The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted Miami tight end David Njoku for a pre-draft visit, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Njoku has increasingly been mocked to the mocks in recent weeks, now that it looks like Alabama’s O.J. Howard will be the first tight end in years to go in the top 10.
TE David Njoku, who visited the #Buccaneers earlier this week, will be 1 of 2 TEs to go off the board in the 1st rd.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) March 22, 2017
Generally speaking, we tend not to make too much of pre-draft connections between teams and players. Teams speak to a lot of players, especially at events like the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine, and do so for a variety of reasons: because they’re interested in them, because they have some questions about them, because they have some time left over, because they want to cover all their bases, because they want to throw up a smokescreen — all of those reasons play a role in these kinds of contacts.
That said, of all the manners of contact, visits are most relevant. Each team only gets 30 of those, though they do get an unlimited number of visits with local prospects. That limited number means teams generally invite only players who they have some level of interest in, and about whom they expect to learn something new in a visit.
While it’s unclear how significant this visit by Njoku is, he would make sense as the Buccaneers’ first-round pick. He’s an incredible athlete who was pretty productive as a receiving tight end, but who may be a little raw. Njoku would fit beautifully as the team’s main tight end, with Cameron Brate as more of a move/underneath tight end. He’s also likely to be one of the best available players at number 19.