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Bucs starting three rookies in Howard, Evans and Beckwith

O.J. Howard has been impressive so far this season and the Bucs have to find a way to get the dynamic rookie more involved. Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

TAMPA, Fla. -- Here's a look at the first-half impact of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft class:

O.J. Howard, TE, first round: Howard can certainly block in the running game. He's not afraid to stick his face in there against some pretty good pass-rushers like Mario Addison. When he has gotten the ball in his hands -- like the touchdown against the New York Giants or the two he had against the Buffalo Bills -- he's been solid, even electrifying. But the ground game is still struggling. That's not solely on him, but on the entire offensive line plus whoever is blocking. Howard has also had a few drops. He's an unbelievable athlete, but the Bucs have to find ways to get him the ball more; if they did, his contributions to the the team would likely be above average. Grade: Average

Justin Evans, S, second round: Evans made a huge splash in his first NFL start, picking off Tom Brady and having two pass breakups. He's now to the point where he's playing every defensive snap. He's had some mistakes, like getting boxed out by Kelvin Benjamin on a 25-yard touchdown, but he's already proving to be one of the most athletic and dynamic players they have at safety. Grade: Above average

Chris Godwin, WR, third round: Godwin's playing behind Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries, so he hasn't seen much action. He's looked good on special teams though. He made a pair of big special teams plays in back-to-back weeks, recovering a muffed punt by Willie Snead at the New Orleans' 19-yard line and leaping up to bat down a punt against Carolina, downing it at the Panthers' 2-yard line. Grade: Average

Kendell Beckwith, third round: It says a lot about a player when a coaching staff is willing to change an entire defense so he can be on the field, which is what the Bucs did in Buffalo, going with a 3-3-5. Beckwith was stellar stepping in for middle linebacker Kwon Alexander and calling the plays on defense, no easy task for a rookie, and he's continuing his strong play at the strongside position. His 48 tackles are the most of any rookie in the NFL, which is almost unfathomable less than a year after tearing his ACL. He has exceeded all expectations. Grade: Above average

Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, DT, seventh round: Tu'ikolovatu never saw action during the regular season due to an injury to his MCL and meniscus in his right knee just before final cuts. He was placed on injured reserve. Grade: Incomplete