GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers selected Cincinnati tight end Josiah Deguara with their third-round pick on Friday night.
Deguara caught 38 passes for 468 yards and five touchdowns as a junior and 39 passes for 504 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. He was first-team all-conference as a senior.
He’s undersized as tight ends go, measuring 6-foot-2 3/8 and 242 pounds at the Scouting Combine, where he ran his 40 in 4.72 seconds.
He’s always been undersized, though. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds coming out of high school, his only scholarship offers were from Cincinnati and Air Force. Too small? He put up better numbers at Cincinnati than NFL star Travis Kelce. “The NFL has always been a dream of mine, but it hasn’t always felt realistic,” Deguara said. “Even though it’s about to happen for me and I’m about to have that opportunity, it still doesn’t feel real.” He was picked for this year’s Senior Bowl. “I’m not the tallest dude to play tight end, but I’m also not the fastest dude to play receiver,” he said. “But I don’t believe all that stuff. I’ve been able to excel as a tight end at the highest level.”
He knows how to catch, dating to his 104 receptions and 16 touchdowns as a junior in high school and 114 receptions and 24 touchdowns as a senior in high school. “I was kind of a hybrid in high school,” Deguara said. “A wide receiver toward the beginning, then a tight end. We had a system out there at my high school where a lot of people get to catch a lot of passes.”
For the second consecutive year, the Packers used a third-round pick on a tight end. Last year, it was Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger, who made a minimal impact as a rookie due to injuries. Deguara joins a depth chart headed by Sternberger and veteran Marcedes Lewis and includes Robert Tonyan and defensive lineman-turned-tight end James Looney.
Green Bay selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round and running back A.J. Dillon in the second round. That means, for the fifth consecutive year, the Packers did not draft a receiver in the first three rounds. They head into Saturday without a fourth-round pick, either, meaning other improvements will have to wait until the fifth round (one pick), sixth round (three picks) and seventh round (two picks).