WHAT THE BUCS HAVE AT QUARTERBACK

After releasing last year’s veteran starter Josh McCown after just one year, the Bucs have just two quarterbacks on the roster in Mike Glennon and Seth Lobato – both are 6-foot-6, 230-pound, strong-armed passers. Glennon has the experience of starting 17 games over the last two seasons after being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft. While he has a favorable 29 touchdowns against 15 interceptions and an 83.7 QB rating going for him, Glennon lacks escapability and has been sacked 56 times, an average of three times per game. Glennon also has a record of 5-13 in his starts. Tampa Bay likes Glennon and believes he can be a solid backup behind the franchise QB that the team drafts with the first overall pick this year, but it will be open to trading him if the price is right. It would likely take at least a third-round pick for the Bucs to consider parting ways with Glennon, who has some upside and can develop into an NFL starting quarterback.

WHAT THE BUCS NEED AT QUARTERBACK

Tampa Bay needs a playmaking quarterback that can go toe-to-toe with the likes of New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Carolina’s Cam Newton twice a year in the NFC South division. The Bucs are expected to choose between Florida State’s Jameis Winton and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and select one of them with the first overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft. PewterReport.com’s intel has revealed that the pick will be Winston, who has sat atop all five of the PewterReport.com 2015 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Drafts dating back to January. Whether it’s Winston or Mariota, the Bucs will also need to acquire a veteran quarterback to groom the rookie if Glennon is traded before or during the draft. That would likely happen in free agency after the draft.

BUCS’ BEST BET AT QB (EARLY 1-3) – Florida State QB Jameis Winston
Winston has the edge over Mariota in the fact that he’s coming from a pro-style offense and he’s more NFL ready as a pocket passer. With general manager Jason Licht and head coach Lovie Smith needing to win now after a 2-14 season, Winston, a dynamic playmaker, gives them the best opportunity to do so as a Day 1 starter in 2015. With a 26-1 record with the Seminoles, a Heisman Trophy and a national championship under his belt, a rifle for an arm, a penchant for second-half comebacks and uncanny charisma and leadership ability, Winston brings the alpha male, Type-A personality to Tampa Bay that the front office wants with the first overall pick. The fact that he’s from Florida State also helps the Bucs’ season ticket sales, too.


BUCS’ BEST BET AT QB (LATE 4-7) – Oregon State QB Sean Mannion
Oregon State v UCLA
If the Buccaneers opt not to take either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota and either draft a defensive player or trade down from the number one overall pick, Mannion could be a target for Tampa Bay. New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter’s system needs a strong-armed pocket passer and Mannion fits that prototype. He set a Pac-12 record as a junior with 37 touchdown passes and the experience that comes with being a four-year starter. With Mannion and Mike Glennon, the Bucs would have two young quarterbacks with big-time arms that could compete for the right to start in Koetter’s system.



TOP 10 QUARTERBACKS

1. QB Jameis Winston  – Florida State – Redshirt Sophomore – 6-4, 231 – 4.97

Winston comes to the NFL with well-documented off-field character issues and a high interception total (18) during his sophomore year that bring scrutiny. However, the Bucs have fully vetted him and chalk a lot of his mishaps up to a lack of maturity. There’s no denying Winston’s talent, though. As a redshirt freshman, Winston completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 4,057 yards with 40 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while winning the Heisman and a national championship. His numbers dipped in 2014 as he completed 65.3 percent of his throws for 3,907 yards with 25 TDs and 18 INTs. Yet Winston’s leadership skills and his pocket prowess make him an ideal fit for the Bucs, who would likely select him with the first overall pick.

2. QB Marcus Mariota – Oregon – 6-4, 222 – 4.56

Mariota is viewed as a project in the NFL as he is coming from a spread shotgun offense, but could develop into a great QB in the right system. This year’s most athletic quarterback, Mariota rushed for 2,229 yards and 29 touchdowns. He was also an accomplished passer at Oregon, throwing for 10,796 yards with 105 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Mariota completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 4,454 yards with 42 touchdowns and four interceptions. While he had an incredible TD:INT ratio at Oregon, Mariota was sacked 66 times and fumbled 27 times. He’s in contention to be the first overall pick by Tampa Bay or he could fall to St. Louis, which has the 10th overall selection.


