After trading away Kellen Winslow this offseason, the Buccaneers signed former Colt Dallas Clark to a one-year deal, but Luke Stocker is the tight end the team is most excited about — and the one it expects the most from — in 2012.
While he made nine starts and missed only two games as a rookie, Stocker, a fourth-round pick in 2011, was nagged by injuries for much of the season. He’s expected to arrive at training camp in good health after dealing with hip, knee and elbow issues last season and the Bucs view him as a player with every-down ability. While his role will be more clearly defined at the start of camp, Stocker is expected to get the bulk of the reps at the position with Clark playing a situational role as a receiving specialist.
In an offense that wants to emphasize a power running game, sound blocking from the tight end will be essential. There is pressure on Stocker to make big strides in that area of his game.