Bucs choose Alabama tight end O.J. Howard for 19th overall pick

- 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.

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