Home NFL Bucs Strengths And Weaknesses: TE

Bucs Strengths And Weaknesses: TE

Bucs Strengths And Weaknesses: TE


Pewter Report analyzes every place’s strengths and weaknesses in Tampa Bay, because the Bucs try to three-peat as NFC South champions.

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Large Receivers

Subsequent up is the tight finish place, which is the youngest group within the NFL. Gone are veterans Cam Brate and Kyle Rudolph – and lengthy gone is future Corridor of Famer Rob Gronkowski, who retired after the 2021 season. The Bucs drafted two tight ends in 2022 in Cade Otton and Ko Kieft. They determine to be the returning veterans in a really inexperienced room.

Ideally, new Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales likes to run lots of 12 (one again, two tight ends and two receivers) and 13 personnel (one again, three tight ends and one receiver) to assist set up the working recreation. Will Tampa Bay’s tight finish room be as much as the problem? Or will Canales be compelled to go along with lots of 11 personnel (one again, one tight finish and three receivers) within the 2023 season because of the lack of expertise? That can be determined as soon as the pads come on in coaching camp and the preseason.

The Energy of Bucs TEs: Untapped Potential

Bucs Te Ko Kieft

Bucs TE Ko Kieft – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

It’s loopy to suppose that second-year tight ends Cade Otton and Ko Kieft might be the leaders of Tampa Bay’s tight ends room, however that’s what’s going to occur in 2023. Just like the working again and security positions, the Bucs determined to go along with a youth motion at tight finish. Essentially the most skilled tight finish is David Wells, who has three years within the league, however he’s not a lock to make the roster and even the follow squad.

Otton, who caught 42 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns throughout his rookie season, is anticipated to be the featured tight finish within the passing recreation. The previous fourth-round choose had clutch touchdowns in come-from-behind wins towards the Rams and the Saints. His first NFL TD got here towards Los Angeles and proved to be the game-winner with simply seconds left. Otton, who’s simply 24, has labored laborious to enhance his power this season and needs to be a greater blocker in 2023. The Bucs hope he can enhance his yards per catch common from final 12 months, which was a pedestrian 9.3 yards.

Kieft returns as a jack-of-all trades tight finish. He can line up within the backfield as a fullback, be set in movement like an H-back and in addition line up on the road of scrimmage as an everyday tight finish. Kieft can be a core particular teamer, and can be no worse than No. 3 on the depth chart. Like Otton, he has loads of room to develop and enhance in his second season.

Bucs Te Payne Durham

Bucs TE Payne Durham – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

The Bucs spent a fifth-round draft choose on Purdue’s Payne Durham, who hauled in 21 touchdowns in 4 seasons for the Boilermakers, together with eight as a senior. Durham isn’t quick, however he has nice measurement at 6-foot-5, 255 kilos, and is aware of the right way to field out defenders and make contested catches. He was a giant crimson zone weapon in school and figures to be utilized that approach by new offensive coordinator Dave Canales. Durham may rise as much as No. 2 on the depth chart with an excellent camp and preseason.

Undrafted free agent Tanner Taula has created some buzz within the offseason. The large 6-foot-6, 251-pound rookie did an excellent job getting open and catching the ball in OTAs and the mini-camp. The Bucs are anxious to see how he blocks when the pads come on in camp. Taula is battling Wells and Dominque Dafney for the fourth and last spot on the depth chart. Particular groups will play a giant think about deciding which tight finish makes the 53-man roster.

Greatest-Case State of affairs at TE

Tampa Bay’s tight finish room is filled with potential. If Otton and Durham present a 1-2 punch within the receiving recreation, and Kieft continues to be an anvil within the working recreation, this place may go from being a giant query mark to a giant exclamation level within the Bucs offense.

The Weaknesses of Bucs TEs: Inexperience

Bucs Te Cade Otton Nfc South

Bucs TE Cade Otton – Photograph by: USA Right this moment

There are such a lot of questions concerning the Bucs tight finish room, beginning with the 2 returners from a 12 months in the past. The place is Cade Otton’s ceiling as a weapon within the passing recreation? And may Ko Kieft be something extra than simply an additional blocker?

Throw in the truth that the Bucs have 4 different tight ends, together with two rookies, who they haven’t even seen in pads but and Tampa Bay really doesn’t know what it has within the place. Is there sufficient “grown man power” within the trenches with such a younger group of tight ends? That query merely can’t be answered till they don the pads in coaching camp.

Is there sufficient velocity on the tight finish place for anybody within the group to be thought-about an actual menace within the passing recreation? The Bucs notice that they don’t have a Travis Kelce or George Kittle on the roster. However can Otton generate extra huge performs? And does Payne Durham, who solely clocks a 4.87 within the 40-yard sprint, have sufficient power to create some run-after-catch alternatives by breaking tackles?

Worst-Case State of affairs at TE

The worst-case situation is that the Bucs have only a bunch of Day 3 expertise at tight finish with Otton’s manufacturing simply matching what it was a 12 months in the past, and Durham simply being a mean goal within the passing recreation as a result of his lack of separation. If this occurs, search for Dave Canales to play much less 12 personnel and rely extra on 11 personnel.



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