The Bucs selecting a tight end in the second round?

Kellen Winslow Jr. is one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league and a big weapon for the Buccaneers. And good, pass-catching tight ends are more important than ever. So much so that people like Kellen Winslow, who can't block at all, are essentially just big wide receivers who roam the middle of the field. Their lack of blocking ability is unimportant as they are used as offensive weapons, not offensive linemen. The role of blocking tight end who can catch a few passes is played by specialists as well, specialists who aren't nearly as highly valued. The Bucs have a great pass-catching tight end, and they have a few adequate blocking tight ends, who wouldn't be all that hard to replace anyway. So why, then, would the Bucs draft a tight end in the second round? Because that's what Pewter Report has been suggesting for a while now, and I don't agree with it. 

Of course, every team wants a dominant pass-catching tight end who can also block. Or a dominant blocking tight end who can also catch balls well. Someone like Jason Witten would be very useful for the Bucs and every other team in the league. A tight end like that can give a team a lot of schematic versatility, as the Patriots among others demonstrated last season. At the same time, though, the league is turning into more and more of a passing league and run-blocking simply isn't all that relevant anymore so versatility is becoming less useful than just having an impact in the passing game. Still, I'm sure the Bucs would love to have a player like that.

The only problem is, the Bucs could be adding a lot more useful players to the team at that point. They could go after a speed receiver like Titus Young who could help stretch the field. They could grab a speedy change-of-pace back who could function in the passing game as well. They could grab a mauling guard or right tackle too solidify the offensive line. All of these options would improve the team more than a versatile tight end would. Or, the Bucs could go defense. Players like Bruce Carter or Jabaal Sheard would be very useful additions for the Bucs. 

Besides all that, tight end is not a strength of this draft. Rather the opposite, actually. Targeting tight ends in this draft wouldn't make sense from a need perspective or from the perspective of the strength of the draft. Unless the Bucs find themselves in a situation where a tight end clearly is the best player available, which seems unlikely, they should stay away from the position in favor of others.

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