So much has been made over the last few years about how great Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht is at drafting, and we watched it payoff again in real time on Sunday.
Guys like Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Jake Camarda are easy draft hits to point to, but Payne Durham gave Bucs fans a delayed reaction against the Colts. Durham wasn't drafted with much fanfare this year, despite coming out of what many believe is the most talented tight end class in recent memory.
He started the year behind Cade Otton on the depth chart and hasn't really been heard from much, but Durham made his presence felt in a big way with an absolutely massive play in Week 12.
With the Bucs down 17-3, Durham reeled in a catch from Baker Mayfield that saw him snatched what appeared to be an interception away from Colts defensive back Darrell Baker Jr. Durham didn't end up scoring, as he was rueld down just inches short of the goal line, but the play helped set up a touchdown one play later that brought Tampa Bay right back into the game.
Just watch, it's one heck of a Welcome To The NFL moment for Durham:
Good lord, that's the good stuff.
It wasn't just the spectacular nature of the catch that made it so amazing, it was the context in which it happened. Baker Mayfield was hurt on the first drive of the game, an injury that took him out of the game and zapped what looked to be a drive that could have ended in a touchdown.
From there the Bucs stumbled into a hole that saw them get lit up by the Colts offense and fall behind 17-3. Momentum started to shift when Carlton Davis picked off Gardner Minshew which led to Durham's incredible catch to set up a touchdown.
It was a sequence of events that dragged the Bucs right back into the game, and Durham's catch energized a team that was starting to lose all of its muster before halftime even arrived. Not too bad for a rookie.