TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose University of Alabama tight end O.J. Howard for its 19th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft Thursday.
Howard - just off a NCAA National Championship appearance, played at Raymond James Stadium earlier this year - comes to Tampa with an impressive stat sheet.
Pro Football Focus gave him the highest run-blocking grade of FBS tight ends as a senior, but Howard would welcome some more balls thrown his way.
Howard is one of five Alabama players projected as first-round picks, along with defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and linebacker Reuben Foster.
Howard has been the big riser of the group since a standout week at the Senior Bowl in front of NFL executives, scouts and coaches.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.