Bucs Work Out AAC QBApril 7th, 2014
Now Joe is sure the Bucs will draft a quarterback come the weekend of May 8 when the three-day NFL Draft party begins. Now whether that is Johnny Football in the first round, Derek Carr in the second round, Jimmy Garappolo in the third round or Aaron Murray in the fifth round, Joe isn’t so sure.
But apparently the Bucs also have targeted a quarterback who is way off the grid: Garrett Gilbert of SMU, from the world famous quarterback factory that is the American Athletic Conference.
This information comes from the Twitter feed of noted former Cowboys director of player personnel chief, “The Godfather,” Gil Brandt.
@Gil_Brandt: #SMU QB Garrett Gilbert leaving today to work out for #Bucs. Will work for #Falcons, #Panthers later this week in Dallas.
For those unfamiliar with Gilbert, remember when Alabama played Texas in the national championship in 2009 and star Texas quarterback Colt McCoy got hurt and left the game? It was Gilbert who came in as a freshman to replace McCoy and put the fear of God into Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide was pushed in that game until Alabama pulled away late.
Gilbert obviously had a falling out later with Texas coaches and transferred to SMU. In his senior season under the tutelage of former NFL coach and offensive whiz June Jones, Gilbert threw for over 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Now the AAC will never confuse anyone with the SEC or the PAC-12 or even the ACC. Since Gilbert played under an offensive guru already, he may just be a good fit for another college offensive guru, and that is current Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford.
This may scare you and it sure scares Joe; last season was the first of Gilbert’s collegiate career in which he threw more touchdowns than interceptions. How far outside the box is Gilbert? The WalterFootball.com crowd didn’t list him in their top 23 quarterback prospects.
It’s not a shock to hear Jones claim Garrett may be the best quarterback prospect in the nation, so he told Rich Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.
Gilbert had a 500-yard passing game against Temple, a couple of 400-yard games against Cincinnati and Rutgers and 300-yard days against Texas A&M and Texas Tech. He also rushed for six touchdowns and has the size the NFL covets in a quarterback — 6-4, 225 pounds.
“If an NFL teams takes Garrett’s last three games of 2012 and any games they want to grade from this year — just grade the games when the light went on in our offense — I believe Garrett Gilbert would grade out in the top three quarterbacks of this draft,” Jones said. “Maybe the very top.”
Jones also told Brandon George of the same paper that Garrett’s pro day reminded him or a notorious quarterback from the Big Ten.
“I think Garrett really, really helped himself,” Jones said. “Of all my years in the National Football League and working out quarterbacks, I think this was the second best workout that I’ve been a part of as far as catching the ball and throwing it accurately, deep balls, all of the type of throws that the NFL needs to see.”
Jones said the only workout he witnessed that trumped Gilbert’s on Friday was that of quarterback Jeff George, who in 1990 at Illinois put on a pro day performance that became known as the “$15 million workout video,” because that was the size of the contract he signed when Indianapolis drafted him No. 1 overall.
“Somebody is going to take [Gilbert] in the third round, second round, maybe fourth round,” Jones said, “and get a guy who is going to play 15 years in the league.”
Just a hunch, but if Gilbert winds up on the Bucs roster, it will be at best a third-day pick or an undrafted free agent. Hard for Joe to believe a guy who was not invited to the combine would be selected on the first two days of the draft.