We're analyzing every position group on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster. Today: tight end.
2014 roster: Brandon Myers, Luke Stocker, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Cameron Brate
2015 roster: Brandon Myers, Luke Stocker, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tim Wright, Cameron Brate
Last year, the Bucs had high hopes for their tight ends. They drafted Austin Seferian-Jenkins with their second-round pick, added journeyman Brandon Myers to add a versatile puzzle piece, and then-second-year player Tim Wright was coming off a very promising rookie season. But when all was said and done, those three players combined for just 43 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns -- with Tim Wright being traded to the Patriots before the season even started.
At first glance, it looks like the Bucs barely did anything to improve at tight end this year. The only new additions to the roster is Tim Wright, who they picked up off waivers after having traded him last year. It's not clear whether Wright will even make the roster at this point, and if he's released or traded again, the tight end group will be identical to last year's.
But that doesn't mean the team did nothing at the position. They re-signed Stocker and restructured Myers' contract, so that's something. Mostly, though, any improvement is going to have to come from the development of Seferian-Jenkins, last year's second-round pick and a player with the talent to be both a competent blocker and a downfield receiving threat, a rare combination in today's NFL.
Seferian-Jenkins flashed some of that potential last year, but put up just 21 catches for 221 yards and two touchdowns in nine games. That's not out of line with other rookie tight ends, though, and the fact that he did that while hobbled with injury and in one of the most dysfunctional offenses around is promising.