Buccaneers Draft 2017: O.J. Howard Selection-Instant Analysis
By Bailey Adams
With their first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the Buccaneers selected Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. Let’s break it down.
The Buccaneers‘ offense just got a lot more dangerous. After 18 picks from other teams around the league and some complete mayhem, Tampa Bay selected tight end O.J. Howard with the No. 19 pick. The #WeaponsForWinston crowd got its wish, with an already-intriguing offense getting even better.
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Howard was by far the top tight end in this year’s draft class. As the draft drew closer and closer, no one seemed to think he would still be on the board by the time the Bucs’ pick rolled around. Well, he was there and it didn’t seem like it took much thought for Jason Licht and his staff, as the pick arrived shortly after the team was on the clock.
The 6-foot-6-inch, 248-pound tight end (clearly) brings a lot of size to the Buccaneer offense. It gives Winston another big-time target in the red zone, adding to a receiving corps already consisting of Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and Cameron Brate. And before anyone worries about the fate of Brate, the Bucs will certainly run a set with two tight ends, which will be absolutely deadly. Jameis Winston now has a lethal group of receivers that can compete with any defense in the league.
In his four years at Alabama, Howard caught 114 passes for 1,726 yards and seven touchdowns. The numbers aren’t eye-popping, but the Crimson Tide consistently compete with less-than-stellar quarterback play. That, and the team runs a power offense that doesn’t exactly have room to feature the tight end. With a quarterback like Winston, Howard can be a gigantic threat to opposing defenses, one that will help Tampa Bay put points up on the board for years to come.
Next: Buccaneers Select Alabama's O.J. Howard
O.J. Howard just made the Tampa Bay offense even more intriguing than it already was. What do you think of the pick, Bucs fans?