Which tight ends were drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft, which teams selected those TEs, and how does the 2022 class compare to previous years?
Which Tight Ends Were Drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft?
Let’s take a look at the tight ends drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. We had to wait until the middle of the second round to see any tight ends selected, and even then, things did not pick up dramatically until later in the draft.
Trey McBride, Colorado State | Arizona Cardinals
Round 2, Pick 55
Trey McBride was the clear TE1 of the 2022 class, coming off a season in which he had 1,121 receiving yards in the Colorado State offense. However, he was drafted more for the future or as an insurance plan, as Arizona had Zack Ertz on the roster, who is, when healthy, one of the better matchup TEs in the league.
Arizona cashed in their insurance policy after Ertz suffered a torn ACL and MCL late in the season. From Week 10 on, McBride averaged an 85% snap share. After never running more than ten routes in a single game over the first nine weeks, McBride averaged 28.75 routes run over the team’s final eight games, finishing his rookie season with 29 receptions on 39 targets for 265 yards and one touchdown.
Jelani Woods, Virginia | Indianapolis Colts
Round 3, Pick 73
Jelani Woods dramatically enhanced his stock in the lead-up to the draft with some good athletic testing. While not the most polished overall, his athleticism is off the charts, and Indianapolis utilized the former Virginia product as a pass-catching weapon.
Woods saw just a 33% snap share and a 7.7% target share, but the 6’7”, 252-pound TE with absurd 4.61 speed flashed at moments, including a two-TD game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 and an eight-catch, 98-yard game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12.
Stuck in a rotation with Mo Alie-Cox and Kylen Granson, Woods saw inconsistent usage, never reaching a 40% snap share from Weeks 1-9. He did see a spike up to 64% in Week 12 but is someone who will see more consistent usage in 2023.
Greg Dulcich, UCLA | Denver Broncos
Round 3, Pick 80
Greg Dulcich proved to be a nice weapon for the UCLA offense in his final two seasons. Those two years saw him put up a total of 1,242 receiving yards and ten receiving touchdowns. A hamstring injury cost Dulcich the first five weeks of his rookie season, but it didn’t take long for him to make an impact once he got on the field. His second career reception went for a 39-yard touchdown, and he finished the season with a 33-411-2 line in 10 games.
He was a consistent matchup nightmare for a Broncos offense desperately looking for a spark. It took Dulcich all of two weeks to see his first 80% snap share and become Denver’s starting tight end. Dulcich averaged 5.5 targets per game and drew eight or more targets in four of his ten games while drawing a staggeringly high 17.2% target share and stretching the field with the third-highest average depth of target at 10.3 yards.
Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State | New York Jets
Round 3, Pick 101
Jeremy Ruckert‘s numbers were somewhat underwhelming in college because, at Ohio State, why would you throw to the TE when you have a combination of Garrett Wilson, Jaxson-Smith Njigba, Chris Olave, Marvin Harrison Jr., Julian Fleming, and Emeka Egbuka to target? What a ridiculous collection of talent.
Playing behind C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Conklin in New York, Ruckert saw minimal action, playing on 8% of the snaps while drawing 0.7% of the targets (2) for one reception and eight yards. Ruckert appeared in nine games but spent most of his time on special teams, playing on 41% of special teams snaps.
5) Cade Otton, Washington
Round 4, Pick 106 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6) Daniel Bellinger, San Diego State
Round 4, Pick 112 | New York Giants
7) Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
Round 4, Pick 128 | Baltimore Ravens
8) Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin
Round 4, Pick 129 | Dallas Cowboys
9) Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
Round 4, Pick 139 | Baltimore Ravens
10) Chigoziem Okonkwo, Maryland
Round 4, Pick 143 | Tennessee Titans
11) Cole Turner, Nevada
Round 5, Pick 149 | Washington Commanders
12) Teagan Quitoriano, Oregon State
Round 5, Pick 170 | Houston Texans
13) James Mitchell, Virginia Tech
Round 5, Pick 177 | Detroit Lions
14) Andrew Ogletree, Youngstown State
Round 6, Pick 192 | Indianapolis Colts
15) Grant Calcaterra, SMU
Round 6, Pick 200 | Philadelphia Eagles
16) Connor Heyward, Michigan State
Round 6, Pick 208 | Pittsburgh Steelers
17) John Fitzpatrick, Georgia
Round 6, Pick 213 | Atlanta Falcons
18) Ko Kieft, Minnesota
Round 6, Pick 218 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers
19) Nick Muse, South Carolina
Round 7, Pick 227 | Minnesota Vikings
How Many Tight Ends Were Drafted in 2022?
With 19 tight ends selected during the 2022 NFL Draft, that number ties the record from the last decade (2015). Much like the 2022 TE draft class, the 2015 group didn’t have a first-round selection and saw 15 tight ends drafted on Day 3.
The 2022 NFL Draft was the second time in the past six years that no tight end was drafted in the first round. Additionally, four tight ends being drafted through the first two days is the fewest since 2016, when just three were selected through the first three rounds.
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