The Buccaneers are coming off a 2-14 season, but all eyes will be on Lovie Smith and company over the next weeks, as the 2015 NFL draft nears, since Tampa Bay holds the first overall pick. With most observers, reporters, and fans believing the Bucs will snag Jameis Winston, that pick may be lacking a little intrigue, but speaking to the media today, Smith didn’t fully commit to the Florida State quarterback. Here’s what the Bucs head coach had to say about Winston and a handful of other topics:
- Smith said today that he’s never done so much research on a player as the Bucs have done on Winston, tweets John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. The team has also done plenty of work on Marcus Mariota, but has spent more time on Winston, tweets Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune. Bucs ownership has given the OK to both players (link via ESPN.com).
- Odds are good that either Winston or Mariota will be Tampa Bay’s pick at No. 1, but Smith belives “you have to keep your options open.” According to the head coach, the Bucs would be “very comfortable” selecting one of the quarterbacks, but there’s no rush to make the decision yet, and Smith points out that “there are mega-deals that have come up” in past drafts (all Twitter links via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times).
- More from Smith on having the first overall pick, via Stroud (Twitter link): “We realize how important that position is and very seldom do you get a chance to have your pick of the litter like that.”
- Putting a bow on the No. 1 pick talk, Smith indicated that it wouldn’t be an erroneous assumption to forecast Winston as the first overall pick, tweets Stroud. However, the team continues to go through the research process.
- With the Bucs preparing to draft a quarterback, one signal-caller on their roster has drawn trade interest. According to Smith, teams have inquired on a potential Mike Glennon deal (Twitter link via Stroud). I’d imagine that’s something the Bucs will consider as the draft nears if they’re comfortable with Winston (or Mariota). For now though, Glennon and Seth Lobato are the only QBs on the roster, so the team may have to sign a veteran if Glennon is dealt, and there aren’t many still on the market.
- Asked about how much longer veteran guard Logan Mankins wants to continue playing, Smith replied, “Forever. He’ll tell you forever.” So it doesn’t sound as if retirement is imminent for the former Patriot (Twitter link via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald).