Dec 5, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) reacts to a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers May Not Have Many Options at Quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may not have as many options at quarterback in the 2014 Draft as it once seemed.

The funny thing about year-round draft prognostication is that the players projected and analyzed throughout the year are often underclassmen who aren’t guaranteed to enter the NFL Draft. And while it’s usually obvious which underclassmen are cut out for a jump to the next level, they all hold the right to go back and compete at the college level for another year until they’re out of eligibility.

Marcus Mariota, seen by many as the second-best quarterback in the class, has already announced his intentions to stay in school. Today, news broke of two other top prospects at the position who might not enter the draft, either.

According to former scout John Middlekauf, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is not 100% convinced that he should enter the upcoming draft.

So why on Earth would a top-rated quarterback prospect, compared to Aaron Rodgers by many, decide to forego the draft with so many QB-needy teams at the top of the board?

Apparently, there are some scouts in NFL front offices who don’t see Bridgewater as the same can’t-miss prospect many media scouts do.

If Bridgewater were to stay in school, Derek Carr would become the top-ranked quarterback on most boards, and since Carr is a senior, he’s locked in as a candidate for an early pick in the draft.

But who would follow the Fresno State product? Many believe that Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel is a candidate for a very high draft pick, but he’s not a lock to enter the draft, either.

According to Manziel himself, speaking to Dan Patrick on his radio show, the former Heisman Trophy winner would consider a return to College Station if he’s not given a first-round grade by the NFL’s Advisory Committee.

This would thin out the quarterback crop in a serious way, and leave the Buccaneers with very few options at the top of the draft if they choose to pursue a quarterback. Things can (and will) change between now and the draft, but a quarterback class that had many drooling just months ago is now a bit less impressive than many expected.

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  • Jason Jesse

    He ain’t going back to school. Don’t buy it for a second. Besides, Blake Bortles is the best QB in this draft! :)

  • Jayson Kaplan

    Good. I hope they all go back to school. I’m tired of this notion that one has to invest millions in a 20 year old that never took an NFL snap to upgrade the QB position. People talk about tanking in order to be in a position to draft Johnny Manziel. Seriously? It looks exciting in college games sure, but those ill-advised throws will have him leading the league in INTs in no time flat. I would be pretty unhappy to see the Bucs spend a top 10 pick on a QB in this draft regardless of who it is. Can we not learn from Foles and Kaepernick and Wilson that perhaps it’s not the over-hyped guys that go in round one we should be focused on? How’s Blaine Gabbert working out for the Jags?

  • Josh Hart

    Why would the Bucs not stick with Glennon next year? He’s seemed to grasp the game pretty well from what I’ve seen and should only improve when he has a healthy team around him next year.

    • Jayson Kaplan

      So what you’ve seen didn’t include last week’s game? I’ve watched every snap Glennon has taken and I see him make the same mistakes week in and week out. People seem to take it easy on him because they won four games with him at QB as if they haven’t also lost six.

      • Josh Hart

        No I didn’t watch the last game. Glennon is a rookie though that wasn’t supposed to be starting and is missing his #2 WR and #1 RB among other things. Point is he’s going to make mistakes. Not every rookie QB is going to come in and blow your socks off a la Luck, Newton, RG3, etc. He needs some time to develop and I think he’s shown promise with the way he’s played.

        • Jayson Kaplan

          Being a rookie mitigates only so many mistakes, and losing players to injury mitigates zero. Glennon’s overreaction to pressure is not affected one way or the other by the absence of Williams and Martin. Glennon often throws to the wrong side of all of his receivers, not just the stars. He’s equal opportunity with that mistake. I don’t expect mistake free play from any QB. They’re all human. Goodness knows RGIII has made plenty of them this season. I do expect them to learn from their mistakes. That Glennon doesn’t seem to learn from his illustrates why I don’t believe in him or the coaching staff going forward.