BY: John Mamola
The countdown to the 2014 NFL Draft continues as the NFL Combine wrapped up from Indianapolis on Tuesday. While most draft experts will pick their winners of losers from the time spent at the Combine, the questions continue to circle around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as to if they will take a quarterback with the seventh overall selection.
Mike Glennon played in 13 games for the Buccaneers during the final season of former head coach Greg Schiano’s tenure in Tampa Bay. However with new head coach Lovie Smith taking the reigns at One Buccaneers Place along with new general manager Jason Licht, would Glennon be the starting quarterback for the new look pewter pirates coming the start of training camp.
It’s no secret that both Smith and Licht have stated there will be competition at every position with the Buccaneers, but if the draft pick at #7 is a quarterback could that player walk in and start. According to former director of college scouting for the Chicago Bears (under Lovie Smith) Greg Gabriel, he told WDAE’s ‘The Ron and Ian Show’ on Wednesday if the Buccaneers were to go that direction to avoid one name which stood out at the Combine according to many.
“I don’t think (Blake) Bortles belongs in the conversation,” said Gabriel. “I don’t think he’s a first round pick. I think he’s a second round pick, and still needs a lot of developing. I’m not going to say he’s not going to be a good pro, I don’t think he’s ready to step in. When you go first round the way quarterbacks have been in the last few drafts, they (teams) force them to play too early in their career. They don’t have a chance to develop and because of that they end up failing.”
Bortles earned favorable reviews for his performance at the combine, finishing in the middle of the pack as expected in the 40-yard dash. He also drew extensive praise from NFL Network analysts and was sharp during both quarterback-centric passing drills and while throwing the ball to help with wide receiver workouts.
The NFL Draft will be held in New York City beginning May 8th thru May 11th.
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