Tight end identified as Packers’ biggest need entering 2023 offseason
Where do the Green Bay Packers need to add to the roster this offseason? It’s difficult to imagine a position on Brian Gutekunst’s roster needing more help – both in terms of depth and talent – than at tight end as the new league year approaches.
The need is easy to see. In a big list for all NFL teams, Pro Football Focus identified tight end as the Packers’ biggest roster need entering the offseason.
From PFF’s Sam Monson: “The young wideouts showed promise in 2022, but tight end is an area that still needs a major upgrade. Robert Tonyan saw 63 targets this season but averaged just 1.27 yards per route run and moved the chains only 20 times.”
Depth is the most concerning issue. Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and Tyler Davis are all free agents, leaving Josiah Deguara, Austin Allen and Nick Guggemos as the only three tight ends currently under contract on the offseason roster. Deguara is a role player as an H-back, while Allen and Guggemos are recent additions who have never played in an NFL game.
Evaluating Packers roster entering 2023 offseason
Last season proved the talent deficiency. Tonyan averaged only 8.9 yards per catch and scored just two touchdowns in his first season back from a major injury. Lewis, who turns 38 in May, isn’t a passing game threat but can still block as an inline tight end. Deguara was targeted just 15 times. The Packers need more production and playmaking ability from the position, especially in the passing game.
It comes as no surprise that tight end has been a common pick for the Packers in mock drafts. In fact, Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer is one of the favorite picks in national mock drafts at this point in the process.
Will the Packers use the draft to add a top talent at tight end? Or will Gutekunst bring back Tonyan and Lewis and hope for something better in 2023? Banking on a rookie to fix the issue probably isn’t wise; a combination of a draft pick and veteran, as Paul Bretl of Packers Wire suggested here, is Gutekunst’s best bet for turning tight end from a weakness to a strength in 2023.
Top draft options: Michael Mayer, Dalton Kincaid, Luke Musgrave, Darnell Washington, Sam LaPorta
Top free agent options: Dalton Schultz, Evan Engram, Mike Gesicki, Hayden Hurst, Austin Hooper, Foster Moreau
Packers get Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer in another pre-combine mock draft