At this time of year, with the NFL Draft less than a month away now, mock drafts are flying everywhere.
What the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do with their first three picks (7, 33, 69 overall) remains to be seen, but they will be expected to make an immediate impact. They need a receiver. They may go quarterback instead. Perhaps they select a linebacker or an offensive lineman. Another cornerback wouldn’t hurt.
But one thing they don’t need to do is draft a tight end as many mock drafts seem to indicate the Bucs doing. Now, a number of these mock drafts don’t have the Bucs selecting a tight end with the seventh overall pick, but a lot of them project the Bucs using their second rounder on one.
But, in my mind, it makes no sense to do so.
The Bucs have Timothy Wright, who emerged as one of last seasons few success stories during a miserable 4-12 season. Then, in free agency, Jason Licht signed Brandon Myers to a two-year, $4.25 million deal.
Both Wright and Myers are playmaking tight ends. They are pass first guys, players who like to make catches rather than block.
Wright had 54 catches for 571 yards with five touchdowns last season. Myers had 522 yards on 47 catches along with four touchdowns for the New York Giants. In 2012, he had 79 catches for 806 yards with four touchdowns while playing for the Oakland Raiders.
Furthermore, Tom Crabtree is still on the roster and is considered one of the best run blocking tight ends in the league.
With that in mind, it doesn’t make sense for the Bucs to draft a tight end, especially when there are other positions of need that must be addressed.
There are four players who are expected to be drafted within the first two rounds: Eric Ebron, Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Troy Niklas.
Ebron and Amaro are borderline receivers, players who flourish in the passing game. Seferian-Jenkins and Niklas are also receiving first tight ends, but according to scouting reports, appear to be willing run blockers.
I’m not opposed to the Bucs drafting a tight end in the later rounds, but to pick one early in the draft would feel like a wasted pick.
If Licht hadn’t have signed Myers, I think drafting a tight end within the first three rounds would have been reasonable. However, it doesn’t appear to be a worthwhile pick now.
While all four appear to have very good potential, the Bucs already have two players on the roster who are young and have proven they can play at a high level in the NFL. Add in Crabtree’s blocking abilities, and it seems to me that the Bucs tight end situation is set for the 2014 season.