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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Conclude 2024 Draft with TE Devin Culp, An "Issue" in Space

Seventh-round TE Devin Culp, another Washington product, could factor into the Bucs' mix at tight end given his elite speed and potential to make plays in space


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wrapped up their 2024 draft on Saturday night by selecting Washington's Devin Culp in the seventh round with the 246th overall pick, believing he can bring a new dimension to the team's young tight end room.

Culp ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, the third-fastest time for any player who weiged at least 230 pounds. While his receiving numbers weren't overwhelming with the Huskies – he shared an offense with highly-drafted wide receivers Rome Odunze, Ja'Lynn Polk and Jalen McMillan (to the Buccaneers), and previously with current Bucs tight end Cade Otton – the Bucs think he has potential as a pass-catcher who can make plays in space.

"He can do a lot of different things," said Buccaneers Assistant General Manager John Spytek. "You get him in space running, he's 4.47 and he's a hard tackle for DBs. That's our goal. He's a little bit different than the guys we have in that room right now, so we felt like it was a good add."

Culp caught 16 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in 2023, averaging 13.0 yards per grab. During his career with the Huskies he hauled in 66 passes for 711 yards and four scores. The Bucs view him as primarily an 'F' tight end, who they would move around the formation as a pass-catcher, but do think he has the potential to be a functional blocker despite his 6-3, 231-pound fram.

View pictures of Washington TE Devin Culp, who Tampa Bay selected in the seventh round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

"Devin's a player, he's not the biggest body but he can run, with that 4.47 time, and when you feel him in the run game he feels like a bigger body," said Spytek. "We were almost surprised when he weighed in at the Combine that he was what he was, because he strains to finish his blocks. He has strength through his core and in his feet and his balance that allows him to stick on blocks. Yeah, he's not going to displace the bigger defensive ends in our league, but he stays attached to them. And the pride he has when he blocks jumps off the film to you. Some tight ends do that and some tight ends don't. You kind of expect that of bigger guys; you don't always expect that of guys that are 240 or 230."

The Buccaneers also drafted McMillan in the third round, and he could see extensive playing time in the slot. With McMillan, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Trey Palmer, the Bucs will probably run a lot of three-receiver sets ("11" personnel), often leaving space for just one tight end. Otton is the team's every-down tight end, and the Bucs also have Payne Durham and Ko Kieft – all drafted in the past two years – but Culp's speed could get him into the mix.

"We're going to play a lot of '11' obviously, so it will be Cade or Payne or Ko or Devin," said Spytek. "They'll all compete in there, but Devin would be the fastest of the group. He's one of those guys that if you can get him the ball running in space, which this offense wants to do, he can be an issue. You've got a 6-3, 240-pound guy running 4.47. That's hard to tackle. DBs don't want to tackle that guy all the time. We're just excited to get him in here and compete."

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