By Seminole Buccaneer, Published April 1, 2015 8:33 PM EST
Having the first overall pick in the draft is a sign something or many things have gone wrong with your team. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers find themselves in that position after a 2-14 season. Having the first pick seems to be a good thing, an easy fix, as if the NFL is handing you a get out of jail free card. This would be true if your team was one or even a couple players away from turning it around. This very well could be the case for some teams who have found themselves in this position, but not in this case, not with this team.
The Buccaneers have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. The two most glaring would be the quarterback and left tackle position. Great you say, so draft the best quarterback or left tackle in the draft right? Not so fast my friend, the consensus is the best tackle in the draft is Brandon Scherff, problem is alot of people think he should be playing guard instead of tackle and is hardly worthy of being the first overall pick. Ok, so then draft the best quarterback in the draft right? This seems to be the right move. The best quarterback in the draft is debatable but the consensus is that Florida State’s quarterback Jameis Winston is the most “pro ready”. The question is do you draft a potential franchise quarterback when you dont have an adequate line in front of him? Traditional logic is you build from the lines back, but todays NFL is a quarterback driven league so its a matter of your coach and GM’s philosphy.
This is what concerns me. Lovie Smith is a self proclaimed run first and play solid defense type of guy, yet Lovie just hired Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator who runs a more wide open four wide receiver style offense. See the problem here? This is why, in spite of my support of Jameis Winston, part of me thinks the Bucs need to look for a way to trade out of the first pick. I know I know your thinking “This guy calls himself Seminole Buccaneer and he doesnt want to draft a Seminole player to lead the Bucs?” That couldn’t be further from the truth, but in all honesty as much as I’ve watched what Winston can do drafting a quarterback isn’t always a sure thing. The fact is out of all the players drafted in the first round only 60% end up having solid careers. Thats not as high as you thought it would be right? The Buccaneers have had the first overall pick 6 times, out of those 6 times they drafted Lee Roy Selmon, Ricky Bell, Bo Jackson and Vinny Testaverde. Right now your thinking “hey you said they had the first overall pick 6 times but thats only 4 names, what gives?” Thats because we traded out of the pick twice. In the 1978 draft the Buccaneers traded the first overall pick to the Houston Oilers for tight end Jimmie Giles, the 17th pick in the first round (Doug Williams), a 2nd round pick (44th Brett Moritz) and a 3rd round pick in the 1979 draft (133rd Chuck Fusina). That’s not to shabby. In the 1984 draft the Buccaneers traded the first overall pick to the Bengals for quarterback Jack Thompson. This trade didn’t work out as well. Suffice it to say the Buccaneers have about a 50% success rate in trading out of or staying and drafting with the first overall pick. When you look at the entire history of Buccaneers first round picks you see that they are hitting on less than 50%. So they are “batting” at or below a .500 average on total first round picks, number one overall picks and trading of the first overall pick. This tells me that maybe, just maybe, they need more chances at getting it right. Which brings me to the conclusion that they should pursue a trade, but with who and for how much? So who are the teams that need a quarterback and could potentially want to trade up.
The Titans sitting at the #2 spot would be the first team that needs a quarterback and wouldn’t have to give up as much as other teams to move up. I don’t see this happening as they have shown more interested in Mariota then Winston. They also gave said they are comfortable with 2nd year QB Zach Mettenberger.
The team from Washington is the next team that even though they gave up the farm to draft RG3 they could be looking to go quarterback. This seems unlikely in that they are still recovering from the Griffin trade and don’t have alot of collateral.
This brings us to the New York Jets. This is a team that in spite of drafting Geno Smith, seems to at least be somewhat interested in one of these top two quarterbacks. The Jets do have the picks to trade and with a new coach and general manager might be looking to make a splash. I would say while it’s possible, I still see the Jets sticking with Smith in hopes the new regime can turn it around.
The next pick belongs to the Chicago Bears. I think this just might be the team to make a move. Yes I know they have Cutler but let’s be honest, Cutler has woefully under performed and that contract isn’t helping. I can see the Bears wanting to get a quarterback that can step in and play when Cutler struggles. I can also see the Bears look to try and package Cutler in a trade to help them move up.
So whats it going to take? Are the Bucs really even interested in trading? This next month leading up to the draft will be very interesting and could be the defining moment for the Buccaneers. All signs point to the Bucs taking Jameis Winston, but you never know.
Stay tuned for more from Seminole Buccaneer.