In a fiercely competitive 2022 NFL Draft tight end class, Colorado State’s Trey McBride has the potential to be the best of the bunch. A productive pass catcher who punishes his opponents as a blocker, he was honored as the best tight end in the nation following an incredible senior season. Production doesn’t always translate to the NFL, but McBride’s scouting report showcases a sensational skill set that will leave scouts salivating.
Trey McBride NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Tight end
- School: Colorado State
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 260 pounds
Trey McBride Scouting Report
The 2022 NFL Draft class contains a multitude of impressive tight end talents. Texas A&M’s Jalen Wydermyer was an early TE1 for many, including myself. Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely has been rising up draft boards, and Nevada’s Cole Turner, among others, can stake a case to hear their name called sooner rather than later in April.
So, where does Colorado State tight end McBride sit among this myriad of talent? As his scouting report reveals, he might be sat right at the very top. McBride possesses all the attributes to be a genuine difference-maker at the next level.
At 6’4″ and 260 pounds, he’s noticeably well put together. Having arrived in Fort Collins at 240 pounds, he’s put on decent mass without any depreciation of his athletic capability. While some of his tight end contemporaries appear a little skinnier, McBride looks the part of an NFL tight end.
That frame enables him to play the game with the incredible physicality that is the hallmark of McBride’s game. While his receiving capability receives a lot of attention, his physicality is actually best demonstrated as a blocker. There may not be a better blocking TE in this 2022 NFL Draft class than McBride.
Physicality, intelligence, and a three-level threat
McBride plays this role with a nasty and physical demeanor. While some tight ends accept contact, he instigates and embraces it. He seems to love nothing more than going into battle in the trenches. This is perhaps a result of his early exposure to wrestling and high school experience of playing on the defensive side of the ball.
However, he isn’t just physically capable as a blocker. McBride is technically astute as well. He plays the role with low pad level, incredible grip strength, and impressive leg drive. The Colorado State TE also showcases active hands and feet, enabling him to mirror his opponent. He’s routinely able to lock out his opponent, and there were many reps in the games studied where he drove his man to the ground.
He’s also adept at carrying out blocking assignments at the second and third levels. This showcases not only a degree of athletic ability but also football intelligence. McBride routinely plays with his head on a swivel, looking to pick up extra work.
As a receiver, McBride poses an after-the-catch threat. While he possesses the ball-tracking ability and catch-point combativeness to be impactful, it’s his ability to create yardage after the catch that is truly impressive. He acts like a bulldozer with the ball in his hands. McBride routinely lowers his shoulder to instigate contact, and his thickness of frame allows him to absorb tackles and keep on plowing on.
McBride has the potential to be the TE1 of the 2022 NFL Draft class
The Rams star can act as a three-level threat with above-average speed as a seam threat and decent route-running ability. In the middle of the field, his physicality and impressive hand strength make him a reliable target. He is adept at plucking the ball out of the sky in stride in these situations.
In summation, McBride possesses all the attributes and traits to be a successful starting tight end in the NFL. His next-level blocking ability should make him highly sought after come draft day. He’s incredibly versatile, having lined up in a multitude of alignments for Colorado State. As a result, it would be a surprise to see McBride last beyond Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft. There is genuine potential for him to be the first tight end off the board.
Areas for improvement
Having completed McBride’s scouting report, there are few areas for improvement. He possesses a lot of the requisite attributes and traits to be successful in the NFL. Furthermore, with the opportunity to prove himself against a higher caliber of competition at the Senior Bowl, he’s only likely to ascend in the class.
However, there are some areas for improvement. While he possesses excellent pass-catching ability, his route running is a work in progress. He doesn’t routinely run crisp routes, rounding off rather than moving with suddenness or twitchiness.
This is perhaps the product of a good rather than elite athletic profile. McBride has excellent straight-line ability, and he’s shown that he can use head fakes and physicality to create separation. Yet, he doesn’t possess elite change-of-direction ability.
As a blocker, there are some minor technical improvements he could make. There were several examples of him being manipulated with a push-pull move. Regardless, that is nit-picking for a player whose technical ability would actually embarrass some offensive linemen.
Trey McBride Player Profile
Colorado State hasn’t had a tight end selected in the NFL Draft since 2014. The program has produced just six players at the position that have headed to the NFL via the annual selection event. General convention suggests that making it to the NFL as a Colorado State tight end isn’t impossible, but it is unlikely and improbable.
