Because Luke Stocker was drafted in the fourth round in 2011 – 24 picks ahead of Julius Thomas – many Bucs fans expected him to be an effective pass catcher and downfield threat on offense. And because he hasn’t quite fit that role over the last five years, some of those fans have discredited his value to the team.
But take it from tight ends coach Jon Embree, those fans would be wrong.
“Luke is probably the most valuable guy in that room,” Embree said of the tight ends group at One Buc Place on Thursday. “He’s invaluable because he’s a great pass protector, he’s a good run blocker and he can be a threat in the passing game.”
Throughout the offseason, coaches, on both sides of the ball, have emphasized the importance of having versatile players and Stocker is definitely one they would consider a multitalented piece on offense. Embree also praised his knowledge of the system and reliability to do his job even when others make mistakes.
“He knows what everyone is supposed to do,” Embree said. “There were a lot of times last year where he made things right. Maybe a play wasn’t called right, or a formation, but he knew what was supposed to be done and he got it done.”
So while Stocker, who had nine receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown in 2015, won’t likely see 10 targets a game – a plan that seems to be in store for Cameron Brate and Austin Seferian-Jenkins combined this season – his value on offense is hard to question. Whether it’s serving as a blocking fullback, a jumbo tight end in pass protection, or understanding his responsibility at all times, Stocker has truly been a jack-of-all-trades for the Bucs and continues to play an important role.
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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What a poorly written and loosely based article “won’t see 10 receptions a game” how about 10 receptions a year, yeah he is a good blocker big fricken whoop, we can play Pamphile at TE and get the same result. The “jack of all trades” comment is hilarious too , he had 60 yds for the yr let me repeat as that probably didn’t sink in, he had 60 yds FOR THE YR! That is a disgusting stat for a TE in the NFL, so the comment “can be a threat in the passing game” is inaccurate and wildly irresponsible to even say when your TE had 60 yds for the yr and less then 300 for his 5 yr career. I’m astounded how a TE can play 5 yrs and all he has to do is block and he gets 5 YRS in TAMPA., hilarious
I follow the Carduinals they have a Stocker type of TE as well named Troy Niklas a big white TE who comes in for extra blocking packages, guess what he doesn’t get articles written about him that say what a great TE is and he is so “invaluable” He is a one trick pony like Stocker the Blocker so lets raise the standards in Tampa and stop praising mediocrity for our own players its embarrassing. PS Anthony Becht sucked but he was better than Stocker
I saw the article title and thought… Let’s see what Jon has to say?
We gave up two picks for a blocking TE. Who is lucky to get 5 catches a year. He is taking up space.
I laughed my ass off when I read the title and there was no responses yet. As you thought above E, I couldn’t wait to see Jon on here. And sure enough a login later and he’s already responded. haha
We have a reliable blocking and catching TE, Brate. We have a not so reliable catching TE in Jenkins. Between the two ( Stocker and Jenkins cost us 4 draft picks) we are set.
I had Zach write the article and I asked the question specifically for JonGruden lol.
Brate as a blocking TE? Really? Noooo.
Jongruden has been discredited. I have been saying for the past 2 years that Stocker is an old-time Ron Kramer style tight end and not one of the sissy basketball players we have today.
Yes, so glad we don’t have those Antonio Gates, and Tony Gonzales types of TE’s with big production here in Tampa we love our big non athletic blockers at TE
If he takes snaps away from Vitale, Stocker, and Myers should be gone.
Nice job Mark to set up jonnyg, alias “The Stocker Stalker”. His over the top disdain for a contributing member of the team has become,to use his word, “hilarious”.
“over the top” Scu Stocker had a measly 60 yds for the yr there’s nothing over the top about it he sucks and is “hilarious” that you guys think he’s so “invaluable”
I find it comical because you seem absolutely obsessed with him. Look, we all know he isn’t used in the passing game like I thought he would be when drafted. We all know he’s not going to make any Pro Bowl teams. He’s merely a guy who has a complimentary role on the team. He may not deserve many accolades, but he doesn’t warrant your unending wrath either.
