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Bucs GM: There Are Franchise QBs in This Draft

By: Justin Pawlowski - on twitter: @CommishOnline
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Justin Solo Justin Pawlowski
After a successful four years at Tampa Catholic, Justin's passion...
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There have been plenty of examples of people who refuse to believe this draft possesses quarterbacks that could lead a franchise for the foreseeable future.

During an appearance on Mad Dog Sports Radio, Phil Simms said that he “wasn’t sold” that there were any “franchise” quarterbacks in this year’s draft.

NFL Films’ Greg Cosell has hesitated in saying there are franchise quarterbacks in this draft as well.

As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers now have Josh McCown and Mike Glennon on the roster to battle for the starting quarterback position, a valid argument can be made that neither will be the Bucs future at quarterback and that the Bucs will consider drafting a one in May if they feel there is a franchise quarterback in this draft.

“As a matter of fact, I do,” Bucs GM Jason Licht said on 98.7 The Fan when asked if he sees any franchise quarterbacks in this draft. “I’m not going to give you what round I think they’re going to go in, how about that? We found one in the 6th round when I was in New England, so it might not be the guys you’re talking about.”

Licht was a part of the Patriots front office when they selected Tom Brady in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft.

The top three quarterbacks talked about in this draft continue to be Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Blake Bortles. All three project as 1st round picks, while Fresno State’s Derek Carr is also a fringe 1st round selection.

Even with the signing of Josh McCown, I feel there is a distinct possibility the Bucs will select a quarterback early in this year’s draft. I disagree with what Licht says about him seeing franchise quarterbacks in this draft, but not saying the round, as if to insinuate that the quarterbacks he views as franchise quarterbacks won’t be 1st round picks. If he is saying that, than he is also contradicting himself.

“You can never pass on a franchise quarterback if you feel that quarterback is a franchise level player,” Licht said to Booger McFarland on 98.7 The Fan.

Well, which is it? If Licht sees “franchise quarterbacks” in this draft, but it might not be the projected 1st rounders we’re talking about and that he won’t tell us which round they are in, then why wouldn’t he just select that player with the 7th overall selection if “you never pass on a franchise quarterback?”

I understand that Licht might be pointing to LSU’s Zack Mettenberger, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, San Jose State’s David Fales, Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, or any other quarterback, but as he said, if he feels that quarterback is a “franchise level player,” he should be selecting that player with the 7th overall selection.

I would keep a close eye on Derek Carr with the 7th pick. Carr has a history with Jeff Tedford and might be a quarterback to best fit the Bucs new system on offense with his athletic ability and quick release. Again, just going by what Licht said, if they feel Carr or any other quarterback is a “franchise quarterback,” then it should not surprise anyone if the Bucs draft that player early because “you can never pass on a franchise quarterback.”

Follow Justin Pawlowski on twitter @Commishonline for updates on the NFL Draft and the Bucs.

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