Lovie Would “Enjoy” Shot To “Unleash” ManzielApril 24th, 2014
Lovie Smith has prepared for many dangerous, multi-talented quarterbacks in his days as a linebackers coach, defensive coordinator and head coach.
And one top draft guru thinks that perspective of the game helps make Johnny Football a likely target of the Bucs.
Daniel Jeremiah, the former scout who is now one of NFL Network’s three year-round draft experts, penned a piece for NFL.com analyzing the Bucs’ draft needs, and the quarterback position (no surprise) was fourth on his list. Jeremiah speculates the Bucs have two QBs in mind for their future.
Given that they added McCown in free agency, it’s safe to assume the Bucs aren’t all that high on second-year pro Mike Glennon. I saw some positive signs from the young quarterback during his rookie season, but I’m not sure he’s their long-term answer. Then again, neither is McCown — he turns 35 in July.
With the seventh overall pick, there’s a chance Tampa Bay will have its choice among the top quarterbacks in the draft. Of the group, I’d keep an eye on Johnny Manziel. Defensive-minded coaches like Lovie appreciate the difficulty involved in trying to slow down a player with Manziel’s unique skill set. I think he’d enjoy the opportunity to unleash that type of playmaker on opposing teams. If the Bucs wait until the third round to land their next signal-caller, there’s a chance AJ McCarron could still be on the board. The Alabama quarterback’s accuracy and decision-making are both excellent. Although he might not have the kind of physical tools that wow NFL decision-makers, he is a two-time BCS national champion.
Joe’s got no interest in McCarron from a football perspective, and Joe wasn’t impressed face to face at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. But, as regular readers here know, Joe thinks it’s critical that the Bucs draft their quarterback of the future this year. There’s simply no logical reason to wait.
Johnny Football is, of course, a QB with a diverse skill set and plenty of positive intangibles, but Joe doesn’t think Lovie will be swayed by any of the wow factor surrounding Johnny Football or thoughts of giving his old friend Ron Rivera fits in preparation for opening day, like Jeremiah suggests.
Lovie has and will evaluate Johnny Football at his position and as a leader and on how he believes elite coaching will elevate Johnny Football’s game, and Joe’s confident that score is going to be extremely high. High enough for the Bucs to draft him.