NFL Draft 2023 – Tight End Class Strongest in a Decade

Tight End Class Strongest in a Decade

Frank Coyle/ Head Scout

This year’s tight end class is a bumper crop of prospects that will command many early selections especially over the first two days of the three day event. This position has played a bigger role in today’s passing game with prospects lining up at several positions. They possess size and speed to create major mismatches in coverage and become favorites in a club’s passing game.  Many are one-dimensional receivers with minimal blocking skills.    

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Tight Ends – Grade: A 

     Positional Overview: This year’s group of tight ends ranks among the best in recent decades and features a few highly regarded players who will come off the board in the early rounds. Our #1 prospect is Michael Mayer with Dalton Kincaid ranked equally high. Mayer is a well-developed receiver with an early starting grade and an excellent addition to a passing game. Kincaid is highly developed receiver who could be a mid-1st round selection. He has the prototypical skill set for today’s position. Both Darnell Washington and Luke Musgrave are emerging prospects with early starting grades. Musgrave is a developed playmaker with impact run after the catch ability. Washington is a physical specimen with all the talent to be a well-rounded complete player at the position. This class should see another 2-3 players selected in the top 100 selections. Both Sam LaPorta and Tucker Kraft are high quality prospects and carry NFL starting grades and figure on the mid-2nd day of the NFL Draft. LaPorta is a multi-purpose tight end/H-back who fills key roles in an offense. Zach Kuntz had an outstanding NFL Combine and displayed all the physical skills to win a starting role with a high level of development as a blocker and receiver. He could be selected in the early middle rounds and possible surprise top 100 selection. Several middle round prospects like Luke Schoonmaker, Will Mallory, Davis Allen and Josh Whyle will be among the best value picks in this amazing class. As many as 18-20 players could be drafted with most in the middle to later rounds. This position plays a huge part in pro-offenses being used in a few hybrid roles.

     NFL Teams in need:

1. Cowboys      5. Commanders
2. Packers       6. Dolphins
3. Lions           7. Cardinals
4. Titans         8. Bengals

   NFL Premier Player

       Travis Kelce

Blue Chip – Michael Mayer
Blue Chip – Dalton Kincaid
Red Chip – Darnell Washington
Rising – Zack Kuntz
Falling – Cameron Latu
Underrated – Sam LaPorta                
Overrated – Davis Allen
Sleeper – Tucker Kraft
Boom/Bust – Brenton Strange
Hidden Starter – Will Mallory
Long Term Gem – Zack Kuntz          
Positional Traits
Best Athlete – Zack Kuntz
Best Hands – Dalton Kincaid
Fastest – Luke Musgrave
Quickest – Michael Mayer
Inline Blocker – Darnell Washington
Block on Move – Josh Whyle
Run after Catch – Luke Musgrave
Catch in the Crowd – Sam LaPorta
Ball Instincts – Dalton Kincaid
Most Developed – Michael Mayer

       Top Tight End Prospects   

1 Michael Mayer                   Notre Dame
2 Dalton Kincaid                   Utah
3 Darnell Washington         Georgia
4 Luke Musgrave                 Oregon State
5 Sam LaPorta                     Iowa
6 Tucker Kraft                       South Dakota State
7 Zack Kuntz                         Old Dominion
8 Luke Schoonmaker          Michigan
9 Will Mallory                      Miami
10 Brenton Strange             Penn State
11 Davis Allen                      Clemson
12 Josh Whyle                      Cincinnati
13 Payne Durham               Purdue
14 Cameron Latu                 Alabama
15 Kyle Patterson                 Air Force
16 Leonard Taylor               Cincinnati