If the Bucs want a QB they will have options at No. 7

The top four quaterbacks in this years draft. Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles,  and Carr. The Bucs could land one of them if they want.
The top four quaterbacks in this years draft. Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles, and Carr. The Bucs could land one of them if they want.

The Tampa Bay Bucs will have the seventh overall pick in this weeks NFL Draft and if they want a franchise quarterback there will be one of the big of the big four on the board when they need to make their choic.

Most people have   Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M, going to the Jacksonville Jags in the number three spot, but he could slide down to the Bucs.

Would “Johnny Football,” be a good fit for the Bucs? Well, he is a Drew Brees type smaller guy with a big arm and plenty of speed. He is very exciting and loves to win but his long term durability is the biggest question and that might be reason enough to pass on him if he is still on the board at number seven.

Many scouts think that  Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida, could be the best quarterback of group and with his size at 6’5″ and with a strong arm it would be hard to pass him up. He also can run so many scouts feel that in the right system and with time to learn that Bortles is the closest thing to a “sure thing, ” in this draft class. 

Fresno State’s Derek Carr,  is the real X Factor in this draft. There are concerns with Carr’s ability to stand tall against pressure and the types of throws he was asked to make the past two seasons in the Bulldogs’ spread scheme.

However, he isn’t far behind the likes of UCF’s Blake Bortles or Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, if at all. Carr has a lightning quick release. He’s a good athlete. And teams love his maturity on and off the field.

Louisville’s  Teddy Bridgewater, has fallen out of the first round at least as of today. But he is thought of by a number of scouts as a better pick long term than Manziel. He had a couple of very bad pro day on campus and that put some big time doubt in teams considering him as a first round pick.

Bridgewater’s response: “Put on the game tape.”

“The game tape speaks volumes because I’m in live action, I’m out there making reads, going through progressions, redirection protection, signaling hot routes, getting the offense in and out of the right play,” Bridgewater told ESPN Thursday. “Looking at those things, I think those things outweigh the pro day.”

Up till mid-March, most people agreed with those sentiments. So why did that apparently change in recent weeks?

“I’ve never seen a top-level quarterback in the last 10 years have a bad pro day, until Teddy Bridgewater,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said recently. “He had no accuracy, the ball came out funny, the arm strength wasn’t there, and it made me question everything I saw on tape because this was live.

“I went back and watched a bunch more tape and compared him to the rest of the guys in the draft,” Mayock said. “And like it or not, I’ve come to a conclusion — if I was a GM in the NFL, I would not take him in the first round of the draft.”

This all could be a moot point because of 83 percent of all of the mock drafts from the major scouting services have the Bucs going after Manziel’s top college target.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: The Bucs traded away Mike Williams and they are too far down the draft board to get Sammy Watkins so it’s the next best thing. Evans is a faster, more explosive version of Vincent Jackson. You better have big corners when you play Tampa.


Mayock isn’t alone. Bridgewater appears in the first round in only one of five CBSSports.com mock drafts (Pete Prisco has him going 26th to the Browns).