Mock draft mock draft mock draft. Todd McShay just posted his second version of his 2017 NFL mock draft, and it’s mostly the same as the first one. Which makes sense, because not much has changed since the last version.
McShay has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picking Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, following about half the mock drafts out there.
The Buccaneers have bigger needs than tight end -- defensive line, safety and wide receiver among them -- but Howard, my No. 12 overall player, is the best value on the board. He was the best player on the field all week at the Senior Bowl, showing great athleticism for a guy who measured just over 6-foot-5½ and 249 pounds.
Well, that’s....boring. Howard has been a pretty common pick for mock drafters, and he does kiiiiind of fit a need (receiver would be a better fit, though) and he does look like a very promising player.
At the same time, Howard may not even be there at number 19 — he’s getting a lot of hype — and the Bucs already have Cameron Brate on the roster. The latter’s not as explosive as Howard, nor is he the kind of blocker Howard could be, but he is a pretty decent and reliable receiving tight end. Upgrading him shouldn’t be a priority this offseason.
Ultimately, we’ll be having this argument a lot this offseason. To Howard or not to Howard? And if not Howard, then who? Washington’s John Ross would be an intriguing option in McShay’s mock, but it seems he doesn’t have the receiver ranked that highly. And if not him, most other options are either defensive or offensive linemen, who don’t fill massive needs either. If that’s the case, Howard would probably make the most sense — him or Miami tight end David Njoku.