NFL Draft Rumors: Glazers pushing for Manziel, Lovie Smith wants Aaron Donald

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in Johnny Manziel and like Aaron Donald, but the latest rumors give some odd reason as to why this would be the case.

Tony Pauline of Draft Insider has an interesting rumor to report: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers want Johnny Manziel, because the owners are pushing for him, while Lovie Smith would instead like Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Jumping on that bandwagon, former Colts GM Bill Polian claims that the Bucs will draft Donald, play him at three-technique, and move Gerald McCoy (their best player) to nose tackle (via Roy Cummings).

Why this makes sense

Because Johnny Manziel is the kind of player who excites owners, and because Aaron Donald is the kind of player who excites Lovie Smith, and because Gerald McCoy has shown he can play nose tackle.

Why this doesn't make sense

Because Gerald McCoy is the best three-technique defensive tackle in the NFL, moving him to nose tackle would take him away from what he does best, would be a tremendous waste of resources, and would not sit well with a player who has repeatedly sacrificed his own production for the sake of his coaches over the past four years. Lovie Smith doesn't have a history of playing his players out of position, so I can't see him starting with arguably the best defensive lineman he has coached. 

Update, case in point:

The other option is moving to Aaron Donald to nose tackle or left defensive end. That's possible, but why would you spend your seventh overall pick on a player you plan on playing out of position, in a spot where he's likely to struggle? Donald isn't the biggest player, making him a mediocre fit for nose tackle at best, and he's not a real edge rusher, which makes his playing left end weird. Not that he couldn't do it somewhat effectively, but his natural position is as a three-technique defensive tackle. If you use the seventh overall pick on him, you'd  presumably want to play him where he fits best.

And then there's the fact that the Bucs signed defensive tackle Clinton McDonald to a four-year deal this offseason, and that this pick would not fill a need. Instead, they'd be left with massive holes at wide receiver and offensive guard. 

As for the Glazers -- they have never interfered in any football decisions outside of hiring (and firing) executives and coaches. For them to insist on Johnny Manziel would be completely out of character. In addition, the fact that Jason Licht isn't mentioned despite the fact that he has final say in the draft is odd, to say the least. How does he feel about Manziel and Donald? 

Moreover, most of the reports so far have stated that Lovie Smith was the driving force behind the Johnny Manziel love, not the Glazers. Another crack in a nonsensical rumor. 

Likelihood: 1/10

The Glazers don't interfere in football business, and the Buccaneers aren't about to move their best player away from what he does best. 

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