3. QB Brett Hundley – UCLA – Junior – 6-3, 226 – 4.63

An extremely athletic quarterback, Hundley needs work and patience on going through his progressions as he too often looks to take off and run if his first option is covered. Yet he has raw potential due to his athleticism and big arm that allowed him to complete 67 percent of his passes for 9,971 yards with 75 touchdowns and 25 interceptions as a three-year starter. Hundley also rushed for 1,747 yards and 30 touchdowns in his Bruins career, and will likely be a second- or third-round pick.

4. QB Bryce Petty – Baylor – Senior – 6-3, 230 – 4.87

Petty is viewed as a system quarterback by some teams, while others view the tough, athletic, strong-armed competitor as a viable NFL signal caller. Petty threw for 8,195 yards with 62 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions in his two years as a starter at Baylor. After throwing for 4,200 yards with 32 touchdowns and three picks as a junior, Petty played with a broken bone in his back and that hurt his production somewhat as he threw for 3,855 yards with 29 TDs and seven INTs. He is vying to be the third quarterback taken in the draft and will be selected in the second or third round.


5. QB Garrett Grayson – Colorado State – Senior – 6-2, 213 – 4.90

Grayson helped Colorado State return to prominence over the last couple of years. He improved each year and completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 4,006 yards with 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and threw for 9,190 yards with 64 touchdowns and 27 interceptions in his Rams career. Grayson doesn’t have an elite arm, but throws with accuracy and touch. He could be the third quarterback taken this year and drafted in the second round, or he could fall to the fourth round.

6. QB Sean Mannion – Oregon State – Senior – 6-6, 229 – 5.14
Mannion, a strong-armed pocket passer and four-year starter, had a breakout junior season in which he set a Pac-12 record with 37 touchdowns, while completing 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,662 yards and 15 interceptions. His numbers fell dramatically as he lost his wide receivers, including Brandin Cooks. Mannion completed just 62.3 percent of his throws for 3,164 yards with 15 TDs and eight picks in 2014. He has thrown for 13,600 yards with 83 TDs and 54 INTs in his Beavers career. Mannion is projected to be drafted between the fourth and sixth rounds.



7. QB Chris Bonner – Colorado State-Pueblo – Senior – 6-6, 231 – 5.12

A two-year starter for the Thunderwolves, the big, strong-armed quarterback completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 6,704 yards with 63 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. His numbers dipped his senior season as he completed just 56 percent of his throws for 3,291 yards with 30 TDs and eight INTs. Bonner is rising up draft boards and is viewed as a potential sixth-round pick.


8. QB Brandon Bridge – South Alabama – Senior – 6-4, 229 – 4.72

Bridge has NFL size, a big arm and raw talent, but is a project at the next level. He only started one year at South Alabama where he completed 52.1 percent of his throws for 1,927 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Only teams with established QBs and a lot of patience would be interested in Bridge, who is considered to be a late-round selection.



9. QB Cody Fajardo – Nevada – Senior – 6-1, 223 – 4.63

Fajardo was a four-year starter at Nevada where he was the successor to Colin Kaepernick. An athletic, dual-threat QB, Fajardo became the first NCAA quarterback to throw for over 9,000 yards and rush for over 3,000 yards in his career. His numbers dipped his senior year as his completion percentage fell eight points to 59 percent, while throwing for 2,498 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Fajardo is a project and is considered to be a sixth- or seventh-round pick.

10. QB Connor Halliday – Washington State – Senior – 6-3, 204 – 4.90

Halliday was a product of Mike Leach’s system where he threw for 11,308 yards with 90 touchdowns and 50 interceptions in his four years at Washington State. He suffered a broken leg near the end of his senior season and that may have some impact on his draft status. When healthy, Halliday is considered to be a late-round draft pick.

