The Green Bay Packers have their attention on a Super Bowl run, currently. However, the first Mel Kiper NFL Mock Draft of the season was released today, which leads us to look down the road a bit.
Now, we know Kiper is a stooge. After all, he is an “analyst” on ESPN. Still, his name carries a great deal of weight in the sports media world. Every year, the Mel Kiper Mock Draft is one of the most read mock drafts on the internet.
He has the Packers slotted at the final pick in the first round. Let’s hope he is correct, as that would mean the Lombardi Trophy came home. However, Kiper has the Packers projected to draft a tight end in the first round. While he’s a good player, we should probably hope he’s incorrect about that pick.
Mel Kiper NFL Mock Draft Predicts Packers Select TE
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
Oh good… another first-round pick out of the Mountain West Conference. With the 32nd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Mel Kiper projects the Green Bay Packers to select Trey McBride, a senior tight end out of Colorado State.
McBride was a talented pass-catcher for the Rams this season. The big-bodied, 6-4 tight end lined up all over the field for Colorado State. He has an expanded route tree and he is a solid blocker. Of course, when we discuss his blocking and receiving ability, we do have to remember that he played in the Mountain West. His best test of the season came against Iowa. He totaled six receptions for 59 yards in that contest.
We know it’s tough for tight ends to transition to the NFL. A first-round draft pick of McBride would add another player to a long list of Brian Gutekunst draft picks that he does not plan to be a large contributor in the first year or two. If Aaron Rodgers is traded, then sure, the Packers can sacrifice a couple of seasons. If the MVP is extended, as he should be, then the Packers must push for a Super Bowl, and this is not the best draft pick to do so.
Trey McBride Stats
Receiving Yards: 1,121
Packers Tight Ends
Heading into 2022, the Green Bay Packers have three tight ends under contract, and they are paying four. Marcedes Lewis, Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis are all under contract, while Robert Tonyan has a cap hit of roughly $1.9M.
This means that Tonyan is an unrestricted free agent. Due to his season-ending injury, there may not be a massive market demand for Tonyan, so he could return on a cheap one-year deal. The other free agent is Dominique Dafney, who is an exclusive right free agent. There is a solid chance he is back on a cheap deal.
There are many notable free agent tight ends this offseason that will cost around the same price as a first-round draft pick’s contract. That would be the wiser route for a team looking to win now, while they use the draft pick on a different position.