In the wake of reports that Johnny Manziel is on Tampa Bay's short list of players they covet at the #7 selection, the time has come to explore why this would be a poor decision for the newly installed Lovie Smith regime.
- He's not pro ready While Manziel does possess a great deal of potential, the top 10 is usually reserved for QBs who can be instantly inserted into the starting lineup. Manziel did not display the qualities needed in an NFL starter during his time at Texas A&M. He's a player who needs to see a receiver open, rather than throwing to a spot. Manziel relies on his legs and is quick to abandon the pocket. Robert Griffin III was, and is, a superior prospect to Manziel and has struggled mightily at the pro level with these concepts. If Manziel proved to be the right choice, he won't be of any help if he's constantly banged up. Even playing behind one of the best lines in college football and consistently having wide open receivers to throw to, he spent much of last season nursing injuries.
- Tampa Bay has more pressing needs The Buccaneers simply can't afford to spend their top draft choice this year on a project player. A quality football team is built from the lines out. With an anemic offensive line, any young QB would take a regular pounding. Tampa Bay would be better served taking Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews. With the departure of Mike Williams, perhaps Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans would also be a viable option. There's no use in taking a QB if there's no line to protect him or receivers to throw to.
- They already have 2 promising QBs on the roster This, in my eyes, is the most important reason they need to pass on using a high draft choice for a QB. A franchise that just spent a 3rd round pick on a young QB last year should not do it again. If they choose Manziel and he doesn't pan out, this could set the franchise back several years. Meanwhile, all Mike Glennon did last year was throw for 2,608 yards and 19 TDs, with only 9 INTs. He also showed some of his best stuff against premier defenses. In back to back contests against Carolina and Seattle, he threw for a combined 443 yards and 3 TDs, and most impressively, zero interceptions against two very opportunistic defenses. In addition to Glennon, the Bucs also have Josh McCown in house. McCown was dazzling when given the chance, throwing for 1,829 yards and 13 TDs and just one INT while filling in for the injured Jay Cutler. He kept the Bears afloat in the playoff race as their defense collapsed.
For a team that already has 2 starting caliber QBs in house and a plethora of needs on both sides of the ball, I believe it would be foolhardy to choose Manziel, especially in the top 10. The Buccaneers are a long way from contention and need to fix the multiple holes they have before plugging in a new QB. They would be better served seeing what they have in Glennon, who showed a great deal of potential last season. And if Glennon stinks and McCown proves to be a one year wonder, they will have another high draft choice. UCLA's Brett Hundley would be a far surer thing than any of the QBs in this year's crop.