TAMPA — Have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers abandoned plans to draft a quarterback with the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft? Listening to coach Lovie Smith, you get the feeling they might have.
Smith said during a pre-draft press conference at One Buc Place on Tuesday that he would want the player the Bucs take at No. 7, should they opt to stay there, to play “fairly soon.’’
That might rule out taking a quarterback, because the consensus among many scouts and draft analysts is that the quarterbacks in this year’s draft all need time to develop before stepping in as starters.
“They’re all prospects,’’ former Washington Redskins general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly said of this year’s quarterback draft class. “They’re not ready-to-play guys.’’
The readiness of the quarterbacks in this year’s class may not be the only thing that keeps the Bucs from drafting a quarterback in the first round. The Bucs current stable of signal callers could prevent that as well.
Smith made it clear Tuesday that he remains very high on projected starting quarterback Josh McCown. He also expressed pleasure with his projected reserves at the position, Mike Glennon and Mike Kafka.
“You want to keep that option open of course,’’ Smith said of taking a quarterback in the first round, “because there are some good quarterbacks in this draft. That has been documented.
“But just looking at our roster right now – and we had a good chance to see our guys in action (at our minicamp) last week – Josh McCown is a good quarterback that could lead us to a lot of victories.
“And Mike Glennon is an excellent quarterback. And Mike Kafka is good. We feel pretty good about our guys that we have right now even though there are a lot of good options at the QB position.”