Only one Buccaneers player is an assured Pro Bowler as Gerald McCoy is making yet another appearance at the annual All-Star Game.
This doesn’t mean he’s the only Buccaneers player to have a solid individual season though, as many of his teammates had strong performances.
Team efforts don’t always pan out, but it’s always a bit fun and constructive to honor those players who took positive strides amidst the turmoil.
So, in this vein, we bring to you our 2017 end of season Bucs Awards!
We’ll start with the young guys!
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Tight End, O.J. Howard
If you break down the offensive rookie of the year award, it brings you to two obvious choices. Do you roll with the first overall selection O.J. Howard and his 26 receptions for 432 yards with 6 touchdowns or do you go with the late bloomer Chris Godwin who had 34 receptions for 525 yards to go with a late season game-winning touchdown.
Although both are very deserving and both will grow into great pieces in head coach Dirk Koetter’s offensive, Howard is the better of the two choices for the award.
His stats speak for themselves, but his tape does too.
Howard was drafted at 19th overall by pure luck and it has benefited the Bucs immensely. Not only is he a threat through the air, but as a blocker as well.
Howard is a durable and substantially well blocker which helped him clear holes for Bucs running back Peyton Barber and Doug Martin to split through. As a consistent blocker on the edge of the line, it helped take the workload from tackles Donovan Smith and Demar Doston who both arguably had their best year’s in the NFL.
If Howard can continue to progress how he has already, the Bucs could be looking into having the BEST tight end in the NFL. Yes, move over Gronk.