My rundown through the entire first round of the NFL draft continues as I examine the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who hold the #7 pick in the first round.
The Pick: Derek Carr – QB – Fresno State
A debate continues to rage about whether Johnny Manziel or Derek Carr is the next best quarterback. Coming out of FresnoState some critics got down on Carr because of his bowl performance against USC but the fact is he was the best quarterback in college football statistically. He’s got the best arm in terms of strength, has good accuracy, deceptive athleticism and a tall 6’4″ frame. Talent-wise there isn’t much to hate about him.
Why: Lovie Smith vowed to consider a quarterback
Yes, it’s true that when Lovie Smith said the Buccaneers were seriously considering a quarterback it could be just a smokescreen but that doesn’t dismiss facts. During his time in Chicago the veteran coach failed miserably to find a quarterback, forcing him to seek out Jay Cutler via trade and even then he couldn’t handle it because of the constant upheaval on the offensive staff. Now he has a renowned quarterback guru in Jeff Tedford running things, the same man who coached Aaron Rodgers. For the first time Smith has a real shot at getting his franchise quarterback via the draft and Carr is very similar to Rodgers in terms of skill set.
Argument: Sammy Watkins and Anthony Barr are still available
There are a few quality arguments to be made against this pick. Most notably is that a number of higher rated players are still available that fit team needs. Dynamic wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who provides that speed element Tedford said is missing from the Bucs offense is still up there and would make an ideal compliment to Vincent Jackson. Another is Anthony Barr out of UCLA. The physically gifted outside linebacker has amazing raw potential as a pass rusher, something TampaBay badly needs in their defensive front seven.
Counter-argument: Carr is more talented than Mike Glennon
Honestly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would do well selecting those players but if their end game is winning a Super Bowl then getting the most talented quarterback they possibly can must be their stated goal. Mike Glennon showed some promise at times last season but Carr is simply more talented. That’s a fact. Not only is he more mobile than Glennon but he also has a better arm. Getting trumped in those two key categories makes this pick in the NFL draft worth it.
That is why I would take Derek Carr if I were in charge. What are your thoughts?