The Green Bay Packers had a plethora of needs going into the 2023 NFL Draft. Despite the wide variety of holes on both offense and defense, general manager Brian Gutekunst was able to address every single one of them. There is certainly a great deal of buzz surrounding the young Packers, especially on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, Green Bay’s tight end position was named one of the three most improved position groups in the entire NFL by PFF following the draft.
The Green Bay Packers Tight End Position Will Be Exciting
The Packers went into the draft with Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis as the only tight ends on their roster. Robert Tonyan signed with the Chicago Bears in free agency and Marcedes Lewis remains unsigned by anyone. Clearly, tight end was one of the team’s greatest needs, and Gutekunst responded to that need by drafting Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. Of their addition to the team, Gordon McGuinness of PFF wrote:
“While the Packers didn’t draft Dalton Kincaid in the first round like many expected them to, they did opt to double-dip at the position on Day 2 and added some really talented players. Luke Musgrave played in only two games in 2022 but racked up 11 catches for 169 yards in that span. In a very limited sample size, he averaged a whopping 3.38 yards per route run.
“Tucker Kraft dominated the FCS, forcing 25 missed tackles on 102 receptions across the past two seasons. He averaged 2.32 yards per route run in 2022, and 7.7 yards of his 12.9 yards per reception came after the catch.”
Musgrave and Kraft are going to be different from any tight end the Packers have had since JerMichael Finley. Whereas most tight ends were either mainly receivers or blockers, their two rookies were drafted because of their all-around game. In other words, they are both good receivers and blockers. Brian Gutekunst said of them:
“They’re both all-around tight ends that can kind of do everything. They’re not pigeonholed into being a receiving tight end or a blocking tight end. They both have very good size, very good speed. So I’m excited. I think they’ve got their best football ahead of them for different reasons. They will complement each other and be a good fit with the guys we have.”
Over the past few seasons, Tonyan was mainly a receiving tight end while Lewis was a [really, really good] blocker. Due to their individual limitations, Matt LaFleur’s offense was somewhat limited when it came to using the tight end position. With these two well-rounded players on the roster, it opens the door for more dynamic plays. Both are great receivers with high yards-after-catch possibilities. It is going to be very exciting to watch.
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