Ko Kieft Can Catch

June 12th, 2022

Bucs rookie TE Ko Kieft.

The NFL draft is a crap shoot. Always has been. Probably always will be.

There’s a roughly 60 percent chance a first-round draft pick makes it with his initial team. The percentages plummet as each round transpires.

For all the tens (hundreds?) of millions that NFL teams spend collectively on player research and the countless hours #DraftMedia invests every year, it still boils down to little more than a coin flip.

So yeah, draft analysts, both professional and wannabe, get analysis wrong.

Take Bucs rookie draft pick Ko Kieft. The Bucs’ sixth-round pick out of Minnesota, if you read his many draft bios, is mostly labeled a one-trick pony: He’s a nasty blocker who has a Ryan Jensen-like ornery streak, but don’t ask him to be part of a passing offense.

Well …

Joe watched eight Bucs underwear football practices this spring. That included two rookie minicamps, three OTA practices and all three minicamp practices. Every underwear football practice that was open to the Fourth Estate, Joe was there.

And Joe didn’t see a klutz wearing No. 41 trying to catch the ball.

Joe is not saying Kieft, the pride of Sioux Center, Iowa, is the next Tony Gonzalez. Joe’s not even saying he’s the next Cam Brate. But Kieft comes across as a competent catcher of the football. The only pass Joe can recall seeing Kieft botch was one way high for him during rookie minicamp thrown by someone currently repairing his local school district’s PCs.

Joe was reminded of this Kieft-is-not-a-passing-target narrative watching a video from Thursday’s final minicamp practice. Kieft skied for a pass from Blaine Gabbert to the right side of the end zone. Kieft just got a hand on it enough to allow him a chance of hauling the ball in, which he did as he was falling to the turf of the Glazer Shed.

Incredible concentration. You can see the clip below. That’s not the work of a guy with stone hands.

Since we are in limbo waiting on foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski to decide whether he will return or not. And with fellow rookie, fourth-round pick Cade Otton still not fully 100 percent from rehabbing his surgically-repaired ankle, Kieft right now is the Bucs’ No. 2 tight end and certainly the team’s best blocking tight end.

Joe even saw Kieft getting snaps last week with the No. 1 offense. Yeah, with Tom Brady at quarterback.

And oh yeah, Kieft is able to catch, too.

29 Responses to “Ko Kieft Can Catch”

  1. shak Says:

    I like him a lot, even more, if he can catch in real games. I like all of our guys but I really love an underdog.

  2. Long John Says:

    ME to

  3. IrishMist Says:

    He looks like a farmer whose daughter you wouldn’t want to mess with.

  4. PassingThru Says:

    As I mentioned here twice before, Kieft is a hands-catcher, not a body catcher like the typical klutz who can only block. In addition, his opportunities to prove himself in college were extremely limited, as Minnesota is a run-heavy program. He May end up being a much better prospect than the scouts and draftniks have projected.

  5. Longtime Brady Fan Says:

    If he can block like James Develin Tom will want him on the field whether he is a TE of H back.

  6. sasquatch Says:

    Lil Ko Kieft

  7. adam from ny Says:

    what the heck ever happened to tanner hudson…

    did he flame out after going to the 9ers?

  8. Tim Says:

    That picture reminds me of Ron Burgundy when he said “Let me tell you a tale of ships and whales.”

  9. Bush's Coke Spoon Says:

    He looks like he should be carrying a two-handed battle axe. Then he could just smack the ball out of the air.

  10. Dooley Says:

    Ko Kieft looks like a Red Dead Redemption NPC

  11. Bird Says:

    He does look like a character in Braveheart for sure in that pic

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Didn’t he have a stand-in role on Brave Heart?

    I’m liking he can catch…..no reason to have a TE that can only block….may as well put an extra tackle on the field.

  13. Oddball Says:

    Corn fed ginger gonna ball out. Still love the draft clip; hanging with the family garage drinking.

  14. SB~LV Says:

    Just what was the nature of Otton’s ankle injury : surgical repair?

  15. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    The video Joe just posted was awesome!

    If Kieft is working with TB12 and the first team, then he’s Made a huge impression to the coaches and TB12.

    If he keeps progressing like this, then Licht found a gem.

  16. Hodad Says:

    The Vikings concoured the seas in their dragon ships.

  17. Dman Says:

    Love guys like this. Really want to see him in preseason games.

  18. #8 Says:


  19. Thadeus Says:

    Bring him in as an H back. When it’s an obvious passing play, he could block or be a quick dump off for a few positive yards.