Scu- 60 yds for the yr sucks someday after he’s off the team you will agree, I guess since he’s still on the roster fans will show support no matter what
I think the problem with Stocker is his contributions are not obvious (I’m not a fan of him either). When a team spends two 4th round picks on TE, he’s played for the Bucs as long as he has, his contributions aren’t obvious and the team goes on to go 4-12, 7-9, 4-12, 2-14 and 6-10 he’s going to draw the ire of some fans. McCoy has been on the team during that span but hasn’t drawn as much ire because he gets national recognition. If we had the Seahawks record over that span and Stocker had the same contributions he would be seen as one of the unsung heroes that every championship team needs. That’s the way I viewed the O-line we won the Super Bowl with so at the time I didn’t know why we got rid of them one by one but looking back on it they all sucked.
I knew we would hear a scathing rebuke from jongruden.
Jongruden, I rarely point out grammatical mistakes or typos because I am a careless blogger myself, but since you pointed to this article as being poorly written, you leave me little choice but to so.
After your first sentence ending with the word “year” it should end with a period, not a comma. Your second sentence is the same way.
Also, Cardinals is misspelled.
People who throw stones jongruden shouldn’t throw stones.
I enjoy your diatribes jon, but really.
You are like the drunk reeling around the party crashing into furniture with 12 of your friends telling you your to drunk to drive and you get mad at them for telling you the truth and drive off in your car.
Becht played for three teams after the Bucs so ergo all of those GM’s must have no football sense for signing him and the coaches for playing him.
It’s you’re not “your” too drunk.
Sorry, jon, told you I was a sloppy blogger.
It should have read, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
I think it actually did at one time.
I know there are gremlins in my Hewlett Packard. They came installed with the device.
Blogging mistakes when correcting someone else of the same thing= hypocrite
Becht was a first round pick who was released by the Jets, so yes he is a bust, I can name countless players who played for 3 or more teams who sucked Ej Biggers comes to mind (Bucs, Eagles, Skins) the grammatical stuff whatever I don’t write articles for a living like the editors for this publication, I do what I do for a living with a sense of pride and professionalism, this article is trying convince fans like me that Stocker is somehow an important cog to this team, while drdeneast thinks so and 76Buc is glad we don’t have basketball players for TE’s like Tony Gonzales, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham , lol you guys want useless slugs who can block and produce less than 100 yds receiving a yr. Well those aren’t my qualifications for the position as I hold my players to a higher standard set forth like some posters and editors of this team
Michael Clayton was a great blocking receiver why is he still not with us? Oh, that’s right he was NON PRODUCTIVE as a pass catcher hmmm
TE’s are supposed to block.
Te’s are suppose to be a somewhat productive receiving threat the guy had 60 yds, 60 YDS for the yr= pathetic, not to mention his staggering 40 yds for the yr prior
You really crack me up jongruden. Seriously.
Like I said, I wouldn’t have pointed out your mistakes if you had not said this article was poorly written.
I think your judgement is based solely on your prejudice against Stocker.
Don’t forge to take your meds my friend.
A great man once said,”you guys are hilarious”.drd, forget is spelled with a T at the end.
I once taught critical thinking classes and all you guys would have flunked my class…and so would I.lol
This article should be renamed “Luke Stocker: Not as bad as you thought.” Sure he’s a solid guy to have on a roster, more of a limited role-player who never came close to what Mark Dominik expected when he burned two 4th round picks on him (like most of Dominik’s picks).
But after all the praise PR has given over drafting a kicker in the 2nd round, it seems like this article would be a perfect followup.
Zach, any chance we can get an article on our longsnapper? Maybe one where a coach tells us he has “first round value to our team.” That would be great, thanks.
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