After a 2011 season filled with heartache and headaches after a 4-12 record, the Bucs were ready to take advantage of their new highly prized draft picks which included the seventh overall selection in a draft pool with talent with the likes of Andrew Luck, RG3, Justin Blackmon, Luke Kuechly, Russell Wilson and Nick Foles.
The Buccaneers were ready to draft a franchise cornerstone in the 2012 Draft. Now that we can look back on two years of opportunities, we can come to the conclusion that they found multiple solid starters and franchise cornerstone players. Along with a few disappointments.
In a draft class highlighted by all-pro linebacker Lavonte David and the former pro bowl running back Doug Martin, most fans merely forget about their last pick, #233 out of football powerhouse Northwestern, Drake Dunsmore.
The reason why he is getting called out isn’t due to his low draft position. There have been countless guys taken in late rounds that have made starts and have been asked for their autograph. Dunsmore wouldn’t know what that’s like in the NFL level and he never will.
He never played a single down on Sundays. Drake didn’t play once during his rookie year and then retired from the NFL.
See what a degree from Northwestern can get you post NFL career?
1) 12 tight ends were selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. Drake was the 10th selected.
2) Out of 12 tight ends, 233 games have been played. That’s an average of about 19 each.
“So what? He was a seventh round pick!”
True, however the two players selected after him have both played in games as well. One even competed in 32 games!
3) Tampa Bay did not have the top tier tight ends in front of Drake on the depth chart. Yes, Dallas Clark has had his great seasons, however he didn’t perform well enough for the Bucs to keep him around and now he is playing in Baltimore. After Clark on the depth chart were tight ends Luke Stocker and Nate Byham. If you’re wondering who they are, you’re not alone.
Luke Stocker was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft and only registered 16 receptions for 165 yards with 1 touchdown his 2012 year.
Nate Byham was drafted by the 49ers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. Byham only appeared in 11 games for the 2012 season, picking up 3 catches for 18 yards and a touchdown.
Now tell me, are those players performing well enough for the Buccaneers to stick with them?
If you said yes, perhaps you should look at what the Bucs record was for the 2012 season. (7-9 and fourth in the NFC South. Again)
Clearly, the lack of tight end talent isn’t the only reason why the Bucs finished last in the division, it may not even be a major factor, but it’s still an area, which can be improved upon.
Sadly, Drake never played well enough to see the field during his first and last season on the gridiron.
Drake signed a four year $2.15 million contract after being drafted.