The Dallas Cowboys have a number of needs entering the 2022 NFL Draft, but so does every NFL team. What makes this particular draft a bit more interesting for the Cowboys than in years past is some of the more-glaring needs like guard and a top flight wide receiver.
Defining needs is a tricky exercise because you have to live in the here and now. So much about the draft is about the present but obviously the future as well. You are constantly trying to keep your team in a place where it is competitive and does not have any holes over a multi-year stretch.
One of the places where the Cowboys are at an interesting spot is at tight end. They obviously have Dalton Schultz on the franchise tag for this season so they are taken care of, but what about the future? It is still unknown whether or not they are going to pay him and given that they don’t like to hand out second contracts a ton it would make sense to find his replacement during this year’s selection period.
Colorado State TE Trey McBride is projected to go right around where it makes sense for Dallas
There are a number of would-be replacement options for Dalton Schultz in this year’s draft, but a favorite of many is Colorado State’s Trey McBride.
This year offers a bit of a deep overall class at the tight end spot, but McBride is one of the best options. He has the ability to come in and contribute right away which is not the case for every player, and if the Cowboys want him then they are likely going to have to spend the 56th overall pick in order to land him.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper did an exercise where he laid out where some of his top prospects are going to go in all likelihood, and the situation that he described for McBride just about perfectly summarizes where the Cowboy are at the moment.
This tight end class is just OK — I included only two at the very end of my recent two-round mock — but McBride will be able to make an instant impact as a pass-catcher. He had the most catches (90) and yards (1,121) of any tight end in the country last season, playing in-line, in the slot and out wide.
Really, you have to trust the tape with McBride; his workouts won’t wow you, and he’s not the most physically imposing player. But in a game, he has the ability to catch nine passes, go for over 100 yards and burn your safety a few times.
Projection: McBride will likely land in Round 2, potentially to a contender in the back half, which means he could be playing in meaningful late-season games as a rookie.
The Cowboys are a contending team sitting at the back of the draft. They obviously do not have a massive need for a tight end right now, but there is no question that McBride would see significant usage in their offense.
McBride is the grinder sort of tight end that the Cowboys have loved ever since they landed Jason Witten almost 20 years ago (how has it been that long?!). His game matches what Dallas loves at the position.
In such a deep tight end class, but one lacking top end talent, Trey McBride ended up grading out as TE1 for me. While he may not have the sex appeal that a guy like Kyle Pitts had coming out in 2021, McBride is a do-it-all tight end that will fit in strongly with teams who run a good amount of 12-personnel. McBride lacks the one elite trait to really stand out as a elite tight end prospect, but he’s super clean, safe, and very efficient in the way he plays. Any team needing to add quality tight end depth to their roster, while hoping to land a solid TE1 in the NFL should really love what Trey McBride has to offer.
The Cowboys have a lot of needs so spending a second-round pick on a tight end is a tough-ish sort of pill to swallow. But if they want someone of McBride’s caliber that is what they are going to have to do.
Would you spend 56 on Trey McBride?
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