With rumors swirling that the top three QBs in the draft are dropping, it is looking like at least one of the Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles group will be available when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pick at #7. New coach Lovie Smith has said that the Bucs would consider a QB at #7 if the right one is available and has made it clear that the team isn’t sold on 2nd year QB Mike Glennon as the long-term answer at the position. The Bucs have already signed QB Josh McCown to a 2-year deal and named him the starter. If the Bucs do draft a QB with the 7th pick, that would push Glennon to the 3rd QB spot and presumably make him available for a trade. That was the rumor being circulated yesterday as multiple reports have the Bucs shopping Glennon and quite a few teams interested included the Cardinals, Patriots, Titans and our beloved Chicago Bears.
Mike Glennon was drafted early in the 3rd round by the Bucs and was forced into the starting lineup after Josh Freeman was benched before week 4. Glennon had an up and down rookie season with some bad games like his first start in week 4 at Arizona (1 TD, 2 INT, 55.7 rating) and week 14 vs Buffal0 (9-25, 90 yds, 40.4 rating) but also had some gems including an overtime loss at Seattle (17-23, 2 TD, 0 INT, 123.1 rating) and a loss to Atlanta (20-23, 241 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 137.5 rating). Overall the Bucs went 4-9 in games Glennon started and Pro Football Focus gave him a -8.2 grade for the season with ranked 22nd out of 32 starting QBs (between Eli & Flacco).
Coming out of college the scouting report on Glennon was that he had the strongest arm of any QB in the 2013 draft. He has ideal size (6’6, 225) which we know is important to Phil Emery, good poise in the pocket, a quick release, and goes on occasional hot stretches where he looks unstoppable. On the downside, Glennon also has cold stretches where he can’t hit the broad side of the barn. He’s a very streaky QB due mostly to inconsistent footwork. When his footwork is right he’s looks like a starting NFL QB, when it’s bad he’s prone to overthrows and interceptions. Glennon is also a statue in the pocket with limited mobility and despite his cannon arm doesn’t show great accuracy on the deep ball.
Draft analysts were mixed on Glennon’s future in the NFL, some thought he projected as a backup in the NFL and compared him to Derek Anderson and Ryan Mallet. While others were intrigued by his big arm, ideal height, and intangibles comparing Glennon to Joe Flacco (Gruden) and Drew Bledsoe. Early in the draft season (Jan 2013) Mel Kiper said that he thought Glennon was the best QB in the 2013 draft class and a top 15 pick. Regardless of which NFL comparison is most accurate, all analysts agree that Glennon has elite arm strength and size, but is limited by his inconsistent footwork. To me that sounds like the perfect project for “QB Whisperer” Marc Trestman.
As far as the Bears are concerned, the rumors may not even be true, but they make sense. The Bears have been in the market for a backup QB all off-season. They brought in Josh Freeman for a workout, were rumored to be interested in Shaun Hill, and tried to bring back last year’s backup Josh McCown before the Bucs made him a big offer. Jay Cutler has had a hard time staying healthy the last few seasons and with only untested Jordan Palmer as a back-up (0 NFL starts), the Bears could use a more reliable option as the back-up QB. If they can find a reliable back-up with starter potential, that’s gravy.
Both Emery and Tresman have mentioned the possibility of drafting a developmental QB, but if they can get a guy like Glennon who has some unique skills then they should pull the trigger as long as the price is reasonable. I haven’t heard what the Bucs are asking for Glennon, but I’m guessing it is similar to what the Patriots are asking for Ryan Mallet (3rd-4th rounder). Considering that the Bucs immediately named McCown the starter without giving Glennon a chance to compete for the job, it shows how highly (lowly?) they value Glennon and the Bears may be able to get him for a 4th or 5th round draft pick. At that price I think it is worth it to see what Trestman can do with a guy that has great size, elite arm strength and starter potential.