Three Tight End Prospects From the Senior Bowl Who Zero Tight End Fantasy Drafters Should Target
Luke Musgrave and these two other incoming rookies could make an impact their first year.
The National team, quarterbacked by Fresno State’s Jake Haener, defeated the American team, led by DII Shepherd University’s Tyson Bagent, 27-10 in the Senior Bowl.
The annual post-season all-star game has become a week-long event attracting NFL coaches and scouts to Mobile, Alabama. The three days of practice leading up to the game are now a more significant event than the game itself, as on-the-bubble NFL talent showcase their skills in one-on-one and seven-on-seven drills.
It’s branded as the place where the NFL Draft season kicks off. Let’s kick off the 2023 fantasy football rookie scouting season.
Most of the players at the Senior Bowl are going to be drafted, but many of them are second-day picks. Clear first-round picks are not taking the time and risking a bad showing. Top quarterbacks skipped, so instead there are signal callers from smaller schools like Max Duggan of TCU and Clayton Tune of Houston.
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In terms of talent that might be fantasy-ready in 2023, I am interested in some of the tight ends. The 2022 tight end class produced a wealth of waiver wire adds for redraft leagues and zero TE targets, and the 2023 class is regarded by analysts as even deeper. In particular, I am excited about what I saw from Luke Musgrave, Will Mallory, and Josh Whyle at the Senior Bowl.
Malory led all tight ends in receiving with five catches for 46 yards. Musgrave made two catches for 13 yards and shined in the practices. Whyle put his freak size (6’6, 260 pounds) on display with some big hits and body extensions.
Are rookie tight ends valuable commodities in fantasy football? In 2022, five rookie tight ends gained over 300 yards, and three scored over 90 PPR points. That’s good production for waiver wire adds. By the second half of the season, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Isaiah Likely, Cade Otton, and Greg Dulcich were making occasional top-five finishes at the position. I will include some data on tight end value in each round for premium subscribers in my full article.
First, for all subscribers, here is some information on the best tight end prospect we saw at the best prospect tight ends Senior Bowl.
PFF Rank: TE2, Overall 31
Projected Draft Round: Late first, early second
Musgrave is a beast at 6’6 and 250 pounds, but he runs like a wide receiver. Actually, he runs faster than some wide receivers. At the Senior Bowl, he was tracked at 20.05 miles per hour, the eighth-fastest player of all. He ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash last offseason, which is faster than any tight end at the 2022 Combine. (Chigoziem Okonkwo ran a 4.52, and he led all tight ends in fantasy scoring. Kyle Pitts ran a 4.44 at his pro day.)
Unfortunately, Musgrave didn’t get much of a chance to show off his skills in college because he dislocated his knee in the second game of his senior season, his first year as the TE1 in a run-heavy OSU offense. He caught five or more passes for 80+ yards in each of his two games as a senior. Watch him beat Boise State’s JL Skinner, who is considered a top-five safety prospect, over the middle for a first down.
Musgrave has lined up in the slot or wide in over 50% of his snaps every season of his college career. He struggles somewhat at blocking, but that doesn’t matter too much for fantasy football.
Full article available to premium subscribers.
PFF Rank: TE9, Overall 184
Projected Draft Round: 4th or 5th round
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