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    • michael89156

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      Bucs dilemma: Grab hands or get armed? Gary Shelton, Times Sports Columnist? ? Saturday, April 12, 2014    9:38pm jimmy_zps320c27a7.jpgIf you're picking for today's game, you go with the wide receiver. No doubt about it. If you're picking for this play, for this pass, for this shot at the end zone, you do not hesitate. You pick Clemson's Sammy Watkins, or in the almost certainty he is not there, you pick Texas A&M's Mike Evans.You pick a guy who can get open. You pick a guy who can run deep. You pick a guy who can pluck the ball out of the sky as if he were picking apples. You pick a guy to line up beside Vincent Jackson, a guy to replace Mike Williams, a guy to make Josh McCown a happier man.But what if you are picking for the next decade?You pick the quarterback instead.For the Bucs, this is the burning question about the upcoming draft. Hey, they know they need a receiver, too (doesn't everyone?) By all scouting reports, Evans would be a fine addition.Yet the Bucs keep checking out quarterbacks. It's either a smoke screen that no one believes, or the Bucs have a genuine interest.Granted, this might seem like a luxury to some. After all, the Bucs believe they have a quarterback in McCown. And while his resume isn't as solid as you would like — he has started only 38 games and won only 16 in 11 years — he was the top quarterback in free agency.After him, there is Mike Glennon, the incumbent.So why flirt with a quarterback? The Bucs' thinking is this: They plan to be pretty good, which means picking in the bottom half of future drafts. And, that being the case, this might be their best shot at a franchise quarterback in the foreseeable future. Hey, McCown is 34. Eventually, this franchise is going to have to replace him.So what do they choose with the No. 7 pick in the May 8 draft? Quarterback or receiver? Receiver or quarterback?If it's me, and I like the answers I get on video, I take the quarterback.Every time.Look, it's silly to treat all of the mock drafts out there with any degree of seriousness. There is so much Xeroxing that goes on, and so much guesswork, and at the end, everyone thinks they're a guru.But out of interest, I took 10 mock drafts from the most prominent publications on the Internet. And in all 10, the Bucs had a choice of Evans or quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. (In two of them, they also had a chance to draft Johnny Manziel). Seven of the mock drafts had them taking Evans.So do you take the short-term need?Or, possibly, the long-range answer?If the Bucs have a chance to draft Manziel, I suggest they grab him with both hands. Yeah, he's small, and the way he plays, he might be hurt a bit. But Manziel has yet to take part in a football game in which he wasn't the best player on the field. There is an energy to him that would be hard to decline, especially for the second-best guy from the same Texas A&M huddle. Sadly, though, I don't think the Bucs have a shot at him.That leaves Bridgewater (and Blake Bortles in some drafts, and Derek Carr in all of them).By now, everyone, including the guy at the drive-through window, is aware that Bridgewater struggled during his pro day. What no one knows is how much that will offset the four years of stellar football that came before it. If nothing else, it is a warning to teams to look harder at the video. It is fair to say that fans are less in love with him today than in January.But we do know this: When teams evaluate players, the most important position on the field is quarterback. And it has been a long time since average quarterbacks were winning Super Bowls. These days, an NFL team only goes as far as its quarterback will take it.Doubtless, it has to be the right quarterback (which means no Ryan Leaf and no Mark Sanchez and no Matt Leinart and no Blaine Gabbert and no Jake Locker and no Christian Ponder. Especially, no Josh Freeman.)Think of it like this: If you knew the Bucs were going to address receiver and quarterback with their top two picks, which pair would you like?Mike Evans and Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo?Or Bridgewater and Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews?It's odd that the Bucs could be back to addressing both position. Remember the end of the 2010 season? It seemed as if the Bucs had found their triplets. Josh Freeman had 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Mike Williams had 65 catches for 964 yards. LeGarrette Blount had rushed for 1,007 yards in only seven starts.It just tells you how quickly things change in the NFL. One coach follows another, and a big contract replaces a small one, and yesterday's work ethic changes. A team keeps losing, and just like that, the franchise believes in you less today than it did yesterday.Now? Now it's time for a fresh start. Again.This time, the Bucs will pick wisely. This time, they'll find a star.A quarterback?A receiver?Your pick.

