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Buccaneers Trade Up in Round 5 of NFL Draft for Physical Big Ten Tight End

It took longer than expected, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finally found themselves a tight end from the 2023 draft class

After trading up from 175 to 171, with what was their second selection of the 5th round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected Payne Durham, a tight end, out of Purdue. 

Durham has good size, listed at 6'6", 253 pounds, and was most productive as a senior this past season for the Boiler Makers. Durham had 56 receptions, 560 yards (10 ypc), and 8 TD's in 12 starts in 2022. 

Durham's size is an asset, and he projects to be developed as a more traditional in-line tight end, which is something the Buccaneers' have utilized in the past. He has great hands, making him a reliable safety net for whoever is starting at quarterback for the Buccaneers this season. He also has the potential to become a very good blocker from the tight end position. Durham made a great impression at this year's Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL, which is an event that the Buccaneers' scouting department places great value on.

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So far in the 2023 draft, the Bucs have managed to spread their capital around, filling holes at different positions. Through their first five selections, they've gone: IDL, OL, DE, ILB, and now tight end.

Adding another body to the team's tight end room was definitely needed. Especially coming off a season where the team got next to no receiving production from the position, aside from last year's fourth round pick, Cade Otton. 

Now, the Buccaneers have three tight ends — Otton, Kieft, and Durham — each of whom can be expected to contribute in some capacity within Dave Canales' offense. 

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