Devin Culp Hopes Speed Helps Him Beat The Odds

May 13th, 2024

Rookie tight end Devin Culp.

Yes, Joe knows Bucs seventh-round draft pick Devin Culp is a long shot to stay with the team. But he has a trait that just may keep him in Tampa Bay when the 2024 season kicks off in four months.

Culp will have to overcome a hurdle to stick. It’s called history. Only one player drafted in the seventh round by Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager has survived his rookie summer.

Who was this fortunate person? It was 2021’s Mr. Irrelevant, linebacker Grant Stuart. And the following offseason Stuard was traded to the Colts. Stuard is still on the Colts’ roster.

So Culp has history going against him.

However, let’s never forget speed kills. You can’t coach speed. You can’t develop speed. A player either is fast or he is not. So speed is hard to come by and can be lethal.

Enter Culp. With his speed, Culp said at rookie minicamp coaches want to utilize his greatest asset to stretch the field more than most tight ends can.

“I feel like a big part of the reason I was drafted here was because of my speed and explosiveness and athleticism,” Culp said. “I know the coaches want to put me in situations where I am able to showcase that.”

If speed is the determining factor for Culp’s job security, then maybe it won’t be a surprise if Culp is still on the roster come September.

Per noted handicapper turned stathead Warren Sharp, in the past decade the only tight ends to run a 40-yard dash at the combine quicker than Culp (4.47) each made the NFL. And they have excelled at one time or another in the league.

Those two tight ends are Evan Engram (4.42) in 2017 and Darren Waller (4.46) in 2015.

No other Bucs tight end can stretch the field like Culp can, if he can play fast. Oh, Cade Otton is pretty good with medium routes but he’s not a deep threat, neither is Ko Kieft or Payne Durham.

So Culp does have a skillset that separates him from his fellow Bucs tight ends. Will that be enough to stick on the roster ?

Joe imagines that Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen has all sorts of fun ways he can draw up plays using a tight end as a deep threat.

20 Responses to “Devin Culp Hopes Speed Helps Him Beat The Odds”

  1. sdm5821 Says:

    The determining factor may be whether he can block or not.

  2. Saskbucs Says:

    It’s not like Kieft and Durham are big investments. Both of them late round picks. Culp has already put on a few pounds, if he keeps his speed at 240-250 he is a lock for the roster. Will be good on special teams, more 11 personnel on the way as well so a guy like Kieft becomes expendable when he is less of a weapon.

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    I never saw the video of him running before – he looks bigger than his listed size, I was thinking he might be able to drop a few pounds and be a WR, but he certainly has a thicker build and could pack on weight if needed.

    He is different than any of the other TE’s, and if he can tackle you’d think he should quickly be a special teams ace with that size/speed combo.

  4. Netwalker Says:

    Another important factor will be… can he catch?

  5. Leopold Stotch Says:

    He’s gotta be better than Kieft.

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs ended 2023 with 24 players on offense (3 QB, 3 RB, 6 WR, 3 TE, 9 OLine), 26 on defense (5 Safety, 4 CB, 5 ILB, 5 OLB, 7 DLine), and 3 S/Ts (P, K, LS). Of those 53 players, plus DT Mike Greene who ended the season on IR, we still have 44 of them on the current roster. Add in the 6-players we signed in free agency (Whitehead, Bryce Hall, Thomas, Opeta, Bredeson & Gregory) and that gets us up to 50. Throw in the 7-player draft class, and out of those 57 players, good chance we’ll find our 53-man roster for 2024.

    The 3 TEs we ended 2023 with were Otton, Durham & Kieft, with Wells & Taula on the Practice Squad (Wells got a few offensive snaps last year, but very few). Durham was also used sparingly (128 off snaps), as was Kieft (207 off snaps) although he did get quite a bit of S/Ts work (276 snaps there for 64%). Seems like if Devin Culp is gonna make the team, he’ll end up having to unseat Ko Kieft for the 3rd TE spot (I’d bet that Durham will step up his game & get more snaps this year, or he’ll be gone).

    Also wondering though if maybe the Bucs see Culp as a big WR in the mold of Mike Evans. It’ll be interesting to see what types of routes they have him running in preseason.

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Culp had a good 40 ish minute interview on the internet! He can definitely catch and talked a lot about blocking being a strength in his game. He also felt that at Washington his talents weren’t maximized especially as an F tight end. He’s excited to learn the position and with the new coaching staff combined with his athletic ability he has a good chance to stick around.

  8. Hodad Says:

    If he can cover kicks, and be a kickoff returner, he should beat out Ko Kieft for a roster spot. Imagine this kid returning kickoffs running a 4.47 forty at 245 lbs!

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    Speed alone won’t cut it in the NFL. ask #9 Overall pick John Ross….. Or closer to home, #19 overall pick OJ Howard. Both were high 1st rd picks for their position who lit up the stopwatch – yet never produced as expected – and both were out of the league in just 6 years.

    Speed is a very valuable attribute of course, because you can’t teach or coach it – but in the case of 7th rd pick Culp – can the guy reliably catch the ball? Can he block? Can he make plays on Special Teams? Does he LOVE playing football?

    The answers to those questions will determine his professional football fate.

  10. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So….another determining factor if he is going to unseat Ko Kieft is if he is willing to dye is hair red and walk around the field barefoot in pre-game warmups.

  11. BillyBucco Says:

    The 33rd Team ranks Culp as the best blocker in the class.
    Im not saying they are reliable, bit at least someone saw a reliable consistent willingness to do so.
    If he works on catching the ball, I don’t see any reason why he doesn’t make this team. He already has more value than Ko Kieft just by showing up.

  12. teacherman1983 Says:

    Kick Returner.


    Wide receiver.

    Tight End.

    Cordarelle Patterson 2.0

  13. unbelievable Says:

    If we had 3 capable tight ends, can you imagine how much fun Coen could have with play designs? Line up 3 tight ends and 2 running backs and just confuse the F out of opposing defenses… Shanahan style. Ah, a guy can dream.

  14. R.O. Says:

    It all depends on what you want hm to do. Block or run routes and catch passes. Kelce doesnt block. Kellen Winslow Sr. wasnt blocking. If you wanted him to block then it was a wasted pick.

  15. Let em bake Says:

    But, can he spike a touchdown like Kieft did in Green Bay?😂

  16. Cobraboy Says:

    Speed ain’t diddly if he can’t block or cstch.

  17. BucBucBucs!! Says:

    I’d like to see him utilized as a fullback on short distance 3rd and rth downs.

  18. Ed Says:

    His highlight tape shows some good contested catches. His speed is more on display after he catches the ball, not running his patterns. Not a tackle-breaker.

    In the Bucs offense, a lot of balls go to the tight ends. He will be open in this scheme, more so than Otton gets open.

    Just have to see how he does in preseason.

  19. garro Says:

    Apparantly we no longer care if a TE can block or not. I’m not hearing good things about him as a blocker. Same with his hands BTW.

    Good luck with that run game Coach Coen. You have to have TEs who can actually play the position.

    When you telgraph run plays by putting our man Keift or a reserve lineman in the play side it hurts our run game Liam. Not because they can’t block but because everyone and their grandma knows what is coming and pretty much where.

    Go Bucs!

  20. Big Red Says:

    Culp 100% makes the team. He’ll get his reps in passing situations and formations until he proves himself as a reliable run blocker.