As the 2014 season has progressed, it has become more apparent the Bucs are in dire need of a quarterback to lead their franchise. Currently, the Bucs hold the 2nd overall draft choice, which could result in them drafting a QB with said pick. However, that might not be the only way the Bucs can improve the most important position on the field.
Here are just a few of the options the Bucs might have:
Draft a QB in the 1st Round
With the Bucs potentially ending with a top 3 draft choice, drafting one of this year's top quarterbacks could make a lot of sense. Both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have their strengths and their weaknesses. I'm certain the Bucs brass has already been doing their due diligence on both prospects. While there is no guarantee that a top drafted quarterback turns out to be a sure thing, the Bucs might have put themselves in position where they are forced to try one out.
Sign a Veteran Who is Possibly Released
The first name who comes to mind here is Giants' QB Eli Manning. Manning has a price tag for $17m in 2015. With the Giants possibly facing a regime change at year's end, Manning being a cap casualty does not seem that far-fetched. For the Bucs, Manning has been a turnover machine in recent years behind a shaky offensive line. While Manning has two Super Bowl wins and MVP awards, the Bucs might not be the best team for Manning to extend his career with due to them still rebuilding for the next few seasons.
Trade for Another Team's QB
It looks like it might be Manziel time in Cleveland, so the hope that anyone might have had to trade for the Browns rookie quarterback is probably gone. With that said, Robert Griffin III will most likely be on the trade block this off-season. RG3 was electrifying his rookie season when he led the Redskins to the playoffs. Since then, RG3 has dealt with injuries, multiple coaches, and an ineffectiveness in developing in the pocket. Much like Mariota, if RG3 is a target, the Bucs should try and build an offense around things he does well rather than force him to be something he is not.
Sign a Free Agent
The reason I, along with many others, continue to plead with the Bucs to draft a quarterback early in this year's draft is because quality quarterbacks just don't make it to free agency. The Bucs apparently signed the best free agent quarterback last off-season in Josh McCown, and now we sit here still discussing the need for a quarterback. The top free agent quarterbacks this off-season are Brian Hoyer, Mark Sanchez, and Jake Locker. This should not be an option for the Bucs.
Wait and Draft a QB After the 1st Round
There have obviously been success stories like Tom Brady (6th), Russell Wilson (3rd), and Tony Romo (undrafted), but for every success story drafted after the 1st round, there are probably 100 wasted draft picks as well. Currently in the NFL, 20 teams have quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round. If the Bucs plan to wait, the risk of missing obviously goes up, but here are some names to consider. In the 2nd round, the Bucs could consider UCLA's Brett Hundley or Mississippi State's Dak Prescott. Both are athletic QBs, but both have serious concerns. The middle rounds will consist of Baylor's Bryce Petty, East Carolina's Shane Carden, and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson. All three could be good quarterbacks, but none show elite characteristics.
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