BEST OF THE REST

11. QB Shane Carden – East Carolina – 6-2, 218 – 4.94
Carden was a three-year starter at East Carolina where he became the team’s all-time leading passer with 11,991 yards with 86 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while completing 66.6 percent of his passes. Carden is a smart, accurate thrower, but he has a weak arm and is more of a system quarterback. He could be a sixth- or seventh-round pick or go undrafted.

12. QB Tyler Heinicke – Old Dominion – Senior – 6-3, 212 – 4.62
Regarded as a sleeper quarterback in the draft, Heinicke completed 65 percent of his passes for 7,498 yards with 63 touchdowns and 24 interceptions during his Old Dominion career. After a junior season in which he completed 70 percent of his throws for 4,022 yards with 33 touchdowns and eight interceptions, Heinicke’s numbers dipped as a senior where he completed 63.2 percent of his throws for 3,476 yards with 30 TDs and 16 INTs.

13. QB Hutson Mason – Georgia – Junior – 6-2, 212 – 4.83
Georgia v Kentucky
Mason bided his time behind Aaron Murray for three years and completing 65 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,168 yards and 21 touchdowns and four interceptions as a senior while getting the opportunity to be the full-time starter. The Bucs worked Mason out with wide receiver Chris Conley and he could be a seventh-round option or an undrafted free agent candidate.

14. QB Bryan Bennett – Southeastern Louisiana – Senior – 6-2, 211 – 4.81

Bennett, a dual threat quarterback, transferred from Oregon with the emergence of Marcus Mariota. He rushed for 1,700 yards and 31 touchdowns over the last two years at Southeastern and threw for 5,522 yards with 39 TDs and 19 interceptions. Bennett was an emergency fill-in QB at the Senior Bowl.


15. QB Jake Waters – Kansas State – Senior – 6-0, 216 – 4.74

A JUCO transfer, Waters led K-State to back-to-back bowl games completing 64 percent of his passes for 5,970 yards with 40 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, including 22 TDs and seven INTs as a senior. Waters is undersized, but accurate and mobile, rushing for 15 touchdowns and 796 yards. He’s coming off shoulder surgery and will likely go undrafted.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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deeznuts
deeznuts
5 years ago

“Glennon, who has some upside, can develop into a starting NFL quarterback”. That’s the only positive press PR has ever given glennon. Sacked 56 times in 17 starts lacks escapability….forgot to mention he’s dodging bullets behind an O-line that was the worst I’ve seen in the NFL in the last 5-10years (garret gilkey says it all). Peyton manning and Tom Brady don’t have “escapability” either…and winston is even worse so idk what point you are trying to make other than insinuating we need a running qb to avoid sacks? Especially because we have made no new renditions to our starting… Read more »

SwedeBuc
SwedeBuc
Reply to  deeznuts
5 years ago

Agree fully, he was never put in a position to be successful, and has handled himself great in the adversity he has faced. Escapabiity…is now an issue? Even though it would not be pretty to watch MG would actually take JW(projected #1 pic)in a footrace… I still think he can be a good starter given the right situation.

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matador
matador
Reply to  SwedeBuc
5 years ago

Glennon may or may not be capable of being a productive QB in the NFL. We don’t have enough info to know, as the shortsighted organization has never put him in a position to succeed (which is their job, BTW). If he fails, the failure is as much or more theirs than his. JW and MM may be capable of being productive QBs in the NFL. we don’t have enough info to know. Do you trust this org (top to bottom) to put them in a position to succeed? Willing to risk a pick that could instead be exchanged for… Read more »

georgehicks
georgehicks
Reply to  deeznuts
5 years ago

I think Mike Glenn can be a better Qb ifTampa gets some offensive linemen out of this draft class. Look at example of what the dallas cowboys have done in the last two draft classes.They have drafted quality offensive linemen. Can you Imagine what the offensive could do with first three picks after the Qb is selecting go after a OT,OG & OC not in that order. I like the writer senario that If Tampa went a different direction in selecting a QB in later rounds. That may be a good move. Example what if Clev gave both first rd… Read more »

Dbuc63
Dbuc63
5 years ago

deeznuts- I think you and I are the only posters who understand what you wrote. Last year there was no OC. JW doesn’t get resigned in 4 years and Glennon ends up winning a SB on another team…sound familiar?

