During the Green Bay Packers Sunday Night Football victory against the Kansas City Chiefs, a young tight end from a small South Dakota town emerged on national television. As injuries happen during a lengthened NFL season, the potential to watch new talent in an increased role is an exciting aspect to watch for at this point in the season. It is especially nice to see a hard working player to not only be recognized by their own fanbase, but also opposing greats at the same position from other teams.
Green Bay Packers Game Against the Chiefs
Tucker Kraft completed a first down reception for a good gain of nearly 20 yards after being knocked out of bounds. On the ground looking up, the Green Bay Packers tight end was helped up by the extended hand of Travis Kelce.
Green Bay Packers senior writer Wes Hodkiewicz has documented how the two paths intertwined early, at the esteemed position camp during the offseason. After entering an elevator during camp and meeting Kelce, Kraft had the following to say about the interaction:
Me, rookie from small-town South Dakota, I’m like oh (shoot), you’re Travis Kelce . I thought that was pretty cool. My first time ever meeting him, dapping him up in an elevator, it was awesome.
With two moments that he will likely remember for the rest of his life, Kraft has put in the work and has been making a name for himself as of late.
Green Bay Packers TE Steps Up
After the injury to Luke Musgrave, Kraft was place into the starting role to replace Musgraves’ production as both a blocker and pass catcher. Against the Super Bowl champs at home, Kraft played among the team leading 95% of offensive snaps while still contributing on special teams.
With three receptions for 37 yards, Kraft is a player who consistently does the little things right. This is especially noticeable in his blocking aspect, that has seen the most improvement since camp earlier in the year.
Even when Musgrave returns healthy, either later this year or next. Kraft is playing himself into a steady role in this offense.
Green Bay Packers TE University Enrollment
With the potentially strongest alumni structure in the nation, Tight End University serves as more than an opportunity for tight ends to work on their skills.
On the forefront, it serves similar to position skill camps that are hosted for perspective high school athletes. They attend class room sessions, to study the nuances of the position. They also of course go on the field to practice their blocking techniques, work on their routes, and catch the football.
The major difference being that the founders of this camp are Travis Kelce, Greg Olson, and George Kittle. Some of the most storied players at the position. This helps up and coming talents, especially new comers to league to also establish connections, to network in a business like capacity.
Recent Green Bay Packers third rounder Tucker Kraft showed that he is potentially the single biggest beneficiary of the TEU experience. He is looking to go on a potential run of play to have him be in the conversation of the greats that are currently running the program.