendering multiple high-round draft picks.
“Very fortunate,” said head coach Dirk Koetter when asked how it feels to already have a franchise QB in the building.
How fortunate? Fast forward to this year.
Two weeks ago the Los Angeles Rams traded their No. 15 overall pick, two first-round picks, two second-round picks and two third-round picks to the Tennessee Titans, in exchange for Thursday’s No. 1, No. 113 and No. 177 overall picks. It doesn’t stop there.
Last week the Eagles sent five picks to Cleveland – the No. 8, No. 77 and No. 100 overall in this year’s draft, and a 2017 first-rounder and 2018 second-rounder – for the Browns No. 2 overall pick this year and a fourth-round pick in 2018.
The Rams and Eagles are expected to take Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, the draft’s top two QBs, with their No. 1 and 2 picks, respectively.
“It is mind-boggling to see how much teams are willing to give up to go up and get a guy who they perceive is that guy,” Koetter said. “You can see from what has happened this year, teams that think (a franchise QB) is up there, how much they’re willing to give up.”
It’s not only mind-boggling by what they gave up, but for who they gave it up for. Neither Goff nor Wentz come in with the same resume or expectations that Winton or, for that matter, Marcus Mariota did this time a year ago.
Time will tell what becomes of the three QBs – Winston, Goff and Wentz – but as of now, it looks like a win-win for the Bucs. They got the highest touted of the three prospects for a king’s ransom less by doing it the hard way – losing 14 out of 16 games in a season.
“Unfortunately, for us to get who we got, we had to finish with a bad record,” Koetter said. “Lets hope we’re not picking in the Top 10 too many times.”
But the head coach knows it paid off considerably that one time.
The 49ers, Browns, Jets and Super Bowl champion Broncos could all be wheeling and dealing in order to find their next quarterback come Thursday night, while the Rams and Eagles are prepared to sink or swim over at least the next five years with whomever they take. The Bucs – and their fans – should feel fortunate that they’re not in the same position.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: [email protected]
I like Winston and hope he succeeds but he hasn’t proven anything yet so lets not go slapping ourselves on the back.
Everybody loves Tony Romo too but so far he hasn’t led his team to an NFC championship game so I hardly consider him a “franchise” QB.
Let Winston win a couple of conference and division championships and then we can all congratulate ourselves.
You have to have a franchise QB to win, but they can’t do it all by themselves.
The Buc’s have enough talent around Winston to be a good QB. No excuses there if he falls short. He can’t play defense so that does need to be improved. I still like the fact we picked him.
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