The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL draft.
Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow II, and Bubba Franks were all tight ends that played for the Miami Hurricanes and went on to enjoy successful NFL careers.
Will Mallory could be the next Hurricane tight end to carve out a successful NFL career. The Miami tight end checks in at No. 92 in the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.
During his first season on campus, Mallory hauled in one receiving touchdown. In 2019, Mallory caught 16 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns. The following season, Mallory recorded 22 receptions for 329 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2021, Mallory caught 30 receptions for 347 yards and four touchdowns. This past season, Mallory reeled in 42 receptions for 538 yards and three touchdowns.
“Mallory had an excellent season despite a ton of inconsistency from Miami’s offense,” Alex Donno, the host of Locked On Canes said. “The offensive line was decimated by injury, starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke missed significant time late in the year, and the backup quarterbacks were inconsistent at best. No matter which quarterback was under center, Mallory provided an important safety valve from the tight end position. Will had an uneven season in 2021 and made up for it with a career year in ‘22.”
Mallory, a high school wide receiver is a big-bodied target that can work the middle of the field. He has strong hands and was credited with just two drops this past season. He extends away from his frame to make contested catches.
Mallory runs well for the position and has the quickness to threaten the seam. Of his 42 receptions, 25 of them resulted in first downs. While Mallory is a smooth athlete, he’s not sudden out of his breaks and fails to create separation.
“He’s definitely a receiving tight end,” Donno said. “At 6-5, 245, he creates mismatches for opposing defenses and he’s faster than people expect when he catches the ball in space.”
Mallory does a good job of fighting for extra yards after the catch. He has deceptive quickness and can be tough to take down once he gets rolling downfield with his long strides. According to PFF, Mallory had 301 yards after the catch this past season.
“After the catch, Mallory fights,” Donno said. “He’s not afraid to lower his shoulder and embrace contact. He is athletic enough to hurdle defenders. He’s got good instincts when it comes to knowing where the first down marker is located.”
Mallory plays with okay effort as a blocker. He looks almost timid when engaging as a blocker and fails to sustain his blocks. According to PFF, Mallory finished with a run-blocking grade of 36.6 and a pass-blocking grade of 75.2. It’s part of his game that will need further development.
“Mallory is a work-in-progress as a blocker,” Donno said. “I got the impression this was frustrating at times for Miami’s coaches in 2022, although they don’t call players out by name. He has potential to become more solid in this area but he offers a lot more in the passing game.”
Fit with the Packers
Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis are both set to hit the open market this offseason. With those two potentially on their way out the door or to retirement, the Green Bay Packers will have to address the tight end position this offseason.
Regardless of what happens with Tonyan and Lewis, Brian Gutekunst will likely look to add a tight end or two in the 2023 NFL Draft.
With his size and natural pass-catching ability, Mallory could be a potential day-three target for the Packers.
“I would draft Mallory as a weapon in the passing game but also as an outstanding teammate,” Donno said. “He’s been a leader by example in Miami’s locker room. He takes everything that happens on the field, good or bad, to heart. Miami’s 5-7 season was a massive disappointment and the person I felt the worst for was Mallory. He deserved a better season from a results standpoint.”
Mallory will likely never reach the heights of former Miami tight end Jimmy Graham. However, he could carve out a long career as a No. 2 tight end and serve as a red zone weapon with his size and strong hands. The Packers need help at the tight end position and Mallory could be a piece of the puzzle.
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 93, Purdue WR Charlie Jones
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 94, Illinois DB Sydney Brown
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 95, Wisconsin DL Keeanu Benton
Unpacking Future Packers: No. 96, Purdue TE Payne Durham