The sixth-best first-round pick for the Buccaneers by Jason Licht
O.J. Howard, TE, 2017
If there were a stain on Licht’s career in Tampa, it would definitely be his 2017 draft class. Of that group, only Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard remain on the team, although both have been able to carry the weight of that class by themselves.
If this list was based only on talent, Howard could easily make a case for the best. With a mountain of athleticism and high upside as a blocker and as a receiver, Howard still projects to be a solid NFL tight end.
The biggest knock against Howard has been his constant injuries. During 64 regular-season games in the last four years, Howard has only suited up for 37. The consistency with which these injuries pop up is extremely concerning, but a healthy Howard is clearly still a great player.
In addition to the injuries, Howard also needs to work on his consistency as a receiver. Dropped passes have been a bit too common during the past two seasons, but 2020 looked like a positive turn before another season-ending injury occurred.
The good news for O.J. Howard on this list is that while injured, he doesn’t actually hurt the Buccaneers, unlike Hargreaves. Howard needs to get the injuries under control, but his future in Tampa is still bright.