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.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

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

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Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]

16 COMMENTS

  1. Use a 7th rounder on Memphis’ Riley Ferguson – low risk high reward.

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    • Yeah I like this kid!

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      • I like him a lot too, also wouldn’t mind taking a flier on Shimonek. Both could develop into solid NFL back-ups.

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  2. Being that the roster, for the most part, is really solid at practically every position, seems that Winston’s performance will be the deciding factor in the Bucs’ success or failure this season.

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    • The roster is really solid? Defense is really solid? We couldn’t stop anybody last season, especially with 4th quarter leads. We’ve improved some on the D line, but d backfield is still weak. LB’s are the only solid part of that unit. O line is really solid? Coaches are jumbling up the unit again with at least 2 or 3 new starters and moving Marpet to the left side rather than back to the right side where he was a stud. RB is solid? We’ve got Payton, and expect we’ll get a good back in the draft, but the whole group is being overhauled from last season. Lots of question marks on this team. James can overcome some of it with a good season, but this is not all on him.

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      • I agree with you Dman.
        We do need a RB but I really think Barber can be a good RB if given a chance to prove himself.

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        • I love Barber, his character, hard running style and I think he’s a better receiver than we give him credit for. Plus, War Eagle!!!

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          • Yep Dame WAR EAGLE!

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  3. We have too many needs to draft a Quarterback before the sixth or seventh round. I really like Falk but see him being drafted much higher. I, too, like the QB from Memphis – Ferguson as a developmental backup..

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  4. I fully agree that there is no way the Buc’s need to be serious about drafting a QB in 2018. However being a devout OSU fan, I can tell you one Buck that by far surpasses the likes of Shimonek, McGough, Ferguson, Woodside, Benekert, Falk, White, or Lauletta. JT Barrett had the 2nd best QB 40 time at the Combine. Lead the Buckey’s to the national Championship game. while breaking multiple OSU record, came within 6 touchdowns of breaking Drew Breeze all-time combined passing and running TD record, played and won consistently in on a perennial top 10 NCAA team in the Big 10 Conference. He was a great team leader. 3 time team captain and in my opinion someone will get a great multi-positional player who is used to playing on the big stage. IMO

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  5. With the draft picks we have available and based on needs at other positions, I would pass on a QB and sign one immediately after the draft.

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  6. NFL Draft Scout’s Rob Rang reports Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield “remains in the conversation” to be drafted in the top-five picks. If 4 QBs are taken in the top 5 picks, do the math. Go Bucs!

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    • Yes!!! Now all we have to do is figure out how to stay at 7 for whoever drops, and also get another 2, or the 3 that we lost. Everyone seems to hate me for saying it, but I think we need to seriously look into trading away D Jackson or A Humphries to get that pick, or a couple of picks back. I feel that, even though I really like those 2 players, one of them would be expendable. I think the WR group which would be Evans, Godson, Wilson, Martino, and EITHER Jackson or Humphries would be a very solid unit. Godson deserves more playing time, and I feel that Martino and Wilson are both very capable of stepping in due to an injury. I’m leaning towards keeping Jackson for the speed factor, but he is more valuable and would return higher or more draft picks. I would love for Meathead to work his wonders with the Pats and trade Humphries for some good picks. Brady really needs that good, quick, smaller possession WR to throw the ball to that I believe he is missing right now.

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  7. The Bucs have carried Ryan Griffen on the roster as the 3rd QB for a couple years now. They resigned him after his shoulder injury, not sure why we would draft a QB in any round after that much investment into Griffen. Signing a undrafted free agent QB as a camp arm with upside is what the Bucs should do in my opinion.

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  8. If Winston sits for his 6 games suspension, and does not improve with the solid offense built for him, we will be in trouble without a quarterback that competes as an alternate starter.
    We still need OL, DB, RB and DE. Without trading down that would give us a 6th round pick for QB. For once I agree we need to trade down for more picks, unless we get Barkley at 7th pick.

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  9. The coaching staff seems to think pretty highly of Griffin, seeing as how they’ve carried him on the roster for several years. Barring somehow gaining extra picks, I don’t think we have the luxury of picking a QB this year. We will likely be keeping him on as our 3rd stringer.

    I do wonder though how much faith they truly have in Griffin as he’s never been tested. Fitz is a great backup, but won’t be around forever. If Griffin isn’t able to show his worth this year, I think we’ll be finding his replacement next year.

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