Cameron Brate – TE 2014-Present
One of the hot sayings in the NFL streets, or sports in general at the moment is that “the best availability is availability” when it comes to analysis. That certainly applies here. Since joining the Buccaneers in 2014 as an undrafted free agent, out of Harvard of all places, Cameron Brate has been a fighter. He fought for a roster spot for about two years, and since joining the team full time, hasn’t missed a game since 2016, when he missed one. For reference the season before in 2015 he missed two. Simply put, Brate has been ol’ reliable.
Brate’s stats were never going to jump off of the page, his best season coming in 2017 where he caught 57 balls for 660 yards and eight touchdowns. The thing with Brate is, his impact goes beyond the numbers. Brate’s impact comes from his reliability and dependability.
Then there are the playoffs.
In the Buccaneers 2020 Super Bowl run, Brate was fantastic as a second tight end. Rob Gronkowski got a lot of praise for his playoff performance of eight catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns, both of which coming in Super Bowl LV. As for Brate? His playoff numbers were 14 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown, which came in the third quarter of the NFC Championship Game, the last touchdown they’d score in the game. Not only are those playoff numbers comparable to Gronk, but they are also objectively better, except for the one fewer touchdown.
The fact that Brate is an undrafted Ivy Leaguer with this resume absolutely merits this spot on the list.