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Cowboys draft 2023 scouting report: Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave

The Cowboys need explosive playmakers, and Luke Musgrave fits the bill.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 18 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl - Oregon State v Utah State Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Cowboys draft prospects scouting reports for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Name: Luke Musgrave
Position: TE
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 253 pounds

Luke Musgrave Career Stats, courtesy of Sports Reference

Combine Results: 4.61 40-yard dash, 36” vertical, 10’5” broad jump

Luke Musgrave has had a ton of hype around him for a very long time, but has had little opportunity to deliver. His father played quarterback for the Oregon Ducks back in the day, as did his uncle; that same uncle, Bill Musgrave, has been coaching since 1997 with five different stops as an NFL offensive coordinator.

So when Luke Musgrave committed to Oregon State, it was considered a coup for the Beavers. Musgrave saw limited action as a freshman, but stepped up into the top tight end role for the 2020 season. Due to COVID-19, that season was shortened and thus prevented Musgrave from really breaking out. He started to do so the next year, although he was unable to play the full season.

He entered the 2022 season with sky-high expectations, and was following through to start the year. He hit 89 yards and 80 yards in each of his first two games, averaging a ridiculous 15.4 yards per catch, but a knee injury suffered in that second game ended his season right there. All in all, that gives us a very, very limited sample size with which to judge Musgrave, and makes his projection very difficult. But what we have seen is very, very tempting.

Receiving Ability: Musgrave offers a lot of potential as a receiving threat. Oregon State split him pretty equally in terms of alignment, and he was able to produce adequately from every alignment he was given.

Hands: Musgrave has really soft hands, which is no surprise considering he played receiver in high school. He has a great understanding of how to use his exceptional size to be aggressive at the catch point, and he is adept at making contested catches.

Route Running: He’s not the most refined route runner, but Musgrave is definitely above average for a tight end. With his athleticism, though, there is clear room for improvement. Still, Musgrave ran a pretty advanced route tree at Oregon State and seemed to succeed in every facet of his route running.

Blocking: He isn’t a very capable or willing blocker. He struggles to get good leverage and plays with his pads way too high. With his size, Musgrave can succeed as a “get in your way” type of blocker, but he’s clearly at his best when going out to run routes and should not be relied on as a blocker much at all.

Athleticism: Musgrave is an elite athlete, and he proved as much at the combine. He didn’t partake in the agility testing, but all of his other results were all in the 90th percentile among his position group, with his 10-yard split placing in the 95th percentile. Musgrave is a physical freak, and it shows up on film too. That he tested this well after the knee injury is a positive sign he hasn’t lost his elite athleticism.

Size: Musgrave has great size for the position at 6’6” and over 250 pounds. He has a similar frame to both Dalton Schultz and Travis Kelce, but is significantly more athletic than either of them, which is why he’s likely to be drafted well before either of those players.

Intangibles: The elephant in the room with Musgrave is his sample size. He checks a lot of boxes - NFL bloodlines, elite athleticism, great size - but there’s very little in the way of actual film on him. The team that drafts Musgrave is making a total guess as to what he’ll become, but he certainly has a lot of great building blocks. Still, Musgrave might not be a lock as a first-round pick, but shouldn’t last very long if he does reach the second round.

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