The 2022 NFL Draft class contains a multitude of impressive tight end talents. UCLA’s Greg Dulcich has received national attention as a potential TE1. Coastal Carolina’s Isaiah Likely is an impressive pass catcher with improved blocking ability. Virginia’s Jelani Woods has emerged late in the process. Ohio State star Jeremy Ruckert is another name to know.
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 6’3 1/8″ and 249 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. He answered one question — level of competition — with an impressive performance against the best of the best at the Senior Bowl.
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.