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Way-Too-Early Depth Chart: TE a Position of Strength for the Wildcats

Charlie Mangieri returns to lead a strong Northwestern TE group.

This is another iteration of the Way Too Early Depth Chart series. If you want to find depth charts for the QB, RB, WR, LT, LG, C, RG, RT, LB, and DB, click on the embedded links for each position. 

In 2020, Northwestern was helped at the tight end position by graduate transfer John Raine. Raine came from FAU and was third on the team in receiving yards. Now, Raine is in the NFL, and stepping into his spot will be senior tight end Charlie Mangieri.

The 6 '4" Mangieri has caught 12 career passes and two receiving touchdowns. In 2020 Mangieri had 53 receiving yards, which is second among all returning pass catchers for the Wildcats. Northwestern Offensive Coordinator Mike Bajakian has spoken highly of Mangieri, saying the tight end is “poised for success” in the offense (per Drew Schott, Daily Northwestern).

Behind Mangieri are a very solid group of tight ends who offer a lot to the Wildcat offense. Mangieri himself has spoken highly of the depth in the tight end room, saying the group is “diverse.” “We all have different aspects to our game that we bring to the table,” Mangieri said after practice on Aug. 9. 

“A lot of us are really good with the playbook, and just all around good tight ends.” Mangieri spoke highly of redshirt senior Trey Pugh, who has missed a lot of time due to injury. “It’s good to have him [Pugh] back because he’s got such a good grasp of the offense,” Mangieri said.

Behind Mangieri and Pugh are redshirt sophomore Thomas Gordon and sophomore Marshall Lang. According to The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna, Gordon might have the inside track to being TE2 on the roster, and Lang will also fight for playing time.

This tight end group might be the strongest group of returning pass catchers on the Northwestern roster. With Bajakian wanting to maintain a balance between rushing and passing on offense, having multiple tight ends in the offense who can block and catch passes well will help whoever is under center. 

Mangieri should have the number one spot on the depth chart locked down, with Gordon and Pugh fighting it out for TE2. Junior TE Jason Whittaker played in two games in his career. Rounding out the TE room is freshman Lawson Albright, who has the physical tools to be a factor in the TE room in later years.

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