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QB Johnny Manziel on Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Short List

Apr 24 2014, 5:07am CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

QB Johnny Manziel on Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Short List
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering drafting quarterback sensation Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M University in the first round of the NFL draft in May, per multiple sources.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering drafting Johnny Manziel in the first round of the NFL draft.

According to ESPN, the Buccaneers are keen on solidifying their quarterback position as they have already hosted four play callers for pre-draft visits:  

"Johnny Manziel is on the short list of players the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering with their first-round pick in next month's NFL draft, a league source told ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure. 

"Manziel is one of at least four quarterbacks the Bucs have hosted for pre-draft visits. The source did not disclose how short the team's list is for its first pick. 

"The Bucs hold the seventh overall selection and might have to trade up to land Manziel, the former Texas A&M star. Manziel recently was tabbed as the No. 4 overall pick to the Cleveland Browns in ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper's latest mock. 

"Manziel is viewed as a likely first-round pick by many draft experts, and the Bucs aren't loaded at quarterback. 

"Tampa Bay signed veteran Josh McCown in the offseason and has Mike Glennon, who started 13 games last season. The Bucs have opened minicamp with McCown taking the first-team repetitions at quarterback, while Glennon has been working with the second team." 

The Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman confirms Manziel was at One Buc Place on April 10 to visit the team. He was the third quarterback to visit that week. 

The first two were Teddy Bridgewater of the Louisville Cardinals and Jimmy Garoppolo of the Eastern Illinois Panthers, per Auman. 

Auman's colleague at The Tampa Bay Times, Rick Stroud, affirms the team is indeed eyeing a quarterback in his April 12 update. However, it remains to be seen whether Tampa Bay will draft one with the seventh pick as the ESPN article is stating. 

Stroud notes new Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith is leaning toward a paradigm shift as far as drafting a quarterback -- more specifically, "mobile, athletic quarterbacks who are accurate passers," per the April 12 Tampa Bay Times update.

Smith, who was at Manziel's workout at Texas A&M and the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis two months ago to meet with the quarterback prospect, told Stroud that Manziel is not the prototype quarterback.

However, he should be successful in the NFL, regardless. 

"I had time to watch quite a few games, and I had a chance to watch him -- a lot. So you add all that up.

"As far as how he'll take his game to the NFL level? I think most outstanding players in college, a lot of them, end up being a very good football player in the NFL. 

"Football really is football. I know he's not your typical, prototype quarterback who drops back into the pocket, but there are a lot of quarterbacks doing well in the league that aren't your prototypical quarterback." 

Stroud then offers his take on the Buccaneers' possible candidates at the No. 7 draft position. 

"GM Jason Licht insists the team is prepared to take the best available player, regardless of position. The consensus top five are, in some order, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack, Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins. 

"Some might include Aggies receiver Mike Evans or Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald on that list. 

"If a quarterback slips into that mix, such as Manziel or UCF's Blake Bortles, it would be hard for the Bucs to pass up one of those other position players pushed down to them." 

The 6'1", 210-pound Manziel is a 2012 Consensus All-American and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. He finished his career at Texas A&M with 7,820 passing yards, 62 touchdowns and 22 interceptions, per Sports-Reference.com.  

Manziel also added 2,169 rushing yards for 30 more touchdowns. 

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