Some took umbrage at my suggestion that Mike Glennon is a wasted pick. Leo Howell wrote a good defense of the Glennon pick in which he offered some cases where other teams picked QBs in the third round of recent drafts. He is right, the list is an extensive one and without going through the entire group, I’ll note that it includes such luminaries as Ryan Mallett, Brock Osweiler, and Charlie Whitehurst. Not a single one of these QBs is a starter, and none of them is likely to be. What they may be (and few of them have proved this yet either) are capable backups. If you look at the projected starters of all 32 teams in the NFL, how many were drafted later than the second round?
It is true that Mike Glennon has a powerful arm. He can make every NFL throw. He can rip the deep out, which is the benchmark for QB arm strength, and he throws a good deep ball. It is also true that Glennon was well-regarded by scouts and GMs in this year’s draft. Let’s keep things in perspective, though, this was universally considered a weak draft, and the QB class was particularly weak. It was one of the worst drafts for signal callers of recent years, so saying Glennon is one of the best of a poor crop does not inspire much faith. His build is also worrying – he entered the scouting combine at over 6’ 7” but only weighed 225 lbs. Ben Roethlisberger, to whom Glennon’s size is likened, is two inches shorter but twenty pounds heavier. Can Glennon take ferocious NFL hits and keep ticking? I hope so, but only time will tell. Finally, Josh Freeman’s decision-making worried a lot of people when he entered the league. After all, he tossed 34 INTs to 44 TDs in his college career. Last season, his decision making and mechanics faltered a little bit down the stretch, which every Bucs fan knows. In the last three games of the 2012 season, Freeman threw 9 INTs to 2 TDs. Glennon has college stats that are far from pedestrian, tossing 31 TDs the last two seasons, but his INTs jumped from 12 in 2011 to 17 a year ago, and this is worrying.
The point I want to make is not to hate on Glennon – far from it. I hope the kid thrives and proves me wrong. But the timing and circumstances of his selection just seem off. If you are not sure, draft a QB in the first round next year and start him. If you are drafting someone to be a clear backup to Freeman and not groom his successor, why not wait until the third day of the draft or trade for a serviceable veteran? Schiano says Glennon is going to “push” Josh Freeman and that there is competition at the QB spot. Come on. Who needs pushing? Everyone knows that Josh Freeman is in a contract year. If you are the Bucs front office and you really are unsure at this point if Freeman is your QB or is just a couple of games away from looking like Mark Sanchez, then go out and get his clear replacement. The QB position is, quite frankly, the only one that matters. Just look for a bad team with a great QB – that’s right, you can’t find one. It is critical to pick starting QBs early in the draft – of 32 projected starters, 27 were drafted in the first two rounds. Maybe Glennon is the next Tom Brady. Whether he is, or a player that Bucs fans will say in five years “I wish we had drafted X,” remains to be seen.