There has been a ton of hype circulating the first round pick, O.J. Howard, and many speculations have been tossed about. Some have said that Howard will likely be the starting tight end for Tampa that he is poised for greatness. Some of those speculations have been thrown so far into the future that Hall of Fame was in the picture.
OK, that’s cool, the guy is a breakout player in the making for sure, but Brate has already had his breakout and with the chemistry Winston and Brate have built, I do not see the Bucs just bumping Brate out of the starting role. Howard would have to be ridiculously good.
During Jameis Winstons rookie season, Brate was donned with the nickname security blanket (in case anyone has forgotten) last season that carried over to create a solid foundation between Winston and Brate that made our Harvard tight end stand out. Brate made it to the end zone 8 times and that led the NFL until being tied by Hunter Henry. Brate and Winston’s chemistry compliment each other so well that they both enjoy top ten /top 5 rankings.
Look at this: (per PFF) When Winston throws to Brate he has a 132.4 passer rating which was good for 4th in the NFL among passes to TEs with at least 15 targets. When Brate is in the slot he collected 377 yards and that is good enough to be ranked 7th out of 32 starting TEs. Brate also only dropped 2 of 59 catchable balls giving him a 3.39 drop percentage making him fifth best in that category. Brate is also given a grade of 82 ranking him 7th out of 63 tight ends.
I saw the potential O.J. Howard has to be a standout guy, as I too watched the Clemson vs Alabama championship games, but the man from Harvard is no joke and will be tough to beat out of his starting role.