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    • Anonymous

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      The entire basis of the article is off because QB is the biggest need for the Bucs in both the short & long term.For as good as Watkins and Evans look you don't pass up a QB if you think the right guy is there. Plus with how deep the wideouts are in this years class you'd be nuts to pass on "the guy" at QB to fill a need at wideout in 2014 when you could get both.

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    • Anonymous

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      Ill take Mike Evans if both Manziel and Bridgewater are gone.  Otherwise take one and worry about WR later.

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    • Anonymous

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      I would take Manziel only if Evans is gone.  I would take Manziel over Bridgewater.  But I understand the premise of the article.  I have thought the same thing.  If we turn this ship around this season we will be picking in the late 1st and there probably won’t be a QB available.  So do we wait to upgrade down the road or take a chance this year.  I want a QB that has faced tough competition and has more than 2yrs QB experience.  Murray, Mettenberger, and McCarron fit the profile.  Give me Murray out of that group.  But if we draft QB in the first he better be 3rd on the depth chart unless he beats all other QB’s in camp.

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    • Anonymous

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      Mettenberger is trash, we better not take him.

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    • Anonymous

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      Considering this was written by a professional journalist, pretty stupid article.  QB trumps all if a guy you live is there.

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    • Anonymous

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        QB trumps all if a guy you live is there.

      It does help if the QB is alive . This is true.

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    • Anonymous

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      You try typing on a I phone without ever making typos.

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    • Anonymous

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      Skull, I think you’re missing the point of the article. If the quarterback has obvious NFL talent, then you pick him at the top. However, if you look at the mock drafts, I’ve seen at least one where any of the top three and at least one where ALL of the top three could be available to the Bucs at number 7. The fact is that none of the top quarterbacks are NFL locks, or at least that’s the articles that I’ve been reading.After the bowl games were played, Bridgewater and Manziel were 2 of the top 3 picks by every draft analyst. Now, most drafts have Bortles, a quarterback that wasn't even considered in the top 10 picks after the bowl games usually coming off the board in the top 5 picks. The authors premise for his article is sound in my opinion and to me indicates why the Bucs are looking at all the top quarterbacks now. Back a couple of months ago, the top two were consensus gone and we had zero shot at them, now we do and we have to make sure that if we skip over any of them, we aren't making the mistake that was made with Aaron Rodgers back a few years ago.I remember that draft in that after the bowl games, Rodgers was picked to come off the boards in the top 5, yet later analysts felt he had holes in his game and he tumbled down the boards. The fact was, Rodgers probably did have holes in his game and probably would have struggled if he started his first year, but maybe if you give a guy with talent a few years to sit the bench and bring up his game, that can be the better investment. The same might be true with Bridgewater or Manziel.All that aside, I think I'd still pass the quarterback in this draft on round one and pick Murray in the 3rd. Without the injury, I think Murray would have been a top 3 quarterback in the draft and why not get the guy that may have as much talent as the others but get him in the 3rd.

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    • Anonymous

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      LOL….autocorrect has a mind of it’s own , I know.

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    • Anonymous

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      I actually think Shelton is the best out of all the local writers. I know, tallest midget. Lol.. I have to say that I agree though. QB trumps all, as long as the grades are similar. I don’t believe in a Gabbert type of reach, but all of the top 3 QBs are better prospects IMO.  If we miss on JFF and Teddy, Evans and Garapollo could be a nice package.

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    • Anonymous

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      If Manziel/Teddy are available then take them, no question. If not then I wouldn’t take a QB. Get Evans, then address Guard, Slot WR and go BPA after that.

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    • Anonymous

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      Guys like Evans in every draft. Nice player but not a potential franchise player like JFF. Easy decision.

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    • Anonymous

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      I could easily see us jumping back into the late first in both scenarios. If we take Evans I could see us trading into the late first for jimmy g. If we take manziel/teddy we could trade into the first for beckham/cooks/ebron

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    • Anonymous

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      You take the player @7 that best helps the team win….which is not a QB. Offensive/defensive line or WR if we know what we are doing.

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    • Anonymous

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      Qb is the most important, and we need one for the future.

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    • Anonymous

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      You take the player @7 that best helps the team win....which is not a QB. Offensive/defensive line or WR if we know what we are doing.

      How longn has Calvin Johnson been on the lions and  when did they start winning? His  breakout season they went 0-16. How about Andre Johnson during his years as the best WR in the NFL and the texans 500 or under seasons.  To suggest that a WR he's the team win more than a QB is one of the craziest this I've read

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    • Anonymous

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      You take the player @7 that best helps the team win....which is not a QB. Offensive/defensive line or WR if we know what we are doing.

