Tight Ends Drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft

Which tight ends were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, and just how good did this class perform as rookies?

Which tight ends were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft? Which teams drafted those TEs, and how does the 2023 class compare to previous years?

Which Tight Ends Were Drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Let’s take a look at the tight ends drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Dalton Kincaid, Utah | Buffalo Bills

Round 1, Pick 25

It was a slow start for Dalton Kincaid as a rookie, but he displayed quite a high ceiling. Despite splitting time with Dawson Knox, Kincaid managed to catch 73 passes for 673 yards and two touchdowns.

Kincaid posted an 80% catch rate and had three games with over 80 receiving yards. With the Bills trading away Stefon Diggs and letting Gabe Davis walk, Kincaid should be in for a much bigger role as a sophomore.

Sam LaPorta, Iowa | Detroit Lions

Round 2, Pick 34

The Lions couldn’t have smashed this selection any harder. Devoid of a secondary option in the passing game behind Amon-Ra St. Brown, they found their answer in TE Sam LaPorta.

Iowa has a lengthy history of producing quality NFL tight ends, including George Kittle and former Lions TE T.J. Hockenson. If his rookie year is any indication, LaPorta will be better than both.

All LaPorta did was catch 86 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns. It was arguably the greatest season by a rookie tight end in NFL history. LaPorta finished third in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting, made second-team All-Pro, and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame | Las Vegas Raiders

Round 2, Pick 35

The first two tight ends selected were major hits. As for the third…not so much.

Michael Mayer quickly became a near-every-down player for the Raiders, but his production severely lacked. Mayer played 14 games but caught just 27 of 40 targets for 302 yards and two touchdowns.

Juxtaposed against LaPorta and Kincaid, Mayer looks like a bust. Fortunately, LaPorta and Kincaid are the exceptions, not the rule. Plenty of great tight ends started their careers off slowly. There is very much still hope for Mayer.

Luke Musgrave, Oregon State | Green Bay Packers

Round 2, Pick 42

Luke Musgrave caught just 47 passes in 20 college games, but that didn’t stop the Packers from selecting him in the first half of Round 2.

As a rookie, Musgrave had moments where he looked like he was going to fully break out. Unfortunately, each time, his potential ascent was derailed by injuries.

Musgrave played just 11 games, but he still caught 34 passes for 352 yards. That’s not too shabby. The talent is there, but it remains to be seen if Musgrave can fend off Tucker Kraft for the Packers’ TE1 role.

Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan | Dallas Cowboys

Round 2, Pick 58

Shortly after parting ways with Dalton Schultz, the Cowboys sought to draft his replacement. However, it was 2022 fourth-rounder Jake Ferguson, not Luke Schoonmaker, who was the Cowboys’ top TE in 2023.

Schoonmaker played just 28% of the snaps last season, catching eight passes for 65 yards. We’ve certainly seen slow-developing tight ends before, but Schoonmaker didn’t show anything to suggest he is the Cowboys’ long-term answer at the position.

Brenton Strange, Penn State | Jacksonville Jaguars

Round 2, Pick 61

The Jaguars are certainly quite satisfied with Evan Engram as their starting TE. As long as he’s around, it’s going to be difficult for Brenton Strange to make any headway.

KEEP READING: Wide Receivers Drafted In 2023 NFL Draft

Last year, Strange appeared in 14 games and caught a mere five passes for 35 yards and one touchdown. He just wasn’t a big part of the offense. There’s still time for him to develop, but with Engram back, the likelihood of Strange emerging this year is low.

Round 3-7

7) Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State
R3-P78 | Green Bay Packers

8) Darnell Washington, Georgia
R3-P93 | Pittsburgh Steelers

9) Cameron Latu, Alabama
R3-P101 | San Francisco 49ers

10) Josh Whyle, Cincinnati
R5-P147 | Tennessee Titans

11) Will Mallory, Miami (FL)
R5-P162 | Indianapolis Colts

12) Payne Durham, Purdue
R5-P171 | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

13) Davis Allen, Clemson
R5-P175 | Los Angeles Rams

14) Zack Kuntz, Old Dominion
R7-P220 | New York Jets

15) Brayden Willis, Oklahoma
R7-P247 | San Francisco 49ers

How Many Tight Ends Were Drafted in 2023?

The 15 tight ends drafted in 2023 are slightly above average based on recent draft history. For example, in the 10 drafts from 2013 to 2022, an average of 14.3 TEs were selected. But surprisingly (or perhaps not that surprisingly, given the talent level), six were drafted in the first two rounds this year — more than in any draft since before 2013.

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