Either the Bucs are putting together one of the best smokescreens of all time or they are in a deep search to find a new starting quarterback.
First, Bucs coach Lovie Smith and GM Jason Licht were reluctant to fully commit to Mike Glennon as their starting quarterback.
Then it was reported that the Bucs met with Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel at the combine.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted that the Bucs have “strong interest” in free agent QB Josh McCown.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Bucs were one of 8 teams to “formally” meet with UCF QB Blake Bortles at the combine.
Bortles met with nearly every team during the course of the weekend and had formal interviews with eight franchises: the Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.
Bortles took over the UCF program and vaulted into national recognition the past two years. After leading the Knights to a 10-4 record in 2012, Bortles would then lead UCF to their 1st BCS Bowl game victory by beating Baylor 52-42 in the Fiesta Bowl.
Bortles is a prototypical quarterback with excellent size (6’5” 230 lbs) and athleticism. Bortles has modeled his game after Ben Roethlisberger. Bortles is a little inconsistent on deep passes, but overall is considered an accurate quarterback who can make plays with his legs and arm.
The Bucs are currently evaluating all quarterbacks in this draft to determine if any are worthy of the 7th overall pick or if they might need to trade up and get “their guy.”
Follow Justin Pawlowski on twitter @Commishonline for updates on the NFL Draft and the Buccaneers.