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e
e
5 years ago

It seems like the last few years have seen the Bucs front office give up players for lower an expected draft picks. I’m getting the feeling that they will end up trading Glennon for less than a third or some combination that ends up with less value than a third. I wonder if they shouldn’t try to resign him to a reasonable muli-year deal and have Koetter work with both Winston and Glennon? If he can coach him up, I would think that it wouldn’t be out of the question that they could get a higher pick for him down… Read more »

georgehicks
georgehicks
Reply to  e
5 years ago

Well guys Lets give this group of personnel up in the front office a chance to see what they are made of. I think that Lovie Smith and the entire coach’s staff don’t want to make another mistakes like last year. I follow the bucs since day one. I also knew some of the players and coaches during the John McCay Era! Todays Draft is far more complex than yesteryears. I think when its gets down to crunch time Tampa will make the correct call. All these teams saying they will move up to take these players and give this… Read more »

owlykat
owlykat
5 years ago

After so many articles about how brilliant Winston is we find out he only scored a 27 on his Wunderlick test out of a possible 50. That is just 15 points below what the Colts QB scored, who is a bright QB and took the Colts to the playoffs his first year with a team that had only gotten two wins the year before (like us last year). That is what a smart QB can do but that isn’t braggart Winston! We have a lot better chance with Mariota who scored 33 on the same test! Winston is about as… Read more »

cgmaster27
cgmaster27
Reply to  owlykat
5 years ago

Considering you’ve lobbied many times for tebow, your qb taste is suspect at best. And scoring one less point than Peyton manning makes Winston dumb? Mayock a qb talent evaluator? How did his top ranked qb do last year in Johnny manziel? You know the same Johnny that scored a 33. How about blain gabbert the year before? Gosh you Winston haters are getting desperate.

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Buctebow
Buctebow
Reply to  cgmaster27
5 years ago

Tebow, did someone say Tebow? I think Tebow could have a career in the NFL, just not as a QB.

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Horse
Horse
5 years ago

I support whatever we do because there is really no outstanding No. 1 pick in the draft this year. Too bad some of these kids didn’t stay in school another year with the possibility of becoming outstanding. I hope we don’t give up draft picks to move up in rounds 2 & 3.

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georgehicks
georgehicks
Reply to  Horse
5 years ago

I agree with you horse,You know my feelings on the draft. Go Bucs

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Bucko40
Bucko40
5 years ago

SO being immature absolves Winston of any wrongdoing? If not for his status as a Collegiate QB he would’ve been arrested on each instance.

Mechanically he has to many issues. Long wind-up. Doesn’t reset quickly. Fails to step up in the pocket when he should. This causes him to throw off his back foot to many times and throw to many Interceptions.

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BrooklynBucsFan
BrooklynBucsFan
Reply to  Bucko40
5 years ago

TOO- I’m guessing your hypothesis is as bad as your grammar.

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pinkstob
pinkstob
5 years ago

Assuming we do indeed trade Glennon and need a late round QB How is S. Mannion the late round best bet when the Bucs haven’t even met with him? The QB’s the Bucs have met with besides Mariota and Winston are C. Holliday at the Combine (took all of his snaps from shotgun like Mariota), B. Simms at the combine (scrambles like Mariota), A. Boone at a Pro Day (scrambles like Mariota), C. Dietz as a local visit (ran read-option like Mariota) and H. Mason at a workout. H. Mason was the only QB the Bucs have worked out that… Read more »

EastEndBoy
EastEndBoy
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

That’s some serious food for thought pinkstob….I think if we happen to take MM, you should get some major cred for putting 2 and 2 together….let’s see on the 30th.

