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O.J. Howard’s dominant combine performance must intrigue Buccaneers

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s starting to look like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may fill their need for a number two receiver in free agency, with DeSean Jackson reportedly visiting once he’s allowed to this weekend, and their self-reported interested in retaining Vincent Jackson’s services.

Whether either of the Jacksons will play in a Bucs uniform this year, it seems that the Bucs are going to get some kind of reinforcement at receiver. Which would leave the Bucs free to look elsewhere in the first round of the draft.

One possible target: Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who just did....this.

The Bucs emphasized at the scouting combine that they need playmakers, and an explosive and versatile tight end like Howard would certainly fit that mold. Howard isn’t just an impressive and athletic receiver, he’s also a potentially dominant blocker — which is was his bread and butter at run-first Alabama.

Sure, the Bucs have Cameron Brate at that position. But, well, let’s let Jason Licht speak, as quoted by Pewter Report.

“We love the way Cam has come on. The way the tight end position is, it’s really two positions; you have the “Y” and the “F”, and the Y’s are hard to find. They are very few and far between, so that’s something that every team is always looking for; a guy that can block and a threat in the passing game.

So you can have two very good tight ends. So, if you draft a tight end high or sign a tight end that has someone like Gronkowski already, that doesn’t mean that they’re unhappy with their starter. You need multiple tight ends; you can do a lot of good things with two tight ends.”

So, to recap: the Bucs need two good tight ends. They currently have one in Cameron Brate, who is more of a short-to-intermediate receiver and not a termendous blocker, which means there’s room for another player who can both block and be explosive down the field.

The Bucs previously hoped Austin Seferian-Jenkins could fill that role, but that ship has obviously sailed. O.J. Howard could be the next big thing, instead. The Bucs just have to hope he’ll fall to them at number 19.