With the numbers in front of me, I am reminded how great Trey McBride was last season. He’ll definitely be one of the top few tight ends on my board heading into the 2024 season.

McBride had breakout potential heading into last season, but recall that the Cardinals also had Zach Ertz hanging around, and Ertz had been a busy red zone receiver in 2022. Most had Ertz higher than McBride on their draft boards last summer.

It was only after Ertz got hurt in October that Arizona shifted McBride into more of a prominent, full-time role. Previously, he was a part-time contributor, usually on the field for fewer than half of their plays.

But in their final 10 games, McBride became more of a go-to option. He caught 66 passes for 655 yards in those final games, establishing himself as one of the elite players at the position.

McBride in those final 10 weeks averaged 15 points per week (using PPR scoring). If we compare his per-game stats to the other tight ends, he was more productive than all of them.

In the chart below, you’re looking at per-start numbers for all tight ends. McBride is listed twice (the first numbers show how he fared in those final 10 games; the others showed his averages for the season overall, including the first seven weeks when he was more of part-time contributer).

The following numbers have been worked some. There has been some editing to some guys to more accurately reflect how they were playing. (With Luke Musgrave, as an example, I’ve listed his first 10 games but left out a brief appearance in Week 18, when he was clearly a backup, knocking off some rust before the postseason.) With many of the tight ends who simply aren’t relevant, I just left their numbers in place.

Chart shows tight ends who started at least half the season. Isaiah Likely fell just short of that threshold, but I left him in there because we were talking about him earlier in the week – his numbers show how he performed in the eight games Mark Andrews missed (with Likely’s other off-the-bench stats not included).

Trey McBride (as str), Ari.106.665.5.3015.0
Travis Kelce, K.C.
T.J. Hockenson, Min.156.364.0.3314.7
Sam LaPorta, Det.
Evan Engram, Jac.176.756.6.2413.8
Mark Andrews, Balt.104.554.4.6013.5
David Njoku, Cle.
George Kittle, S.F.
Trey McBride (all G), Ari.174.848.5.1810.7
Cole Kmet, Chi.174.342.3.3510.7
Isaiah Likely, Balt.82.840.8.6310.6
Jake Ferguson, Dall.
Dalton Schultz, Hou.153.942.3.3310.2
Dallas Goedert, Phil.
Dalton Kincaid, Buff.164.642.1.139.5
Darren Waller, NYG124.346.0.089.4
Hunter Henry, N.E.
Logan Thomas, Was.163.431.0.278.2
Kyle Pitts, Atl.
Juwan Johnson, N.O.132.828.3.317.5
Jonnu Smith, Atl.172.934.2.187.4
Gerald Everett, LAC153.427.4.207.4
Luke Musgrave, G.B.103.334.1.107.3
Tyler Conklin, NYJ173.636.5.007.2
Tyler Higbee, LAR153.
Cade Otton, T.B.172.826.8.257.0
Tanner Hudson, Cin.123.329.3.086.7
Chigoziem Okonkwo, Ten.
Pat Freiermuth, Pitt.122.725.7.196.4
Donald Parham, LAC141.920.4.295.7
Michael Mayer, L.V.141.921.7.175.1
Kylen Granson, Ind.
Hayden Hurst, Car.
Dawson Knox, Buff.121.815.5.194.6
Durham Smythe, Mia.
Noah Fant, Sea.171.924.4.004.3
Noah Gray, K.C.171.617.9.124.2
Mike Gesicki, N.E.171.714.4.123.8
Tommy Tremble, Car.161.412.1.193.8
Colby Parkinson, Sea.171.514.5.123.6
Adam Trautman, Den.171.312.0.183.6
Josh Oliver, Min.171.312.5.123.3
Will Mallory, Ind.121.517.3.003.2
Foster Moreau, N.O.151.412.9.073.1
Daniel Bellinger, NYG171.515.0.003.0
Drew Sample, Cin.
Irv Smith, Cin.
Mo Alie-Cox, Ind.
Jimmy Graham, N.O.
Will Dissly, Sea.
Harrison Bryant, Cle.
C.J. Uzomah, NYJ9.
John Bates, Was.
Luke Schoonmaker, Dall.
Robert Tonyan, Chi.
Darnell Washington, Pitt.

—Ian Allan