On his path to the NFL Draft, McBride is used to defying convention. One of five siblings born to two mothers from four sperm donor biological fathers, the Colorado State tight end has been battling convention, prejudice, and preconception since arriving in Fort Morgan.
At a young age, Kate and Jennifer McBride introduced their sons to wrestling. They did so in an attempt to tire them out. However, it also bred fierce competitors in the sporting arena. While Trey would eventually star on the football field, he harnessed this competitive spirit and sporting excellence into all the major sporting arenas.
As a result, he still holds the Fort Morgan High School record for points on the basketball court. Furthermore, McBride owns the school record for home run hits in baseball. Despite the success on the hardwood and the diamond, he excelled on the football field. During his four-year playing career at Fort Morgan, he earned all-conference every single season.
Showcasing versatility at the high school level
Those honors included first-team Class 3A All-Conference as a junior and a senior, as well as team MVP in those seasons. A genuine all-around talent, McBride tallied 89 catches for 1,737 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. Meanwhile, he dominated on defense with 310 career tackles, 60 tackles for loss, 7 interceptions, and 6 blocked punts.
A three-star recruit, McBride held offers from California, Colorado, Kansas State, Navy, Wyoming, and Northern Colorado. Nevertheless, a combination of scheme, familiarity, and opportunity led him to commit to play tight end at Colorado State.
“I was lucky to have multiple schools looking,” McBride told the Fort Morgan Times. “But, the way CSU runs their offense with the tight end and Coach Bobo being an offensive coach is a good thing to be in. Knowing that I’ll have a chance to play right away is exciting. It’s also close to home, so I can see my family. Having Toby there will be great.”
McBride’s career at Colorado State
Elder brother Toby McBride was a defensive lineman at Colorado State, helping a smooth transition from Fort Morgan to Fort Collins. While some true freshmen struggle to find their feet early in their college careers, McBride was able to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact for the Rams.
During his freshman season in 2018, he appeared in 12 games and made five starts at TE for Colorado State. Although his numbers might not leap off the page — 7 receptions, 89 yards, 12.7 yards per catch — he introduced himself to the college football world with a 48-yard touchdown reception against Florida.
McBride’s production ramped up a gear during his second season for the Rams. He secured his first 100-yard game against Boise State and added a career-long 69-yard touchdown against Fresno State. On his way to first-team All-Mountain West honors, the Colorado State TE tallied 560 receiving yards on 45 receptions while totaling 4 TDs.
The scene was set for the ascending tight end prospect to make a run at the NFL Draft with another jump in his junior season. However, the global situation made for uncertain circumstances. With the Mountain West conference initially opting to cancel fall football in 2020, McBride made the difficult decision to enter the transfer portal. It was, however, short-lived.
Short-lived flirtation with the transfer portal
“After several days of reflection,” McBride posted on social media, “I have made a decision to follow my instincts and listen to my heart. My heart has always flowed with green and cold blood.”
He returned to Colorado State as a team captain for new head coach Steve Addazio. Although he was limited to four games of action, he tallied 22 receptions for 330 yards and 4 touchdowns. In doing so, he became the first Colorado State TE to lead the team in receiving yards. It was just a precursor for what would become a standout senior campaign.
Despite having the option to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, McBride returned to Colorado State for his senior season. In the season-opening loss to South Dakota State, he set career-highs with 13 receptions for 116 yards. Later in the season, he’d break his personal yardage record again with 135 yards on just 7 receptions against New Mexico.
Senior season sets up Mcbride for NFL stardom
2021 would prove to be a record-setting season for the Colorado State product. McBride became the first Rams tight end to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He was awarded the John Mackey Award as the best tight end in the nation, in addition to first-team All-Mountain West honors. Moreover, he became the first offensive player from Colorado State to be named a unanimous All-American.
With 86 receptions, 1,017 receiving yards, and six 100-yard receiving yard games during his final season, McBride now features in the program’s top 10 for all three statistical categories. He went out in style by equalling his career-high 69-yard touchdown on a fake punt play against Nevada.
With a Reese’s Senior Bowl invite in his grasp, McBride has the opportunity to wow scouts in Mobile. Yet, he already projects to be one of the best tight ends in the 2022 NFL Draft class. There are precious few better blockers, and his receiving ability isn’t too far behind. It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear McBride’s name called as the TE1 of the 2022 NFL Draft class.