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Trey McBride

Zach Ertz injury lifts McBride into larger role

Trey McBride hasn’t done much so far, but that could change in a big way. Zach Ertz is out for the year, so I imagine Arizona will be looking to work McBride into its passing game.

It was weird, recall, when the Cardinals selected McBride in the second round in April. Earlier in the offseason, they signed Ertz to a three-year deal worth $31.6 million. And this isn’t an offense that has used tight ends much.

McBride hasn’t been much of a factor so far. He’s played some (he’s been on the field for over a quarter of their plays six times) but he’s caught only 4 passes. In the preseason, he didn’t catch either of the passes thrown his way.

But Ertz is out now, so I expect they’ll be looking for McBride to pick up some of those duties. Before getting hurt, Ertz averaged 5 catches for 44 yards in his first nine games, with 4 TDs.

I don’t think we’ll see McBride put up those kind of numbers. The Cardinals have plenty of other pass-catching options. But McBride did come into the league as a pass-catching tight end. He caught 90 passes for 1,121 yards and 2 TDs last year at Colorado State.

In the 32-year team era, 60 other tight ends have been drafted in the first or second round, and McBride in his final season of college ball caught more than twice as many passes as over half of them. Jace Amaro (ironically playing for Kliff Kingsbury) is the only highly drafted tight end who caught more passes than McBride in his final college season. Only one other tight end (Dallas Goedert) caught more than 70.

Of the last 60 tight ends chosen in the first or second round, only 10 went on to catch 40-plus passes in their rookie season. (I’ve got those guys tagged with black dots).

I don’t expect McBride will make a big impact, but makes some sense as a speculative waiver pickup – hold onto him for a couple of weeks and see if he can do a decent Ertz impression.

YearPlayerPkCollegeNoYardsAvgTDRookie Yr
2014Jace Amaro, NYJ49Texas Tech1061,35212.8738-345-2
2022Trey McBride, Ariz.55Colorado State901,12112.52?-?-?
2018Dallas Goedert, Phil.49South Dakota St.721,11115.4733-334-4
2013Zach Ertz, Phil.35Stanford6989813.0636-469-4
2008• Dustin Keller, NYJ30Purdue6888113.0748-535-3
2010• Jermaine Gresham, Cin.21Oklahoma6695014.41452-471-4
2017• Evan Engram, NYG23Mississippi6592614.2864-722-6
2014Eric Ebron, Det.10North Carolina6297315.7325-248-1
2008Fred Davis, Wash.48Southern Cal6288114.283-27-0
2006Vernon Davis, S.F.6Maryland6187114.3620-265-3
2004Kellen Winslow, Clev.6Miami6060510.115-50-0
2006Marcedes Lewis, Jac.28UCLA5874112.81013-126-1
2018Mike Gesicki, Mia.42Penn State575639.9922-202-0
2006Tony Scheffler, Den.61Western Michigan5767011.8918-286-4
2017Adam Shaheen, Chi.45Ashland5786715.21612-127-3
2003Bennie Joppru, Hou.41Michigan5357910.950-0-0
2016Hunter Henry, S.D.35Arkansas 5173914.5336-478-8
2002Daniel Graham, N.E.21Colorado5175314.8615-150-1
2007• Zach Miller, Oak.38Arizona State504849.7444-444-3
2013Tyler Eifert, Cin.21Notre Dame5068513.7439-445-2
2019T.J. Hockenson, Det.8Iowa4976015.5732-367-2
2008Martellus Bennett, Dall.61Texas A&M4958712.0420-283-4
2017Gerald Everett, LAR44South Alabama4971714.6416-244-2
2010• Rob Gronkowski, N.E.42Arizona4767214.31042-546-10
2006Anthony Fasano, Dall.53Notre Dame4757612.3214-126-0
2000Bubba Franks, G.B.14Miami4556512.6534-363-1
2017O.J. Howard, T.B.19Alabama4559513.2326-432-6
2001Todd Heap, Balt.31Arizona State4561713.7316-206-1
2019Irv Smith Jr., Minn.50Alabama4471016.1736-311-2
2018Hayden Hurst, Balt.25South Carolina4455912.7313-163-1
2004Kris Wilson, K.C.61Pittsburgh4464314.690-0-0
2021• Kyle Pitts, Atl.4Florida4377017.91268-1026-1
2017David Njoku, Clev.29Miami4369816.2832-386-4
2003Dallas Clark, Ind.24Iowa4374217.3429-340-1
2020Cole Kmet, Chi.43Notre Dame4351512.0628-243-2
2011Lance Kendricks, St.L.47Wisconsin4366315.4528-352-0
2009Brandon Pettigrew, Det.20Oklahoma State4247211.2030-346-2
2013Gavin Escobar, Dall.47San Diego State4254312.969-134-2
2005Heath Miller, Pitt.30Virginia4154113.2539-459-6
2003Teyo Johnson, Oak.63Stanford 4146711.4814-128-1
2002• Jeremy Shockey, NYG14Miami4051913.0774-894-2
2008• John Carlson, Sea.38Notre Dame403729.3355-627-5
2007Greg Olsen, Chi.31Miami4048912.2139-391-2
2019• Noah Fant, Den.20Iowa3951913.3740-562-3
2004Ben Troupe, Tenn.40Florida3963816.4533-329-1
2014Troy Niklas, Ariz.52Notre Dame3757315.563-38-0
2015Maxx Williams, Balt.55Minnesota3656915.8832-268-1
2014Austin Seferian-Jenkins, T.B.38Washington3645012.5821-221-2
2013Vance McDonald, S.F.55Rice3645812.728-119-0
2000Anthony Becht, NYJ27West Virginia3551014.6516-144-2
2012Coby Fleener, Ind.34Stanford3466719.61026-281-2
2006Joe Klopfenstein, St.L.46Colorado3346814.2420-226-1
2002Doug Jolley, Oak.55Brigham Young3249215.4732-409-2
2003L.J. Smith , Phil.61Rutgers 3238412.0327-321-1
2011Kyle Rudolph, Minn.43Notre Dame2832811.7326-249-3
2019Drew Sample, Cin.52Washington 2525210.135-30-0
2021• Pat Freiermuth, Pitt.55Penn State2331013.5160-497-7
2001Alge Crumpler, Atl.35North Carolina2328712.5125-330-3
2004Benjamin Watson, N.E.32Georgia2332414.122-16-0
2002Jerramy Stevens, Sea.28Washington10888.8126-252-3
2009Richard Quinn, Den.64North Carolina89712.110-0-0

—Ian Allan

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