      How longn has Calvin Johnson been on the lions and  when did they start winning? His  breakout season they went 0-16. How about Andre Johnson during his years as the best WR in the NFL and the texans 500 or under seasons.  To suggest that a WR he's the team win more than a QB is one of the craziest this I've read

      I guess I should have clarified for our team with this draft class. This draft class doesn’t have the QB I’m looking for. Glennon with a years experience is far superior to anything in this draft class and if we’re going to develop a “guy for the future”, then it should start there.

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    • Anonymous

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      Well the develop Glennon thing isn’t happening.  That dream is dead at this point.  I tend to agree that he has upside, although based on your other posts the fact that I am agreeing with you scares e hell out of me, but this staff replaced him with bozo the clown and has rolled in every draftable QB they can find. If this is a smokescreen it is a top 5 ever elaborate smokescreen.

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    • Anonymous

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      I think both sides presents credible points.  That is why you do your due diligence to choose the right player.  Out of all the QB’s based on the team around them Murray had one of the worst in the SEC.  Manziel at least had a OL and big time WR.  Mettenberger had a decent team around him but was injured.  McCarron has had the cream of the crop each year he has played.  This is not reason alone to support Murray but “I” think he has what it takes to win given time.  Manziel might have that it factor but I never watched him and thought “prototype QB.”  Murray when compared to the rest is my #1.  But anyway its just one of the thousands of opinions floating around the internet. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Well the develop Glennon thing isn't happening.  That dream is dead at this point.  I tend to agree that he has upside, although based on your other posts the fact that I am agreeing with you scares e hell out of me, but this staff replaced him with bozo the clown and has rolled in every draftable QB they can find. If this is a smokescreen it is a top 5 ever elaborate smokescreen.

      I’m not sold that he has been fully replaced yet. Glennon has the tools to be a successful NFL QB, although I’m not sure he is a franchise guy. I think L&L wanted to bring in the best possible veteran competition option they could to push him to take that next step. If he can’t beat out McCown, then he should be gone by this time next season and let Smith go get his guy of the future.

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    • Anonymous

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      I think the Bucs are chumming the water by bringing in all those QBs. It sets us up to trade back, if one or more of the top QBs is there at 7. I recall Licht saying he is looking at a QB that is  not on anyone’s list. I think we take our QB third round or later after trading back. WR 1, OG 2 WR 3 and then with one of our additional picks maybe QB.

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    • Anonymous

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      When I saw Brees play in Purdue against my Wolverines, I said that day I knew Drew would be a great NFL quarterback. Watching Aaron Murray I get the same feeling. Okay, it’s not real scientific but when I watch Murray play I see a very intelligent quarterback that wills his team down the field. If Murray hadn’t hurt his leg, I have no doubt he’d be one of the quarterbacks mentioned for the top 10 picks. Sure it’s a chance waiting for him in the 2nd or 3rd, but frankly I’d take my chance if I was in the front office.

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    • Anonymous

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      I think the Bucs are chumming the water by bringing in all those QBs. It sets us up to trade back, if one or more of the top QBs is there at 7. I recall Licht saying he is looking at a QB that is  not on anyone's list. I think we take our QB third round or later after trading back. WR 1, OG 2 WR 3 and then with one of our additional picks maybe QB.

      Could very well be. They have three options imo.. draft a qb at 7, slightly reach for evans at 7, or trade down and possibly still draft evans (or some defense).Still, there is no reason to do this much chumming. It's overkill if it is just a smokescreen.There are too many options at qb in the draft, and going by the history of our gm and hc..we really don't know what they will do. But I am certain we will draft a qb somewhere.

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    • Anonymous

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      When I saw Brees play in Purdue against my Wolverines, I said that day I knew Drew would be a great NFL quarterback. Watching Aaron Murray I get the same feeling. Okay, it's not real scientific but when I watch Murray play I see a very intelligent quarterback that wills his team down the field. If Murray hadn't hurt his leg, I have no doubt he'd be one of the quarterbacks mentioned for the top 10 picks. Sure it's a chance waiting for him in the 2nd or 3rd, but frankly I'd take my chance if I was in the front office.

