OJ Howard – TE – Alabama
The Bucs currently sit at 19th overall in the 2017 NFL Draft which really is a great spot. Now although much of the best talents are taken in the first ten picks, some seem to slip through. The Bucs select OJ Howard out of Alabama here for many reasons.
First and foremost, Howard is the best tight end product to come out of the draft for quite some time. Howard brings both a great dimension of blocking and receiving that puts him at the top of his position for this year’s draft class. Howard’s size, speed, hands, and vision after the catch would and will terrorize opponents throughout his career.
The Bucs go best player available here, and it would be a great thing if Howard even makes it this far. I personally have Howard as a top ten talent coming out of this draft class, but a tight end simply does not go in the first ten picks. Many teams will look to fill other needs here before they would consider Howard although he is the ideal tight end.
Many fans will disagree with this pick due to the needs on the offensive line and wide receiver position, but Howard would be the best pass catcher left. Both Mike Williams and Corey Davis have an unlikely chance making it to the Bucs selection, which brings up the argument for John Ross. John Ross is a great talent for this year’s class, but I do not have him being selected in the first round.
Howard can both split out, and also edge block with ease. His presence would help struggling tackles where Cameron Brate frankly can not. A dual tight end offense like this would strike fear into opposing defenses. Howard is the first of the weapons for Winston listed in this mock draft.
Previously: Wide Receiver Corey Davis