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Packers 2022 Roster Preview: Tight finish room has tons of versatility however little overlap

The Inexperienced Bay Packers‘tight finish room feels a bit just like the Island of Misfit Toys. They’ve certainly one of every little thing, which may make the potential lack of anybody element of the unit a much bigger deal than it in any other case could be.

Inexperienced Bay has its huge blocking tight finish in Marcedes Lewis, its off-the-line receiving risk in Robert Tonyan, and its wing participant who additionally strains up at fullback in Josiah Deguara. However these skillsets overlap solely a lot, and the Packers don’t have high quality, established backups at any of these spots.

Maybe that’s the reason the group as an entire struggled to place forth any main contributions on the stat sheet final season after Tonyan was misplaced for the yr with an ACL torn in week 8. Then once more, even when he was wholesome, his manufacturing was down considerably from a 2020 season that noticed him catch practically 90 % of his targets – an unsustainable quantity, to make sure, however not one the place easy regression could be accountable for his exceptional dip in 2021.

Possibly the Packers have one thing in Tyler Davis as an in-line participant who may help fill in for Lewis, however to say he’s unproven is an understatement. In the meantime, Tonyan’s personal availability for the beginning of the season is in query. Will the Packers discover a contributor on this group of intriguing however inexperienced gamers down the depth chart? That query will begin to be answered when coaching camp begins in 13 days.

Marcedes Lewis

How acquired: Unrestricted free agent signing in 2018
NFL expertise: seventeenth yr
2021 stats: 17 video games; 23 receptions on 28 targets, 214 yards (9.3 yards per reception)

The venerable veteran returns in 2022 for an additional run at a hoop, coming again to Inexperienced Bay for a fifth season after 12 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Nonetheless the one first-round draft decide to ever catch a landing go from Aaron Rodgers (for now, pending Sammy Watkins ’contributions this fall), Lewis stays an elite blocker and a de facto sixth offensive lineman who will sometimes leak out on a street . 2021 was by Lewis ’greatest receiving season since arriving in Inexperienced Bay by a good margin, although the harm to Tonyan led to a couple extra targets than standard.

Robert Tonyan

How acquired: Signed to apply squad as a avenue free agent in 2017
NFL expertise: fifth yr
2021 stats: 8 video games; 18 receptions on 29 targets, 204 yards (11.3 yards per reception), 2 touchdowns

Tonyan had the worst potential timing for an ACL torn – in the midst of a considerably lackluster follow-up marketing campaign to his breakout 2020 and simply earlier than he was set to turn out to be an unrestricted free agent. It was a little bit of a shock to see the Packers welcome him again on a one-year deal so rapidly after free company opened up, however nearly half of his $ 3.75 million in potential compensation comes within the type of per-game roster bonuses to mitigate prices in case he struggles to return to the sector.

Some indicators from this summer time level to him being prepared to start out working in coaching camp, however that may stay to be seen. And when he does come again, the most important query shall be whether or not he can recapture the extent of play that netted him 11 touchdowns and practically 600 yards in his huge 2020 season because the staff’s major receiving choice at this place.

Tyler Davis

How acquired: Signed off Indianapolis Colts‘apply squad throughout 2021 season
NFL expertise: third yr
2021 stats: 14 video games; 4 receptions on 5 targets, 35 yards (8.8 yards per reception)

A sneaky breakout candidate on this roster is Davis, whom the Packers plucked off the Colts’ apply squad late final September. He would find yourself enjoying over half of the staff’s particular groups snaps in 2021 whereas pitching in a bit right here and there as a receiving choice. It has been feedback about Davis from the entrance workplace and training workers this offseason which have drawn some extra eyeballs to him, nonetheless, with each GM Brian Gutekunst and new particular groups coordinator Wealthy Bisaccia mentioning him as a possible key participant on the roster.

Josiah Deguara

How acquired: 2020 NFL Draft (third spherical, # 94 general)
NFL expertise: third yr
2021 stats: 16 video games; 25 receptions on 33 targets, 245 yards (9.8 yards per reception), 2 touchdowns

After a rookie season misplaced to an ACL torn, Deguara settled right into a stable position because the Packers ’major transfer tight finish after Tonyan was misplaced to harm in week 8. From that recreation via the top of the season, Deguara had both two or three receptions in each recreation, flashing some capacity whereas additionally usually changing into the topic of Aaron Rodgers’ ire after the occasional mistake.

Even earlier than that, nonetheless, Deguara was getting at the very least double-digit snaps in each recreation he performed. However the greatest play of Deguara’s younger profession got here within the second half of the season finale, when he took a display screen go from Jordan Like to the home for a 62-yard landing. He’ll want to start out producing a bit extra to justify his third-round draft standing, however 2022 may very well be an enormous step ahead for him as it’s the first time in his professional profession that he’ll benefit from a full, wholesome offseason program.

Dominique Dafney

How acquired: Signed to apply squad as a avenue free agent in 2020
NFL expertise: 2nd yr
2021 stats: 10 video games; 2 receptions on 4 targets, 34 yards (17.0 yards per reception)

Whereas Deguara was down in late 2020, Dafney emerged with a few huge performs, together with an awesome landing reception in opposition to the Chicago Bears. Nonetheless, he missed 5 video games early within the season with a hip harm and was a wholesome scratch twice within the second half of the yr. When he did play, he hardly ever factored into the offense and even had video games when he was hardly ever used on particular groups. With he and Deguara successfully enjoying the identical place, it could not be a shock to see the Packers hold simply one of many two, and Deguara’s standing as a day-two draft decide provides him a major higher hand.

Alize Mack

How acquired: Signed as avenue free agent in 2022
NFL expertise: First yr
2021 stats: None

An enormous, moderately athletic in-line tight finish, Mack was a Seventh-round decide by the Saints in 2019 out of Our Girl. Nonetheless, he hung out with 4 completely different organizations over the previous two years earlier than signing a futures cope with the Packers in February.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder was a tertiary receiving choice in school, along with his finest season leading to 360 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. There’s athleticism to work with right here, as he recorded a RAS of 8.54 in the course of the 2019 draft course of and posted nice numbers within the 40’s and jumps.

Eli Wolf

How acquired: Claimed off waivers from Indianapolis Colts in Could 2022
NFL expertise: First yr
2021 stats: None

What the Packers may need in Wolf may be very a lot unknown for now, with probably the most notable merchandise being that the staff employed his older brother, Ethan, for a couple of stints within the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Wolf began his school profession at Tennessee however transferred to Georgia as a senior. There, he caught 13 passes for 194 yards and a landing in eight video games. Like anybody down the roster, he may shock, however will want an enormous efficiency within the preseason each on offense and particular groups to threaten for a spot on the 53rd.

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