2023 NFL Draft Tight End Rankings #3-5
Mid 2nd Round, 6’3/245lbs
LaPorta is a chain mover. He is less showy than either of the two prospects ranking ahead of him in these 2023 NFL Draft tight end rankings, but should not be forgotten early on day two.
Less flashy than Kincaid in the passing game and not quite as sure-handed as Mayer, LaPorta nonetheless is an exciting prospect with a legitimate NFL skillset.
He already has a varied route tree and will not be overawed when he reaches the NFL. During his collegiate career, LaPorta lined up inline, as a big slot and out wide often, and was effective across the formation, even used as part of the screen game.
The ex-Hawkeye has a good build, is effective after the catch, and breaks tackles in the open field. Whilst on first appearance he looks like an average athlete, he had an excellent combine and this level of athleticism is evident the more you watch. He has good hips and can weave through traffic, making defenders miss, and has legitimate speed once he hits top gear.
He does rely on body catching a little more than the top two tight ends and he is not the most polished blocker, but the willingness is there. LaPorta is simply a complete tight end and will be higher coveted by NFL teams.
Late 2nd Round, 6’5/251lbs
Schoonmaker is a player with excellent size and looks like a traditional NFL tight end. He possesses terrific power and aggression and looks to dominate his opponent, finishing blocks with aplomb.
He has a great blend of everything that makes a successful tight end, displaying his athleticism at the combine to go along with his ideal size. A 10’7” broad jump ranked second at the position and his 4.63 second 40 time placed a quicker-than-expected fifth.
These testing results highlight another gear that Schoonmaker has in his locker, so there is some clear room for growth despite the fact that he will turn 25 early in the 2023 season.
The ex-Wolverine does have a few question marks in that does not create after the catch unlike the top three and does not create easy separation on longer developing routes.
Having said that, and whilst he may not be naturally creative with the ball in his hands, he will be an effective safety valve as he consistently finds soft holes in coverage on shorter routes underneath.
Schoonmaker has a high floor thanks to his well-rounded game and should find a home late on day two.
Early-Mid 3rd Round, 6’7/264lbs
Can’t go through him, can’t go around him, Washington looks more like a right tackle and is the best blocking tight end in the class. Playing second fiddle to Brock Bowers in the passing game, Washington flashed but is not the complete article just yet.
These flashes are exciting though. His ability to adjust when the ball is in the air is impressive for such a massive, powerful athlete. Washington’s route running is raw, but for his size, he has surprisingly good feet which was confirmed by the fastest short shuttle at the combine (4.08).
His run blocking ensures that his floor is high, but can he fulfill his perceived ceiling? He does sometimes look a bit lethargic on his breaks and is not the most subtle route runner; this is an area where he needs to develop more nuance to help create separation.
Washington will immediately become a threat on seam routes, in the red zone, and within soft spots against zone schemes. If he can develop as a legitimate receiving weapon against any type of defense, he has the potential to become a true TE1.