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georgehicks
georgehicks
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Well pinkstob you have done your homework. My seniaro is this today. Tampa may trade out of pick no#1. What does points really mean. Three examples: Tampa trades out of no#1 to clev for both #1 picks(12 &19) plus a no#4 & no#6. This would give Tampa plenty of ammo to move back up after there pick at #12. Example #2. Trade with NYJets Tampa gets @ no#6 plus a #2 & a no#1 next year. Example Phil Eagles @120. Example Tampa gets #20 plus Bradford, and two late round picks. Plus Tampa could trade Mike Glenn if they wanted… Read more »

Pinnaql3
Pinnaql3
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

I don’t think the BUCS met with Evans last year either….not very exactly indicative of plans

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Bucmeister
Bucmeister
5 years ago

Trade the pick. We need lots of help. Let Winston go to Jets, a marriage made in heaven. Bucs have so many holes to fill, picks and more picks. Bucs are years away from having an average roster, let alone be a serious contender and not a pretender. QBs can be found all through the draft. Look at Pittsburgh, N.O., Dallas, Seattle. Highly drafted QBs don’t mean success, Stafford, Ryan and RGIII. Build the roster up to at least be competitive. Now is the opportunity to do this, if the average success rate for drafted players is 50% we need… Read more »

pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  Bucmeister
5 years ago

That sounds to me like a good way to end up like the Bengals or Rams. Over the past 5 to 7 years they have drafted quite well at every position besides QB and they ended up being mediocre teams. The Rams stockpiled picks from the RGIII trade and they barely beat us last year. The Bengals have hit on a lot of picks that have re-signed or are still on the team and they also barely beat us last year.

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Bucmeister
Bucmeister
Reply to  pinkstob
5 years ago

Its also the way NE and Seattle got where they are.

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pinkstob
pinkstob
Reply to  Bucmeister
5 years ago

Fair enough. NE actually used a lot of free agents to win their last two Super Bowls and their QB is 37 so it’s been a while since a 6th round QB draft pick worked out. Seattle is a great example to your point though.

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scubog
scubog
Reply to  Bucmeister
5 years ago

Big Ben was a top 10 pick.

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georgehicks
georgehicks
5 years ago

I think that would really blows the Nfl teams if Tampa did the unthinkable in staying put and get the #1 Defensive linmen in the draft. Or see what teams would pay to move up.Example the Cleveland Browns. They have a #12 &19,They have a 2nd Rd , a 3rd-2 4th rounder plus 2-6th rounders. Tampa also as of now has 8.picks what if Tampa trades with Cleveland For both 1st rd picks a no#2 next year plus Clev 3rd Rd plus Clev 4 & 6 higher picks for the no#1. Plus Tampa has the #34 pick in Rd-2 trade… Read more »

cremdonado
cremdonado
5 years ago

The Bucs need to stay at the one and draft Winston or Mariota- that is the only option.This team needs to take the risk on one of these two and see what happens. This team for the most part is quite uninspiring and needs a shot in the arm- both could be just that,both could go down in flames…the important thing is that we take the shot. Worst case is that it doesn’t workout and we draft early again next year with just as many question marks as this year…At least we get a spark and the excitement of watching… Read more »

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

Totally agree with your rationale Cremdonado. This team lacks the swagger it once had. The leaders (McCoy and David) on the team, while good players; they just don’t have that same alpha dog persona that Brooks and Sapp carried to the field. On offense, it’s the QB position that needs that quality. So here we have two viable QB candidates. But only one has the trait so desperately needed. No towel over the head guy sitting alone on the bench when the %&it goes bad. Give me the guy who never quits and inspires others to do the same. Please… Read more »

e
e
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

Agreed scubog… But, there’s seems to be a lot of people on here that confuse that with arrogance and cockiness and don’t want any part of that for the Bucs. e

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macabee
macabee
5 years ago

If we take all the Buc fans who have opinions on the QB for the Bucs and put them on a committee to design a horse, pretty sure we get the hump day camel. Whoop! Whoop! lol.

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Buctebow
Buctebow
5 years ago

Trade Melman, trade Melman, trade Melman. After the Johnson incident, my faith in the Bucs choosing wisely in the draft has gone way down. Poor decision making begets the same.

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