Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
When the initial 53 man roster was announced at the beginning of the season, one name that stood out to me was Tim Wright.
My first thought was, “who is this guy?”
Well, 10 games into his rookie NFL season, Bucs fan sure know who he is now.
The Rutgers product has been a pleasant surprise for the Bucs and has developed himself into a legitimate tight end threat.
But is Wright the tight end the Bucs desperately need?
In my mind, the answer is yes.
It’s clear that Wright is a receiving tight end rather than a blocking tight end and that’s fine. He compliments Tom Crabtree well in that regard.
Wright is 6’3 and weighs in at 220 lbs. He has put on weight to bulk up as a tight end after playing as a wide receiver during his college career. He has better than average speed for a tight end and has demonstrated that he isn’t afraid of contact.
Through 10 games, Wright has 291 receiving yards on 26 receptions for an average of 11.2 yards per reception. He also has two touchdown catches.
Wright didn’t make his first catch until the third game of the season but it wasn’t until the fourth game that he started to make a name for himself when injuries to Luke Stocker and Crabtree moved him to the top of the depth chart.
He initially made some errors early in the season, dropping a couple of easy touchdown passes but head coach Greg Schiano has showed faith in his former pupil and kept him on the field, which is now paying dividends.
There’s no question that Wright needs to become more reliable at catching the football, but he has put some of their queries to rest with some solid performances in recent weeks. While the Bucs mainly use Wright in passing situations, if he can improve as a blocker, he could see even more playing time and be used much more prominently in the offense.
The Bucs have lacked a pass catching tight end since Kellen Winslow had three straight years of 65+ catches. While Wright shouldn’t be expected to haul in that many passes a season he is another viable receiving option behind Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams.
One of the Bucs top needs according to many analysts is a high quality tight end and this years draft has a number of them. However, with the emergence of Wright, the Bucs no longer need to use a high draft pick on a tight end and can instead use that pick on other areas of need, such as linebacker and on the defensive line.
With the disappointing season the Bucs are having, Wright has been a big bright spot and he has secured himself a future on this football team.