PewterReport.com analyzes the top players in the 2018 NFL Draft with its position previews. Mark Cook previews the quarterback position with a comprehensive look at what the Bucs have and what they need, a detailed list of this year’s top quarterbacks and offers up the annual PewterReport.com Bucs’ Best Bets – one early round pick, and a pick from the later rounds.
What The Bucs Have At Quarterback
The Bucs appear to be set for the first time in their history with a franchise quarterback and hope to make Jameis Winston the first drafted quarterback by the team to receive a second contract. A remarkable stat, really, but one that helps to explain the futility of the franchise for many of their 42 seasons. Winston took some steps forward in 2017 but also a few backwards as well. How much of those missteps were due to a shoulder injury that hampered him for much of the first half of the season (including missing three games) is debatable. Still the team is pleased overall with his development over his first three seasons. Winston, despite missing time with an injury, still threw for 3,504 yards with 19 TD passes and posted a career best in completion percentage (63.8) and QB rating (92.2). The only negative heading into the 2018 season is a possible suspension by the NFL for an alleged groping of an Uber driver. The NFL is still in the process of their investigation and there is no timetable to announce their findings.
With that in mind, the Bucs re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick who filled in for Winston during his injury last year and posted a 2-1 record in three starts. Tampa Bay also has Ryan Griffin on the roster and look forward to seeing his development this offseason. While Griffin may have potential, he has never taken a regular season snap in the NFL and the unknown factor leaves the future behind Winston up in the air.
What The Bucs Need At Quarterback
Fitzpatrick is a capable backup, as proven by his success last season, however he will turn 36 during the season and he is not the future as the Bucs backup quarterback. With Griffin unproven, the Buccaneers may look to draft a quarterback, not to challenge Winston, but instead to develop into a long-term backup moving forward. While it isn’t necessarily a need, there could be a quarterback the see as a good value as the draft develops that they feel they can’t pass up.
Click Page 2 For The QB Rankings