Danny Kelly is continuing his ranking of various position groups over at SB Nation, and his latest effort focuses on tight ends. A position the Buccaneers actually have quite a bit of talent at, if not much production in recent years.
I like this group in Tampa Bay. Brandon Myers is a solid veteran option in the passing game -- he caught 47 passes for the Giants last year after catching 79 for the Raiders in 2012 -- and acts as a bridge until Austin Seferian-Jenkins can get up to speed. The rookie out of Washington, though, projects as an instant impact player, and possesses excellent length and athleticism to factor in in the run game and in the redzone.
It will eventually be fun to see Seferian-Jenkins paired on the field with Tim Wright, who had a mini-breakout year as a rookie after moving to the move tight end position. Wright, who was a receiver in college, caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns in 2013, and could factor into the gameplan again in 2014.
I really, really like the potential of this tight end group, too. Not Brandon Myers who, to me, is okay at everything, but not actually good at anything. But Tim Wright showed the ability to consistently beat safeties and linebackers last year, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins has the potential to turn into a great tight end both as a run-blocker and pass-catcher. This could genuinely turn into a Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez-style tight end duo down the line. If a little worse, and preferably without the murders.
But that's potential, and potential is not reality. It would not be surprising to see ASJ struggle to adjust to the NFL. After all, he 'fell' to the second round for a reason -- and tight ends haven't been instant impact players in recent years. The top-drafted tight end last year was Tyler Eifert. He managed just 445 receiving yards on the season. Rob Gronkowski got to 546 yards as a rookie. Respectable numbers, to be sure, but hardly worthy of a top listing as a rookie.
This has been a consistent story for the Bucs in Kelly's position reviews. Outside of the running back position, the Buccaneers have consistently appeared in the groups of contenders or talented wild cards. The groups that have the potential to be pretty good -- but you know, probably not. Random chance would suggest that the Bucs are likely to produce a few very, very good position groups indeed -- and a few that fail to live up to their potential, too.