The debate is strong. You’re seeing it everywhere. Mocks slowly popping up across the web that is world wide and Twitter fights are lively. Bucs fans have something to talk about. No, they’re not talking about how their 2-11 Buccaneers can win this coming Sunday. Instead they are talking about who they should draft. And opinions are being served up from media and fans everywhere on how Tampa Bay should approach their selection come May.
Of all things, the latest hot topic has been the Buccaneers trading down or going for an offensive lineman at the top of Round 1. As of now the Bucs sit with the first overall pick. Trading down is certainly a possibility. Of the other four teams in the Top 5 (New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars), the Jets (third pick) and maybe even the Titans (second pick) are likely to pursue a quarterback in the draft. If the Bucs trade out of the top five, Washington and even the New York Giants could be in the market -- with rumblings of an uncertain future for Robert Griffin III and Eli Manning.
Sure there are potential offensive line prospects to be had in the top half of the first round like Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley, LSU’s La’El Collins, and Iowa’s Brandon Scherff. But the Bucs passing on the chances of selecting a franchise quarterback would be a huge mistake.
Linemen can be had in any round of the draft. In fact, one of the lineman many fans wanted the Bucs to go after this past summer was undrafted in 2009 -- San Francisco’s Alex Boone. But some are adamant they pass on either Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
How much more would that set this franchise back?
Lovie Smith and Jason Licht have a rough road ahead as they have to start piecing ideas together for yet another offensive system with a new coordinator. Whoever they bring on will be a small indicator of who they may draft -- at quarterback.
Not a lineman.
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