Home Steelers DraftProspect Profiles SCB Steelers Draft Position Profiles 2023 – Tight Ends

SCB Steelers Draft Position Profiles 2023 – Tight Ends

by Steeldad

Welcome to our Steelers Draft Profiles. What we’ve done is create lists of top prospects with our take on their abilities based on what we’ve seen of them. Once published, we will continue to update these very articles on a regular basis as new information comes in about the players. In today’s article, we feature the tight ends.

Michael Mayer – JR. – Notre Dame – 6’4″ 250lbs

When you look up ‘tight end’ in the dictionary, his picture is likely to be there… Terrific hands… Has no problem catching balls in heavy traffic… Has a variety of ‘run after catch’ moves to avoid tacklers… One of the better in-line blocking tight ends you’ll see entering a Draft… Doesn’t possess ‘great’ athleticism or breakaway speed… Probably more of a possession catch type of player… Route-running is well above average but can be improved in some areas…

Sam LaPorta -SR. – Iowa – 6’4″ 245lbs

Another solid tight end coming out of Iowa… Former wide receiver and cornerback who uses that athleticism to his advantage… Catches the ball well with his hands… More than a willing blocker but more work to stay on blocks longer… Hard to really gauge his overall ability as a receiver due to poor QB play with the Hawkeyes… Runs good routes and provides his QB with an ample target…

Darnell Washington – JR. – Georgia – 6’7″ 268lbs

Few are as imposing as Washington who was a top-billed star coming out of high school… Despite losing ‘starter status’ to Brock Bowers, he was heavily involved in the offense for the Bulldogs as they favored two-tight end sets… Can easily spread out wide and run routes like a receiver… Route running needs work… Could be a better blocker than he is a receiver… Dominates the man across from him with both length and power… Likely a matchup nightmare over the middle… I view him as most dangerous off of play-action.

Cameron Latu – RS SR. – Alabama – 6’5″ 245lbs

Bright young man who plays with a football smarts… Not overly athletic… Isn’t going to ‘wow’ anyone with speed… Best role is likely as that go-to guy coveted by quarterbacks under pressure… Very solid and competitive blocker… Showed versatility by playing in-line and out wide along numerous formations for the Crimson Tide… More than likely a high end number two tight end early in his career.

Josh Whyle – SR. – Cincinnati – 6’6″ 245lbs

Very athletic young man here… Had offers from many premier programs yet chose the Bearcats… Blocking is decent but there is plenty of room for improvement… Has the ability to align wide and is a threat due to height and range… Runs above average routes… Catches the ball with his hands and is clean when doing so… Productivity fell off a bit in 2022 but I put much of that on the loss of QB Desmond Ridder… Added quite a bit of weight in the last year as well.

Payne Durham – SR. – Purdue – 6’5″ 255lbs

The former Boilermaker had a terrific showing at the Senior Bowl… He has prototypical tight end size… I wouldn’t call him overly athletic but he’s capable of making plays… Has a background in lacrosse… Willing to mix it up while blocking… Catches the ball well… Should start out as a number two tight end and would be sufficient to be a spot starter…

Luke Schoonmaker – JR. – Michigan – 6’6″ 250lbs

Schoonmaker benefited from the injury to starting TE Erick All at Michigan and immediately took advantage… Really good off of play-action… Finds holes in coverages very well… His blocking is very good which should lead him to immediate playing time in the NFL… More athletic than you think/capable of ‘run after catch’…

Dalton Kincaid – SR. – Utah – 6’4″ 240lbs

Will need to add some weight and strength for the NFL… Could be the best pure pass catcher of the tight end group… Catches the ball well with his hands… Not a ‘great’ blocker but the all-important willingness is there… Was primarily a basketball player before making the switch in 2017… Hoops background shows in ability to go up and get the ball…

Tucker Kraft – SR. – South Dakota St. – 6’5″ 255lbs

Level of competition will raise questions about his overall ability in the NFL… Pretty solid blocker… Surprising ‘run after catch’ ability that pops on film… Will find extra yards any way he can… Missed five games with an ankle injury in 2022… Has position versatility meaning he lines upĀ  all over the formation… ‘Country strong’ as they say… Strikes me as more of a short to mid-range threat rather than deep…

Luke Musgrave – SR. – Oregon State – 6’6″ 250lbs

Really good speed for his size/is expected to test well throughout the pre-Draft process… Not a great man-up blocker but positions himself well to gain an advantage… He had just 13 starts in college which can be viewed as ‘Not enough experience’ or ‘he’s got huge upside’…

Jahleel Billingsley – SR. – Texas – 6’4″ 220lbs

Once thought to be one of the premier tight ends in the country at Alabama, Billingsley missed a lot of time due to team rules violations and not seeing eye to eye with Nick Saban… Very much a flex TE who does his best work when he can get into open areas on the field… Probably the least impressive blocker of the group… Struggles to catch the ball consistently in traffic… Seems destined to be more of a wide receiver at the NFL level.


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