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Ranking Bucs' needs: No. 3 tight end

2/5/2014

We continue our look at the Buccaneers’ five biggest offseason needs with the tight ends at No. 3.

Even before injuries set in last season, this was not a position of strength. Although the Bucs reportedly would have strongly considered drafting a tight end in the first round if they hadn’t traded that pick away for Darrelle Revis, the Bucs didn’t end up making any major moves at this position.

They went into the preseason expecting to split playing time between Luke Stocker and Tom Crabtree. But both of them quickly got injured. So did Nate Byham. Crabtree made a brief comeback around midseason, but got hurt again.

All the injuries forced the Bucs to give extensive playing time to Tim Wright, an undrafted free agent who played wide receiver in college. Wright turned out to be a pleasant surprise, catching 54 passes. But Wright was limited as a blocker.

The Bucs have to upgrade this position to bring balance to their offense. Wright still has plenty of untapped upside, but the Bucs need to bring in an all-purpose tight end through the draft or free agency.