This was not meant to be a very good year for tight ends in the draft, and the results pretty much shook out as such. No tight ends were taken in the first round and the top player at that position taken was Cole Kmet at 43rd to the Chicago Bears, a team teeming with TEs.
In fact, Kmet was the only tight end drafted in the top 90 as the next one off the board wasn’t until Devin Asiasi to the New England Patriots at 91. It was at that point that the draft really started for tight ends who seemed to have an above-average shot of catching on with a team, which ended with the LA Rams selecting Brycen Hopkins at pick 136.
That 46-player span is where eight tight ends came off the board:
- 91. Devin Asiasi, NE
- 94. Josiah Deguara, GB
- 101. Dalton Keene, NE
- 105. Adam Trautman, NO
- 115. Harrison Bryant, CLE
- 118. Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN
- 133. Colby Parkinson, SEA
- 136. Brycen Hopkins, LAR
It will be interesting to see which of these eight tight ends is still in the NFL in five years, and the Rams were certainly taking a risk that they wouldn’t end up with any of them.
After they selected Terrell Lewis at 84, LA ended up passing an opportunity for Asiasi, Deguara, and Keene. At 104, they selected Terrell Burgess one pick ahead of Trautman, but they’d also not be on the board again until 126. Off the board before then were also Bryant and Okwuegbunam. Of course, not all tight ends are equal and not all of these tight ends would fit Sean McVay’s needs.
In fact, it could be that because LA’s need for tight end is not that great, the only target they had was Hopkins. But that nearly didn’t happen either.
The Rams were back on the clock at 126 with Parkinson and Hopkins still available (plus many other players that fans would want over a tight end) but opted to trade down with the Houston Texans so that they could add two sevenths. The deal moved that back 10 spots, one of which was used to take Parkinson. Had they not taken Hopkins there, where would they have even drafted a tight end?
The next one off the board wasn’t until the San Francisco 49ers chose Charlie Woerner with the 190th pick. Not a single one was drafted in round five.
It’s been an interesting year for the position which is why I wanted to highlight LA ending a run on tight ends there in the fourth round. They nearly didn’t get Hopkins and we’ll find out in a few years what kind of lucky that really was.