The 2022 NFL Draft is here, and former Colorado State tight end Trey McBride could be a wanted man. The 2021 All-American selection is widely expected to be selected within the first two rounds after a stellar final season with the Rams.
Most big boards ranked McBride, a two-time first-team All-Mountain West selection, as the 2022 NFL Draft’s top tight end prospect. The reigning John Mackey Award winner (best tight end) totaled 90 catches for 1,121 yards last season and left Fort Collins as one of the most prolific receiving weapons in school history.
So, which teams should select McBride in the upcoming draft? For this list, we weighed everything from the current receiver situation to the overall fit. Also, teams are ranked alphabetically over preference.
Finally, although we did reference the possibility of teams moving in the draft, we did not create detailed trade packages involving other organizations.
Based on consideration of the aforementioned prerequisites, we believe the following teams should target McBride this weekend.
Although I personally suggested the Bengals use the 31st overall pick on McBride, I could easily see a scenario where the defending AFC champions prioritize defense on Thursday night. Then, Cincinnati could opt to select a tight end later in the draft. With that said, the 6-foot-4, 246-pound Colorado native has the size and physical traits to thrive in the Bengals’ prolific offense, and he’s absolutely worth considering late in the first round.
Cincinnati signed veteran tight end Hayden Hurst on a one-year deal this offseason, and CJ Uzomah joined the New York Jets. The Bengals need a long-term option at tight end, and McBride should check every box.
New York Giants
I felt compelled to include the Jets here even after signing Uzomah and former Minnesota Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin in free agency. However, the presence of both players creates the impression that if Gang Green adds a tight end, it won’t be until the draft’s third and final day.
The crosstown Giants, who own the 36th overall pick, might not want to wait as long.
New York cut Kyle Rudolph earlier this offseason, and 2017 first-round pick Evan Engram signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The four-time Super Bowl champions desperately need offensive playmakers, and McBride is a prospect who has the potential and skillset to start in Week 1. New Giants head coach Brian Daboll heavily emphasized tight ends during his four seasons as the Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator, and he’d be wise to do the same if Big Blue adds the Colorado State standout.
Are we saying that McBride will become the next Dawson Knox? Not necessarily, but one would think Daboll would love to see such an outcome occur in the coming years.
Los Angeles Chargers
If the Chargers want McBride and aren’t interested in selecting him 17th overall, they’ll likely need to trade up; the Bolts’ only Day 2 selection is at No. 79, and the former Colorado State star will probably be off the board by then.
This one is simple enough. Although the Chargers already have an established franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert, they could still use a young, explosive tight end to partner with the 2021 Pro Bowl selection. Perhaps a team is interested in adding two of the Chargers’ four seventh-round picks in a possible draft night trade this weekend.
Yes, the Chargers have four seventh-round picks. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins are slated to enter the draft with four total selections.
Washington has an opportunity (well, technically speaking, they have six opportunities) to upgrade its offense this weekend. Although converted quarterback Logan Thomas is slated to return for the 2022 season, he turns 31 on July 1 and could be a cap cut next offseason.
Washington owns the 47th overall pick, which is roughly around the range McBride is projected to be selected in most mock drafts. However, any potential marriage between McBride and the Commanders might depend on what Washington does at No. 11. Should the Commanders pass on a receiver in the second round if they select a defensive player (LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., perhaps?) on Thursday night?
Then again, we’re talking about Washington here. They’ll find a way to ruin things Thursday night either way.