NFL Draft: Tampa Bay happy to have N.C. State QB Glennon
TAMPA, Fla. — If Josh Freeman isn’t Tampa Bay’s long-term solution at quarterback, the Buccaneers are hoping they’ve found an alternative.
The team selected North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon in the third round of the NFL draft Friday night, saying he was too good a fit for their offense to ignore even though Freeman became the franchise’s first 4,000-yard passer while also setting a club record by throwing for 27 touchdowns last season.
General manager Mark Dominik and coach Greg Schiano reiterated Freeman is the starter, while also noting Glennon was highly productive in college has the size — 6-foot-6, 220 pounds — and arm strength they like in a quarterback.
“If something happens to Josh Freeman, we want to be able to keep the season rolling,” Dominik said.
With Freeman entering the final year of the contract he signed as the 17th pick of the 2009 draft, the Bucs eventually will have to make a decision on whether to give him a new deal. The 25-year-old led the team to 10 wins and narrowly missed the playoffs in his second full season as a starter in 2010, however his career has been marked by inconsistency.
Schiano has said he’d like to increase competition at every position on the team, including quarterback. Veteran Dan Orlovsky currently in Freeman’s backup, and the hope is Glennon will be able to learn the system and develop without having the pressure that comes with being a high draft pick expected to come in and start right away.
Glennon, who played behind Russell Wilson for three years at North Carolina State, completed over 58 percent of his passes for 4,031 yards, 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for the Wolfpack as a senior. He was the third quarterback selected in the draft behind first-rounder E.J. Manuel and second-rounder Geno Smith.
“It comes as somewhat of a surprise, but I’m excited to go down there and play football,” Glennon said, adding he hadn’t had much contact with Tampa Bay since the NFL combine.
Schiano recruited Glennon coming out of high school when the coach was at Rutgers and the quarterback was the state of Virginia’s player of the year, so they’ve been familiar with each other for years.
Wilson, who transferred to Wisconsin, led the Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs as a rookie in 2012. Glennon plans to speak with him about what Wilson did to make a successful transition to the NFL.
“I think there’s a lot of talent in this class,” Glennon said of this year’s crop of quarterback prospects, which was not highly rated by draft experts. “Hopefully, 10 years from now, we’ll look back said say this class was a little under-rated.”