      Nitey--I co-sign. This year I have watched more college games than in the past and Murray really impressed me.  The most impressive was the Auburn game.  I would draft him over Manziel only because I do not think you can change Manziel.  And playing in the SEC against those defenses mean something.  Size, arm strength, etc...are excuses.  They matter but a person can become great in spite of them as well. 

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    • Anonymous

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      The entire basis of the article is off because QB is the biggest need for the Bucs in both the short & long term.For as good as Watkins and Evans look you don't pass up a QB if you think the right guy is there. Plus with how deep the wideouts are in this years class you'd be nuts to pass on "the guy" at QB to fill a need at wideout in 2014 when you could get both.

      I thought it was pretty well written. One of Shelton's better efforts IMO. What to do with the #7 pick is the million dollar question. I wouldn't mind it, if they traded back for more picks. Then snag a guy like Ebron in the mid first.  The QB situation is in flux right now. I am not sure even L&L know where that is headed. McCown is definitely a band aid. And its hard to believe they have given up on Glennon this soon. Rather then drafting one of these very "iffy" QB's in this draft, I hope they hold off, and get a good look at Glennon before sending him packing.And, if all that does not work out, that means a poor record, and a shot at Famous Jaimus next year. Another option could be a free agent QB. Kaepernik [sp?] will be a free agent after this season, and who knows what will happen with him. They might low ball him, or he may want out of there for whatever reason. A couple other QB's scheduled to be free agents after next season are Cam and Dalton.  L&L have some huge decisions to make in the next year or so. I hope things work out.

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    • Anonymous

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      You never pass on a franchise QB in the draft unless you have one.  LnL have to answer 2 questions- 1. Do we have a franchise QB on the roster?2. Are any of these guys franchise QBs? If any of these guys are available to us it means they were passed over by teams that are in a worse QB situation than we are.

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    • Anonymous

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      And teams that were last have a valid opinion of players because…?

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    • Anonymous

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      The entire basis of the article is off because QB is the biggest need for the Bucs in both the short & long term.For as good as Watkins and Evans look you don't pass up a QB if you think the right guy is there. Plus with how deep the wideouts are in this years class you'd be nuts to pass on "the guy" at QB to fill a need at wideout in 2014 when you could get both.

      I thought it was pretty well written. One of Shelton's better efforts IMO. What to do with the #7 pick is the million dollar question. I wouldn't mind it, if they traded back for more picks. Then snag a guy like Ebron in the mid first.  The QB situation is in flux right now. I am not sure even L&L know where that is headed. McCown is definitely a band aid. And its hard to believe they have given up on Glennon this soon. Rather then drafting one of these very "iffy" QB's in this draft, I hope they hold off, and get a good look at Glennon before sending him packing.And, if all that does not work out, that means a poor record, and a shot at Famous Jaimus next year. Another option could be a free agent QB. Kaepernik [sp?] will be a free agent after this season, and who knows what will happen with him. They might low ball him, or he may want out of there for whatever reason. A couple other QB's scheduled to be free agents after next season are Cam and Dalton.  L&L have some huge decisions to make in the next year or so. I hope things work out.

      Something can be well written and wrong at the same time, they are not exclusive things.As far as finding it hard to believe they have given up on Glennon this soon, I find it hard to believe he's even in the conversation to be starter again after last year, nice stat line but totally ineffective for over 90% of his time on the field, not awful but useless.

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    • Anonymous

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      Why is it an either or solution?Depends on how the draft flows, but there are a hundred ways to answer both...I could easily see the Evans/Garropolo or Bridgewater/Landry selections.  So many combinations to work with...

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    • Anonymous

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      I’ll give you my professional opinion.  Glennon and McCown are sufficient QBs for today and there isn’t a QB in this draft surefire enough to risk a top pick with.  Due diligence in evaluation is necessary for all franchises so they must evaluate to see if they are missing something.  Like most Bucs fans i know, I think that LandL will find that with this lot of QBs the risk is greater than the reward and therefore the Bucs will pass on a QB early. 

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    • Anonymous

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      Why is it an either or solution?Depends on how the draft flows, but there are a hundred ways to answer both...I could easily see the Evans/Garropolo or Bridgewater/Landry selections.  So many combinations to work with...

      I think this is highly possible. They may like 2 QBs but if CLE takes the R1 graded QB before us and then JAX grabs the R2 graded guy then we will move on.  I'm not sure that anyone will like all the QBs.

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