  20. Joe Says:

    If Kieft is working with TB12 and the first team, then he’s Made a huge impression to the coaches and TB12.

    Well, to be fair, it is also who is available.

    Cam Brate
    Ko Kieft
    Codey McElroy (who is sorta like Brate).
    J.J. Howland (huge guy who can block).

    Gronk is not around and Cade Otton is on the shelf. So for a tight end to block, Kieft is next man up.

    So Kieft is the only blocking tight end on the roster.

  21. D-Rok Says:


    SHHHHHHHHH. Don’t let the secret out to rest of league, LOL. If we keep it a secret, maybe he can score a big ugly TD against the Rams to send us to the Superbowl. If we keep it a secret, nobody will ever guard him.


  22. David Says:

    All he needs to be is a blocking beast who can slip out and make a couple catches a game. Going forward, anything more is a bonus

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    I can’t wait to hear Gene yelling about Kieft catching a touchdown pass.

  24. VATom Says:

    But do you like Ko Kieft Joe? Can he catch? Have you had garage beers with him? LOL. Any other player yall would be reminding us of Kenny Bell and underwear football. Someones got a man crush! I hope Kieft makes it too.

  25. Joe Says:

    Just what was the nature of Otton’s ankle injury : surgical repair?


    But do you like Ko Kieft Joe? Can he catch? Have you had garage beers with him? LOL. Any other player yall would be reminding us of Kenny Bell and underwear football.


    Kieft was billed by the draftniks as a one-dimensional tight end: blocking. He has shown (at least in underwear football; see video above) he can catch. Joe has made the comparison to Antony Auclair. He was a blocker first but could catch. Or at least capable of catching.

    Joe isn’t sure anyone had a mancrush over Antony Auclair. 🤷‍♂️

  26. Big Red Says:

    Projected stat line 2022: 2 reception, 2 TD, 5 YDS receiving

  27. steele Says:

    I want Ko to be the breakout star of the season. At the very least, he will knock the F out of people. Hopefully Rams and Saints.

  28. AtticusFlinch Says:

    Ko Kieft will also spell Gronk (he’s coming back even if Brady has to blow the Conch Shell) in the new BA-free Play Action, 1-2 RB setr Running Game this season. Either in motion, or lined up as strong side TE, the brutal and nasty Ko Kieft will join Wirfs and Shaq Mason in paving a hole to the second level for “Lay-off the Pizza” Lenny, Rachaad White, Gio Bernard and Ke-shawn Vaughn. Or he might just do the same to freeze the LBs, slow a wary pass rush, or just read the GOAT’s audible to chip block, sneak pass the LBs and turn (square up) for the pass. Contrary to scouting reports, the buzz out of mini-camp and is that Kieft has very soft hands and has made an impression on even Brady himself.

    HOWEVER, we cannot ignore the buzz around One Bucs Palace as well as JBF over Kieft’s possible use as the true Full Back which Brady loved in New England opening holes for whichever RB emerges as the most patient, observant and speedy out of training camp. Having a true running back threat will freeze LBs and the pass rush, allow receivers to get immediate separation off the line and, importantly, set up the true PA to one of the Bucs receivers on a deep pattern.

    The fullback, play-action scheme was likely the key offensive to Brady’s seemingly nonstop meteoric rise in New England and the NFL and his crowning as the de facto GOAT after the 28- 3 comeback against Atlsnta in SB LI and the Patriots win over the Rams in SB LIII. It is truly a testament to Brady’s greatness that despite being DENIED his beloved FB PA scheme in 2020 by the bull-headed BA, that he was able to STILL carry the Bucs (through inspiration, leadership and by exsmple) to win the Championship against KC. It’ll be ultimate NFL excitement to watch Tom Brady and the Bucs playing in Brady’s probable last year of his never to be bested career, finally free to be co-author, if not more, of the Buc play-book and to finally take command of the field as the true Player Coach he’s always dreamed of being, and run his offense, real-time, with no “red pens” and no interference thru the headset or from the sideline.

    WTom Brady has NEVER been allowed to just be Tom Brady during hus entire career until now. This fan will finally relent and pay whatever it costs to watch EVERY SINGLE BUC GAME live this season. This will be not to miss historical NFL football.

    P.S. Hey Gronk. Do NOT make your BFootballFF go get the Conch Shell!!

  29. Chris Tucker@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Glad that Ko Kieft can catch too, but Gronk is coming back, and To Tampa.
    He is just waiting for all this training camp nonsense to be done with.
    Him and Brady will most likely both retire, after this season.