The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a pretty explosive offense already, but one or two additions in the 2017 NFL draft could really put them over the top. So when I got the chance to pick a player in the annual SB Nation bloggers mock draft, I tried to focus on that side of the ball.
In part, of course, out of necessity. None of the available safeties were worth the 19th overall pick, and any other defender probably wouldn’t represent an immediate upgrade. With the three top receivers, two top running backs and O.J. Howard off the board, the most sensible pick was Miami tight end David Njoku—which is who I picked.
Here’s Dan Kadar explaining why my selection was the best thing ever. Or, you know, at least a reasonable selection given who was still on the board.
Tight end isn’t Tampa’s biggest need. It’s free safety, but at No. 19 there might not be one available. Perhaps the Buccaneers could reach a little on Obi Melifonwu of Connecticut or convert a player like Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey. If they don’t go that direction, targeting Njoku makes sense. It’s slightly early for him, but tight ends with his level of pure athleticism are rare.
Njoku’s athleticism really puts him over the top. You just don’t find guys like that on the street, or in free agency. With DeSean Jackson threatening deep safeties, which will open up space in the middle of the field, Njoku could be the perfect weapon down the seam.
Head on over to SB Nation for the rest of my reasoning for picking Njoku.