The Tampa Bay Buccaneers raised some eyebrows with an interesting selection with their third round pick. After trading for Darrelle Revis and then drafting Johnthan Banks in the second round, the Buccaneers drafted North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon to come in and play behind Josh Freeman in Tampa.
Right away, Bucs writers and fans tried to defend the pick as one that isn’t going to challenge Josh Freeman as the starter in Tampa, rather it’s a move to challenge the backup quarterback Dan Orlovsky. But while that’s cute reasoning, you rarely draft a quarterback in the third round of the draft if you don’t have a slight intention of seeing if he can compete with the starter.
Russell Wilson was taken in the third round of last year’s draft by the Seattle Seahawks and ended up almost winning the Rookie of the Year award despite the fact that the Seahawks raised eyebrows by taking him as they had Matt Flynn under center at the time.
Obviously, Glennon is no Russell Wilson, but the comparison in this case is that just because a guy is penciled as the starter doesn’t mean things will stay that way.
At the end of the day, this is a power move by the Buccaneers to light a fire under Josh Freeman who struggled in each of the last two seasons. Greg Schiano isn’t sold on Freeman as the starter of the future, and to add to things Freeman is in a contract season with the Bucs. There have been no indication by the Buccaneers that they will engage in contract negotiations with Freeman.
Still, don’t read too far into the pick and draw the conclusion that this is the end of Freeman in Tampa. This isn’t the Jets taking Geno Smith, this is a head coach not sold on his quarterback drafting a guy to be the backup and potential successor. Remember that the Bucs tried to trade for Carson Palmer and tried to sign Matt Cassel this offseason, so while Glennon is an interesting pick, it’s not a sin against the franchise.