To say the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tight end corp is inexperienced would be an understatement. With Rob Gronkowski retiring a year ago and Cameron Brate now being a free agent the team looks for it’s next leader in the tight end room.
The question becomes which one of these young Buccaneers’ tight ends will step up and take the lead?
This brings us to The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner’s latest post listing potential Day 3 picks that could make an immediate impact for the respective teams. Buccaneers 5th round pick tight end Payne Durham made the list.
Here is what Baumgardner had to say about Durham,
“Outside of his frame (6-5, 253, 33 3/8-inch arms), there is nothing flashy about Durham. He’s not that fast; he doesn’t have much wiggle; if he averages 10 yards per reception, you’re probably doing OK with him. But if you throw him the ball 75 times, he’ll probably catch 70 of them. Durham has powerful hands, a great frame, and he understands the finer points of football, which allows him to give QBs friendly throwing windows over and over again.
Durham is a solid blocker who can be a dependable, team-first chain-mover in the NFL. He’s a three-down prospect who likely will start as a TE2, but there is TE1 potential here. Known at Purdue as a tone-setter because of the way he worked, Durham won’t get bullied as a run blocker in training camp — a lot of rookie TEs do.”
Durham joins second-year tight end Cade Otton and Ko Kieft. And as Baumgardner writes, Durham has great hands and even better physicality. But Durham isn’t just a physical guy, he also has a great football IQ and a nose for the endzone.
Look for Durham to push Otton for playing time as he gets settled in to the league. And combine that with the Buccaneers having a new offensive system being installed AND a new quarterback under center, the tight end position will be of huge importance to the team this season.