When it comes to the NFL draft, there is always a temptation for teams at the top of the board to select a quarterback.
For some reason, every single year one team will see a QB and think "that's our quarterback and the face of our franchise for the next ten years." Things hardly ever work out like that in modern football.
The last star quarterback to be drafted early was Andrew Luck, but everyone could see the greatness and we all knew that's what the Indianapolis Colts were going to do. But teams still reach early on QB's that aren't sure fire things who turn out to be flops, and it seems like Lovie Smith may not be falling for that trap in the 2015 draft.
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Smith is the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hold the first pick in the 2015, is expected to do exactly that. The current consensus is that the Buccaneers will select either Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota - two former Heisman winners - with that first overall pick in an effort to get the struggling Bucs a new quarterback.
But quotes from a recent interview that Smith has done with NFL Network, via ProFootballTalk, hint at the possibility that Tampa Bay may well be willing to trade down in the draft.
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“I can see why people would assume we’re gonna take a quarterback,” Smith said. “There are two excellent quarterbacks that are available at the top and when you get a chance to draft someone like that, most of the time, people do. But there are other good players in the draft."
Smith then dropped a big hint that he was very interested in the pass rushers in this draft, and that he could move down the order to select one of them whilst also bringing in more picks.
"I think it’s a deep draft for defensive line. Like last year, there are a lot of great receivers that are coming out. I think, just overall, the amount of athletes coming into each incoming class, it’s pretty deep for players that can make an immediate impact," Smith added.
With these quotes, it looks like Smith is actively letting other teams know that Tampa Bay could be shopping their pick. It's a perfect way to figure out what you would get from other teams and how much you can bleed teams for.
Whether the Bucs would actually pull the trigger on a trade remains to be seen. But passing up on quarterbacks who both have big question marks surrounding them could be the smartest thing Smith and Tampa could do.