Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate is a Pro Football Focus "secret superstar"

Bucs tight end Cameron Brate catches a go-ahead touchdown pass against the Cowboys in December. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

Bucs tight end Cameron Brate catches a go-ahead touchdown pass against the Cowboys in December. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]

Two years ago, Cameron Brate was clinging to the Buccaneers roster. Now, he is being called a "secret superstar."

Over at Pro Football Focus, Sam Monson identified one player on each NFL team who has received little national recognition relative to his high production, and the tight end was his pick for the Bucs.

"Brate burst into the scene in 2016, more than doubling his snap count from the year before and dramatically eclipsing his receiving marks as well," Monson said. "He caught eight touchdowns from 78 targets and dropped just two of those targets for a drop rate of 3.4 percent of catchable balls, the fifth-best mark among TEs in the league."

RELATED STORY: The Jameis Winston-to-Cameron Brate connection

Brate, who missed the final game of the season because of a back injury, became Jameis Winston's most reliable target not named Mike Evans. His 57 catches, 660 receiving yards and eight touchdowns all were second-most on the team. His touchdown total tied the Bucs record by a tight end, which was set by Jimmie Giles in 1985.

Past Tampa Bay "secret superstars" (no PFF list in 2016)

• Danny Lansanah, linebacker (2015): "The arrival of Lovie Smith changed everything for Lansanah. He quickly took to the Tampa 2-based scheme, and showed the versatility to play all three linebacker roles."

• Demar Dotson, offensive tackle (2014): "Dotson played on a Tampa Bay line that conceded 47 sacks on the season (sixth-most) and had running backs run behind it to the tune of 3.8 yards per carry (25th), but he can't help the talent surrounding him."

• Leonard Johnson, cornerback (2013): "It would be a bit of a stretch to say that Johnson was a true superstar last season. Aside from the large responsibilities he had, he also made mistakes that will cost him in the future if he doesn't correct them."

• Michael Bennett, defensive end (2012): "He was one of the very few bright spots on a defense that needs to get better in order for Tampa Bay to be competitive in 2012."

• Quincy Black, linebacker (2011): "The emergence of Quincy Black in 2010 was a big part of the Buccaneers defensive success, and if they are able to bring him back, he'll be part of a defense that continues to rise. If he leaves Tampa Bay, he'll boost a 4-3 defense elsewhere."

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate is a Pro Football Focus "secret superstar" 07/03/17 [Last modified: Monday, July 3, 2017 12:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.