Lovie Smith isn't being coy with his thoughts on the quarterback position: they want to find an upgrade at the position, and will consider a franchise quarterback with their seventh overall pick.
"If you ask me would you like to upgrade the position? I'm not running around the question. That's a yes, too." Lovie Smith told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
"I know enough about that draft to know, yeah, there's someone that would be worthy of the seventh pick because everything is on the board right now. Whenever you have a chance to get a franchise quarterback, you have to consider that."
Smith doesn't want to force the issue, he said later on, but it certainly sounds like the Bucs will look very hard at finding a quarterback in the 2014 NFL draft.
"I think people really make it out to be about that guy, that quarterback." Smith said. "You've to have that franchise quarterback. What is a franchise quarterback? I mean, is it Russell Wilson that you got a little bit later? Is it Peyton Manning? There are different degrees of quarterback that you can get to win with, the things we're looking for, leadership, all those things. But I'll just say this: I think this draft, I know enough about to know it's a deep draft. We're talking about the first round. It's a deep draft at a lot of positions, quarterback being one of them."
Lovie Smith's comments also imply something else: Mike Glennon is not seen as that franchise quarterback, at least not right now. Smith did note that he thought they could win games with Mike Glennon, but he'd like to upgrade the position regardless.
That upgrade will have to come through the draft and in free agency. The Bucs want to have at least four quarterbacks in training camp, which is standard, and they only have two of them on the roster right now. In addition to Mike Kafka and Mike Glennon, Smith would like one of those four passers to be a veteran. Matt Cassel and Josh McCown could be good fits for Jeff Tedford's offense, while Michael Vick has also been mentioned.
In the draft, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater are seen as the top quarterbacks, but none of the three appears likely to fall to the Bucs right now. Derek Carr has also been mentioned, specifically in connection to the Buccaneers due to his familiarity with Jeff Tedford, but has fallen to the back of the first round in most mock drafts over the past few weeks.