When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on the clock in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, they were amazed Alabama tight end O.J. Howard was still available. They had him listed as a Top-5 talent, and never imagined he’d fall all the way to pick 19.
Coming off of a 9-7 finish in 2016, he was just the kind of versatile offensive playmaker the team needed to go from second-place in the NFC South to first, and unseat the defending division champion Atlanta Falcons.
Of course, two years later, the team is coming off of back-to-back 5-11 records, has a new coaching entourage, and has hitched a lot of their offensive aspirations in the coming year to an undrafted running back and disappointing second-round draft pick from one year ago.
Not Howard’s fault, but still the situation we’re in. Most loved the Howard pick and continue to cheer on the rising playmaker to this day. Myself included. He looks like a perennial Pro Bowler in the making with All-Pro potential to say the least. But still, there’s that pesky running game.
What if we could go back? What if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could fix their running game problems back in 2017, even at the cost of missing out on Howard? Would you do it?
Well, one writer and analyst would. Joe Marino of The Draft Network recently published his 2017 NFL Redraft, and in it, Jason Licht selects Alvin Kamara from the University of Tennessee even with the Alabama tight end still sitting in the green room.
In 2017, Kamara went on to gain nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards finishing behind just Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers (at the time) and Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams. He finished tied for second in the NFL in combined rushing and receiving scores with thirteen.
Kamara continued his impressive NFL start in 2018, finishing sixth in all-purpose yards with 1,800 but increased his scoring output by 30 points (five touchdowns).
For what it’s worth, Howard ends up in Cleveland with first-overall pick Patrick Mahomes. I imagine Browns fans are pretty happy with this redraft.
What do you say? If you could go back and do it all over again, would you pull the trigger on drafting Kamara, or would you still stick with Howard?
In a 2017 redraft, who should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select?
This poll is closed
Alabama TE, O.J. Howard
Tennessee RB, Alvin Kamara
Utah OT, Garrett Bolles
Iowa CB, Desmond King