As if the outlook for the 2014 class of quarterbacks was not hard enough to decipher, there may be an increasing number of wrinkles thrown into the mix this week.
The latest comes from a not-altogether-surprising report from ESPN's Adam Caplan that the Buccaneers "are going to try to move" QB Mike Glennon. "They have denied this, but I think Mike Glennon is going to be good as gone," Caplan told WDAE-AM.
If that's true -- and the Buccaneers' addition of Josh McCown, coupled with Lovie Smith's declaration that McCown was his No. 1 quarterback certainly points that direction -- then Glennon joins New England's Ryan Mallett and Washington's Kirk Cousins as potential trade bait ahead of next week's draft. Mallett and Cousins have long been rumored as possible targets for teams looking for QB help, with a report surfacing in March that the Texans were interested in Mallett.
Figuring out how those QBs with NFL experience might compare to Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel and other soon-to-be rookies may be a fool's errand. Cousins, Glennon and Mallett have all of 17 career starts between them, 13 coming from Glennon last season.
Already this offseason, the 49ers dealt away a sixth-round draft pick for ex-Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Any of the Cousins-Glennon-Mallett trio presumably would carry a costlier fee -- previous buzz placed second-round price tags on Mallett and Cousins, for example.
In this draft, teams that are looking for a QB but that opt to pass on taking one in Round 1 may later be faced with a prospective choice between the likes of, say, Zach Mettenberger, Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Murray or Tom Savage, or swinging a deal for one of the aforementioned trade pieces. Glennon was a third-round pick just last season, so even with a regime change in Tampa Bay the goal for the Buccaneers would be to at least recoup that draft value.
Within the top 10 alone, Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Minnesota and possibly even St. Louis could be tempted by the right quarterback. Even in the event of an early run at that position, several teams will be waiting until a later round (or trading back up into Round 1) for a QB.
"Certainly it’s an ideal situation if you can get that quarterback later in the draft and that way you’re drafting a position player at four," rookie Browns coach Mike Pettine said earlier this week, via Mary Kay Cabot. "But we’re in the business of staying true to our sequence, that if our fourth-best player or somebody rated above that is there at the fourth pick that we’ll feel comfortable turning the card in regardless of what the position is."
That has more or less been the company line so far, in relation to the 2014 QB class: There does not appear to be a prospect capable of delivering an immediate, Andrew Luck-level impact, thus the smart move would be to wait on value.
And the more teams that take that approach, the better the odds are that at least one of Cousins, Glennon or Mallett is on the move in the very near future. There is a heavy demand for starting-caliber quarterbacks around the league right now, met with questionable supply.
Tampa Bay may be willing and able to provide another option.
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