There’s a lot of disagreement as to which tight end prospect is the best at his position in the 2022 NFL Draft. But it’s Colorado State’s Trey McBride who took home the John Mackey trophy as the top tight end in the country for the 2021 season.
McBride doesn’t quite have ideal size, but he is a stout and athletic tight end who brings upside as a blocker and receiver. And while he only had one touchdown in 2021, he was a focal point for the Colorado State offense, reeling in 90 receptions and 1,121 yards.
The New York Giants could certainly use a true “number one” tight end who can be a receiver or blocker in 11-personnel packages. There’s little question that McBride could fill that role for them, but there might be a question of when the value is right.
Prospect: Trey McBride (80)
Games Watched: vs. Vanderbilt (2021), vs. Toledo (2021), vs. San Jose State (2021), vs. Utah State (2021)
Games Played: 40
Yards (YPC): 2,100 (12.8 per catch)
Games Played: 12
Yards (YPC): 1,121 (12.5 per catch)
Best: Blocking, receiving, athleticism, play strength, versatility, competitive toughness
Worst: Hand placement, consistency
Projection: A starting tight end or H-Back with scheme versatility.
Colorado State’s Trey McBride is an undersized but athletic, well-rounded, and versatile tight end prospect.
McBride has a compact, powerful frame at 6-foot 3 ½ inches, 246 pounds. His 32 ½ inch arms give him adequate length despite being slightly shorter than average, while his 10-inch hands are powerful and make him a reliable catcher of the football. McBride is a versatile player who lined up all over the Colorado State offensive formation. He routinely lined up a “Y” tight end, H-Back, slot receiver, and wide receiver and executed as both a receiver and blocker from each alignment.
He is a reliable blocker who plays with good leverage, play strength, and great competitive toughness. McBride has good lateral mobility to mirror blitzers off the edge as a pass protector, as well as a solid anchor when necessary. He plays with good leverage as a run blocker, keeping low hips and pads to allow him to get underneath defenders’ pads. McBride is a very tough blocker who strains to sustain his blocks through the whistle and looks for work when he doesn’t have anyone to block.
McBride was used both as an in-line blocker, where his play strength allowed him to engage EDGE defenders and linebackers, and in space as a blocker on screen plays.
McBride was also one of Colorado State’s primary receiving weapons. He is an athletic tight end who presents a tough match-up for defensive backs and linebackers alike. McBride is a good, efficient route runner who understands his role in the offense and individual route concepts. He executes his routes with good precision, particularly on quick timing passes. He has enough athleticism to create separation with his routes and is able to find voids in coverage downfield. Likewise, he’s also able to use his routes to draw coverage away from his teammates and create opportunities for them. McBride does a good job of locating and tracking the ball downfield, and is a reliable “hands” catcher. He also shows good body control to contort and haul in tough catches or to haul in passes down the sideline while staying inbounds.
While McBride is a good, reliable blocker, he will need to improve his hand usage and consistency at the NFL level. Too often he “catches” defenders as opposed to firing his hands to initiate contact. He also needs to get more accurate in his hand placement. McBride has a tendency to let his hands drift outside defenders’ framework. That makes it more difficult for him to control defenders and will also open him up to holding calls at the next level.
Overall Grade: 7.9
Colorado State tight end Trey McBride projects as a starting tight end with scheme diversity at the NFL level.
McBride can play a traditional tight end role by lining up in-line with his hand on the ground (or play out of a two-point stance), however he has a diverse skill set. He will be best utilized by an offense that’s willing and able to move him around the offensive formation. Not only can McBride be an effective lead or pulling blocker, but he has the athleticism to block screen plays on the perimeter as well.
He is also a good receiver who should be looked at as an offensive weapon and not just a safety blanket for his quarterback. McBride runs a diverse route tree, and runs it well, which should allow him to attack the defense from any alignment. Teams should make use of that to stress the defense from a variety of angles. Likewise, his ability to play traditional tight end, H-back, and receiver roles will allow an offense to simulate a variety of personnel groupings without actually substituting.
Some teams might be concerned about his less than prototypical build, but he packs plenty of power in his 246-pound frame. And while that frame is likely maxed out from a size perspective, he still has room for growth as a technician. McBride is already a good blocker, but he could become a great blocker with better hand usage.
McBride might not have the highest ceiling out of this year’s tight end class but he likely has the highest floor and might be the safest pick.