Finding A Tight EndFebruary 7th, 2014
People say the Bucs have talent. They do. There are also as many holes as there is talent.
Take tight end, a position Bucs fans love to kvetch about. Joe can think of no other position in the past two years Bucs fans grumbled more to their bartender about. Even when the Bucs had hobbled Kellen Winslow, the position was not top shelf.
(Joe will spare you the references today to Winslow’s Target-parking-lot, Vaseline-heavy, fake-pot-smelling, jerk-chicken moment in Jersey.)
ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas sees the hole at tight end too and lists the tight end position as the No. 3 need for the Bucs.
Even before injuries set in last season, this was not a position of strength. Although the Bucs reportedly would have strongly considered drafting a tight end in the first round if they hadn’t traded that pick away for Darrelle Revis, the Bucs didn’t end up making any major moves at this position.
The Bucs have to upgrade this position to bring balance to their offense. Wright still has plenty of untapped upside, but the Bucs need to bring in an all-purpose tight end through the draft or free agency.
Yes, Tim Wright was a nice find, but since he is a receiver, he’s not known much for his blocking. Then again, what kind of a blocker is Jimmy Graham?
Joe believes the Luke Stocker Experiment has run its course. Time to move on from this guy.
The dark horse is Tom Crabtree. The Bucs had high hopes for Crabtree when they signed him. Known as a crushing blocker with the Packers prior to last season, the Bucs saw enough of his patch-catching abilities on tape to go after him. Problem for Crabtree was he was hobbled with injuries most of the season before finally going on the injured reserve list.
Depending on how well Wright continues to develop, and if Crabtree can come back healthy, tight end may be a position to monitor in May’s draft.