Let’s get right into the fourth group in our look at position rankings for the 2023 NFL draft: the tight ends . This is another interesting group; there is one guy locked in pretty much at #1 and then a number of guys who could be in any order.
As always, I will be listing players at their expected NFL positions. Be sure to check out my previous part detailing the running backs, and if you want to check out the draft database that I help update almost daily, you can find it at risendraft.
2023 NFL Draft Tight ends: The Top 5
- Michael Mayer, Notre Dame: Mayer was NFL ready as a freshman, at least from a physical stand point. He has almost ideal size and athleticism. His game does compare somewhat to Rob Gronkowski. He is an all-around tight end who should be a top 15 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.
- Darnell Washington, Georgia: Washington is a mountain of a man at 6’7 270 pounds. He is also reported to run in the upper 4.6s. He flashed some in 2020, but an injury derailed his 2021 season. He has come back in 2022 and showed he can be consistent. Already a good blocker, Washington has shown improved route running in 2022.
- Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State: Kraft had a big 2021 season with 65 catches 773 yards and 6 TDs. A lot was expected of him coming into 2022, but due to an injury he has only played in two games so far. Against North Dakota this past weekend he had a good game with three catches for 53 yards. For an unranked guy coming out of high school, he has good size and athleticism. His blocking can be inconsistent.
- Dalton Kincaid, Utah: Kincaid, a transfer from San Diego, didn’t do much in his first year at Utah. He had a bit of a break out in 2021 while sharing snaps with Brant Kuithe. He put on a show against USC with 16 catches for 234 yards. He is a little on the older side. Kincaid will turn 24 in October of his rookie year. His blocking is probably his biggest weakness.
- Same LaPorta, Iowa: LaPorta has been a solid tight end since he stepped on campus. He is a solid all-around tight end, who doesn’t stand out in any particular way. He is dependable and a hard worker. The current Hawkeye just doesn’t have the physical upside of some of the other guys in this group. He does have the highest floor, though.
2023 NFL Draft Tight ends: Best of the Rest
6. Cameron Latu, Alabama: Latu is a former edge and it shows in his play. He plays a very physical brand of football. The current Crimson Tide tight end has shown potential in the passing game. He has solid size at 6’4 244 and runs in the 4.7 range. His arms are a touch short at 31 7/8″, that hurts his catch radius a bit. Latu still has untapped potential.
7. Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion: Kuntz is a Penn State transfer who couldn’t get on the field at PSU and subsequently transferred. He is a massive tight end at 6’8 250 pounds and runs in the 4.6 range with a 40″ vertical. He exploded in 2021 with 73 catches for 692 yards and 5 TDs. Big things were expected of him this season. He seems to be struggling so far with just 12 catches and 144 yards. His blocking has been a weakness.
8. Josh Whyle, Cincinnati: Whyle has the new age tight end size at 6’7 245 pounds and is an explosive athlete. He is not used in line that much since his blocking skills and his frame are lacking a little. While not the same level, he is in the Kyle Pitts mold. He has yet to meet the potential he flashed in 2020.
9. Jaheim Bell, South Carolina: Bell had a breakout season in 2021 after only catching one pass for 29 yards in 2020. He had 30 catches for 497 yards and five TDs. His production in the pass game is down this season, but he has been used in the backfield more almost like a FB/RB. He has 19 carries on the season already. Bell is on the smaller side for a tight end at just 6’3 232 pounds. He should be more of a move tight end/h-back in the NFL.
10. Luke Musgrave, Oregon State: Musgrave has been a solid all-around tight end. He has been consistent and shown improvement each season. At 6’6 250 with 33 1/8″ arms, he has the size and catch radius to be an effective weapon in the passing game. Having played just two games so far, he has 11 catches for 169 yards.
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