As LSU watched members of the secondary, receiver room and offensive line moved on from the program, the immediate and glaring need started there.
But overshadowed a bit is the Tigers need for improved depth and talent at the tight end spot, a position that doesn't have a long history of being featured but is critical for this offense nonetheless. Just take a minute to remember where this group was in 2021.
True freshman Jack Bech was essentially playing the position full time as a receiver while sophomores Kole Taylor and Jack Mashburn were used primarily in blocking scenarios. Bech established himself as one of the most consistent receiving threats on the roster and offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock will likely want him to transition to a more natural role as a slot receiver this offseason.
He's dynamic enough to line up along the line of scrimmage as well but getting Bech lined up in the slot, or even occasionally on the outside, will really open up the field for whoever is behind center. However, for that to happen, the Tigers must have a reliable pass catching threat at tight end.
Maybe Taylor or Mashburn can evolve into that role in year three with the program, as Denbrock is expected to coach tight ends in addition to his offensive coordinator role. But currently there's one other tight end signed in the 2022 class and that's Mason Taylor, an incoming freshman out of Florida.
Taylor is a unique addition to the group at 6-foot-4 with an already strong frame and showing the ability to be a difference making receiver in high school. But it feels like there's one more player missing to give tight end the proper depth it needs heading into the offseason.
Kelly and company are heavily pursuing 2022 tight end Danny Lewis out of Westgate High School, where he was teammates with current LSU junior receiver Kayshon Boutte. Lewis played a huge role in leading Westgate to a state championship in 2021, catching six passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in the final game.
He really broke out in 2021 and many other programs are pursuing him, with Alabama and Florida being the most recent teams to offer and set up official visits with Lewis. It would be a tremendous addition to the class to bring in Lewis to compete for reps at tight end and give Denbrock and company another body to see who fits that starting role.
For this offense to reach its full potential in 2022, adding another tight end to the group would really help evolve this passing offense, allowing the rising star sophomore Bech more options over the field and increased opportunities for a bigger, more physical option along the line of scrimmage.