2022 NFL Draft: Trey McBride Scouting Report

Trey McBride flexing on 'em

Trey McBride NFL Draft Overview

Position: Tight End
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 246 lbs.
School: Colorado State University (Tight End U?)

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Trey McBride 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Trey McBride played for the Colorado State Rams for a total of four seasons between 2018 and 2021. In 40 games across four years at Colorado State, he accrued 164 receptions for 2,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a true freshman in 2018, McBride caught seven passes for 89 yards and a touchdown in 12 games. He made a significant leap in 2019 when he notched 45 catches for 560 yards and four scores in the same number of games.

He even made a more noticeable stride as a scorer in 2020 (four catches for 22 yards and four touchdowns in only four games). When the MWC canceled the remainder of the 2020 season as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, McBride was fourth in receiving scores in the conference and tenth in yards per reception. However, he briefly entered the transfer portal in hopes of playing elsewhere without MWC football continuing for the year.

When he returned to Colorado State in 2021, he became a certified superstar at the position. In 12 games, McBride posted 90 receptions for 1,121 yards and a lone touchdown. His reception and yardage totals were both more than he had accrued in the previous three seasons combined. These figures were good enough for second in receptions and receiving yards in the MWC and eighth in yards from scrimmage for the conference.

Throughout his tenure at CSU, McBride’s lowest yards-per-reception rate was 12.4! In 2021, he also was named First-Team All-Mountain West and became the first offensive player from Colorado State to be named unanimous All-American. McBride, too, won the John Mackey Award, an honor reserved for the best tight end in collegiate football.

Strengths

  • Elite grip/hand strength (shown in both in-line blocking and pass-catching);
  • Impressive game instincts, therefore succeeds against zone coverage;
  • Seeks out contact as ball-carrier and blocker;
  • Good command of pad level as in-line blocker (maintains good leverage);
  • Elite versatility (can line up anywhere on field).

Weaknesses

  • Average route-runner (lacks suddenness and unpredictability in movements);
  • Footwork deteriorates when tracking passes downfield;
  • Initial hand-fighting effort and technique when blocking needs work;
  • Needs to keep head and eyes up while engaged in and finishing blocks;
  • Below average scoring threat (only one touchdown on 90 receptions in 2021).

NFL Comparison: Dennis Pitta, Hunter Henry

Teams With Need at the Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projection: Second-to-Fourth Round

Bottom Line on Trey McBride

Trey McBride: Blocker

One of the biggest questions hanging over McBride’s head throughout the scouting process was the competition he faced at Colorado State. His performance at the Senior Bowl (including a touchdown from Desmond Ridder) helped assuage concerns in this regard. This just serves to reinforce how the pros jump off of the tape when it comes to Trey McBride, while any cons are fairly negligible in the right landing spot.

While other incoming rookie tight ends are skinnier and more pure pass-catchers, McBride offers more to tight-end-needy teams. What he lacks in certain elements of technique as a blocker, he makes up for with physicality and enthusiasm. His athleticism and toughness also suggest he could thrive on special teams!

He’s surprisingly adept at blocking at second and third levels, as well as at maintaining contact balance to gain yards after contact. Looking for work and contact at all times as both a blocker and a ball carrier, McBride’s physicality will no doubt play a huge role in the decision to draft him. In fact, he might arguably be the best blocker of the top-name tight ends in this year’s draft.

Trey McBride: Receiver

As a receiver, there is much to look at in his game. His route-running certainly isn’t anything to write home about. That said, his ability to succeed through other nuances of the position implies he can develop his route tree and footwork at the professional level. He’s fairly agile for a man with his frame despite a lack of change-of-direction speed and fluidity. At his core, he’s a good athlete with good straight-line speed, making him a legitimate option up the seam.

McBride naturally squares himself to the ball on in-breaking routes, which helps limit turnovers when he is the target. When you combine this with elite hand strength and catching the ball away from the body, the former Ram can offer a legitimate triple threat at the position. His 33-inch vertical leap at the NFL Combine also helps maximize possibly his best asset as a pass-catcher.

Perhaps the most important aspect of McBride’s game, however, is his versatility. When producing a 34 percent share of the offensive output in 2021, McBride did so from countless positions around the formation. This versatility allows McBride’s future team to exploit mismatches all over the field. He is best suited for a team with a creative coordinator on an offense that leverages reads around the alignment of the tight end. It is highly unlikely McBride remains undrafted beyond the first two or three rounds, and he likely will compete for a starting job right away.

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