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Tuesday, Aug 22, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs draft analysis: Wide receivers

The Buccaneers have seven selections in the NFL draft, starting with the No. 43 overall pick (second round). The draft, to be held Thursday-Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, features seven rounds and 254 total picks, including a handful of compensatory picks.

The Bucs have two choices in the fourth and sixth rounds, but do not have a seventh-round selection.

For eight consecutive days, the Tampa Tribune will analyze the team's needs at each of eight positions.
Today, we look at receiver/tight end.; With two dynamic outside threats in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams, the Bucs entered the offseason looking for upgrades at the slot receiver and tight end positions. They signed two receivers - former Cowboy Kevin Ogletree and one-time Giants Pro Bowler Steve Smith - who will compete with Tiquan Underwood for the slot spot.

They also signed one-time Packers tight end Tom Crabtree, who is still developing, particularly as a pass catcher. So, they still have a need to replace last year's starting tight end, Dallas Clark, who remains a free agent. Tampa Bay has a capable second tight end in Luke Stocker, but he's been slow to develop as a pass-catching option, so there's a need there for an influx of top-level talent.
On the Bucs roster
Pos.
Player
Ht.
Wt.
Age
Yr .






WR
David Douglas
6-1
205
23
1






WR
Vincent Jackson
6-5
230
30
9






WR
Mike Williams
6-2
212
25
3






WR
Kevin Ogletree
6-1
198
25
4






WR
Chris Owusu
6-0
196
23
1






WR
Eric Page
5-10
180
21
1






WR
Steve Smith
5-11
195
27
6






WR
Tiquan Underwood
6-1
183
26
4






TE
Drake Dunsmore
6-3
235
24
1






TE
Zack Miller
6-5
236
28
4






TE
Danny Noble
6-5
248
24
1






TE
Luke Stocker
6-5
253
24
2







Remaining NFL free agents

Pos.
Player
Ht.
Wt.
Age
Yr.






WR
Brandon Lloyd
6-0
200
31
10






WR
Laurent Robinson
6-2
205
27
6






TE
Dallas Clark
6-3
252
33
10







Dream pick
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

The explosive Tavon Austin is easily the best of the wideout class this year, but the Bucs' greater need is at tight end. The best of the bunch is Eifert. At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds and with the ability to run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds, Eifert looks like the blueprint for the NFL prototype. He's ready to step in immediately as a starter.
Hidden gem
Vance McDonald, Rice
McDonald doesn't have the speed to leave defenders in his wake down the seams, but he catches the ball well, has prototypical size and has experience as a slot receiver. Scouts say he came off as a bit cocky during interviews at the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine, but confidence is not necessarily a negative. For a team such as the Bucs, which is looking for an upgrade, McDonald is an intriguing option who could prove to be a bargain in the fourth or fifth round.
Bucs history

Tampa Bay has struggled to find good fits on draft day. Jacquez Green, Reidel Anthony and Michael Clayton were all first-round picks at receiver who never produced as first-round picks should. The team did find a keeper in Mike Williams in the fourth round three years ago, but the Bucs have had to rely mostly on free agents and trades to find quality pass catchers.

The Bucs' history of drafting tight ends is not a glowing one, either. Their best selection was probably Ron Hall in 1987. With what some believe is the best tight end class ever, Tampa Bay has a chance to change that history this year.
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