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Is Trey McBride the Jets’ Tight End of the Future?

The New York Jets should draft Colorado State tight end Trey McBride in the 2022 NFL draft to give quarterback Zach Wilson a reliable target for years to come.

If the Jets had a great tight end, it could be a real game changer.

This year’s consensus top rated TE coming out in the 2022 NFL Draft is Colorado State’s Trey McBride.

Is it possible the Jets’ can get him?

Sure, it is possible. The question is what round McBride might go in?

Currently, McBride is slated to go anywhere between late in the first round, to the end of the second round.

The challenge is one of the better teams in the NFL could select him in the bottom of the first round. It is very possible Tampa Bay could target McBride as Rob Gronkowski’s eventual replacement and complimentary TE in the meantime. A one-two punch of Gronkowski and McBride would be lethal for quarterback Tom Brady, and it would create mismatch problems for opponents.

That is really the biggest advantage of having a top-tier TE. It creates mismatches against smaller corners and slower and less agile linebackers and safeties.

A classic example of this is with Detroit’s Pro Bowl tight end T.J. Hockenson. He currently leads the Lions in receptions and he made his first Pro Bowl last season on a team that has been challenged to win games. This third year TE is versatile and Detroit does a nice job lining him up at different locations pre-snap, to exploit defenses. Hockenson does a really good job of using his big frame and atheism to box out defenders and make the catches.

McBride is comparable to Hockenson as a receiver, who was a top-10 pick in 2019, and McBride is also a better blocker. They are both said to run a 4.7 (40) and both have similar styles. They are also comparable in terms of their height and weight. Hockenson is listed at 6-foot-5, 248 pounds, while McBride is listed at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds.

The biggest differences between the two is Hockenson looks more athletic and despite having similar 40-times, Hockenson plays faster than McBride on film.

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So, that means McBride is not a top-10 prospect like Hockenson. However, it would be shocking if he was still on the board when the second round began.

Jets’ general manager Joe Douglas comes from Philadelphia, where they have had good tight end play. One would have to believe Douglas would love to have a top-tier TE to give quarterback Zack Wilson a big target downfield to throw to when everything else is breaking down around him.

It is distinctly possible Douglas could trade down at least with one of the Jets’ first-round picks, and target McBride mid to late in the first round.

One of the most impressive things about McBride is he has played on a predominately run-heavy offense at Colorado State, where he is the main target and he has still managed to stand out and put up breakout production this season.

#85 Trey McBride 6-foot-4, 260 pounds

40-yard-dash-time: 4.7 (walterfootball.com)

Games reviewed in 2021: Utah State, Toledo and Vanderbilt

2021 production (currently) 90 receptions, 1,121 yards, 12.5 avg., 50 long, 1 TD

Grade: First Round (15-32)

NFL Comparables: T.J. Hockenson and Kyle Brady

Concerns: level of competition

Scouting Report:

Complete tight end who is a big frame target polished receiver and he is an excellent blocker. Excellent technique as a receiver and blocker. Versatile player who they line up in tight, in the slot and out wide. Good target in the short to intermediate route levels. Reliable hands. Excels at inside pitches and slant routes. He does an excellent job knowing how to use his big frame to box and block out defenders to make the grab. Lack of playing speed shows up against defenders on crossing routes and short drag routes into the flats. Lacks vertical jumping ability and flexibility extending (looks tight in upper body). Decent (not great) athletic ability. Decent YAC (yards after catch). Not the easiest to bring down. Takes effort to tackle him. Really gets after it as a run blocker. Holds the point very well and was seen on several pancake blocks. Stays with it and he is extremely good, dependable and consistent run blocker. Top 15 TE in the NFL.

With the Jets not getting enough production out of TE Ryan Griffin the past three seasons, drafting McBride makes even more sense.

Griffin is also scheduled to become a free agent after the 2022 season, and all of Griffin’s backups have far less production and experience than he has.

McBride would be a great catch for the Jets. 

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