NFL News: Tampa Bay Bucs
Tight end have been an underwhelming position for the Bucs in 2014 and there could be some changes at the position in 2015.
Tight ends account for 407 of 3,361 receiving yards and two touchdowns for the season. The two expected to lead in free agent acquisition, Brandon Myers, and second rounder rookie, Austin Seferian-Jenkins account for 390 of those yards while Seferian-Jenkins has accounted for the two scores before being placed on injured reserve.
Myers has been consistent when it comes to his yards per reception, but his catches has significantly diminished through the 12 games hes been in. Hes caught 18 balls of 23 targets for 169 yards.
Seferian-Jenkins has been the more productive of the two through nine games catching 21 balls from the 37 times hes been targeted for 221 yards for an average of 10.5 per catch.
Veteran Luke Stocker hasnt improved his standing in his fourth year with the team catching five for 33 yards. Hes only caught a combined 33 balls for 290 yards and one score his four years with the team.
While the role of the tight end is to serve as an extra blocker or pass-catching threat, the Bucs havent thrived in either department. The team has the 22nd passing attack and the 29th rushing attack, combined for the 30th overall offense.
Granted the lack of production and the team itself doesnt solely fall on interim offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo, whoever runs the offense in 2015 will need to see improvements across the board and an impact tight end could just help the unit. Lets face it, every little bit helps.
Seferian-Jenkins will likely stay, but Myers and Stocker are a tossup provided if the Bucs do anything in the offseason to acquire another tight end either through the draft or free agency. Here are a few names Bucs can go after.
Jermaine Gresham, who played his five-career with the Bengals, is in his final year of his rookie contract. A favorite target of quarterback, Andy Dalton, Gresham has 268 career receptions for 2,640 yards and 22 touchdowns. Thats an average of 54 catches, 528 yards and four touchdowns a season. Comparing this to Myers who only topped 500 yards twice in his six years in the league.
Gresham can complement receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans as a scoring threat while helping Seferian-Jenkins in two-tight end formations. Gresham, at 6-foot-5, is taller than the 6-foot-3 Myers.
A couple of targets the Bucs could look in the draft are Rutgers Tyler Kroft and Ohio States Jeff Heuerman. Both are complemented for their blocking and catching, according to CBS Sports. Kroft is projected to be a mid-round selection while Heuerman is projected to be a fourth round choice.