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Thursday, November 20, 2008
Could Bucs' QB of future already be in town?

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

This one might be a stretch. But, when it comes to Jon Gruden and quarterbacks, anything is possible.

Sometime after the season, Gruden will begin assembling his list of 42 quarterbacks to bring to training camp and there might be a guy out there with lot of experience in Raymond James Stadium.

South Florida junior Matt Grothe told The Tampa Tribune he will ask the NFL's draft advisory panel for guidance on what his stock could be like if he came out in 2009.

It's a pretty safe bet that Grothe isn't going to hear he's a first-round talent. But he said a third- or fourth-round prediction from the advisory board probably would be enough to convince him to leave the Bulls.

Again, I'm just throwing out a hypothetical here. There's long been thought in Tampa that Gruden wants (and needs) to draft a quarterback of the future. But what's Gruden's profile for his type of quarterback? We don't really know.

What we do know is Gruden has had a fair amount of success with Jeff Garcia, an undersized and mobile quarterback, who the coach never has been completely sold on. I'm not saying Grothe is the second coming of Garcia. But he's a bit undersized (6-foot and 205 pounds) and he can scramble. He also, theoretically, would start off with a clean slate with Gruden, which would put him a notch ahead of Garcia in that area.

Hey, it's worth pondering.