The Los Angeles Chargers chose a good draft to need a tight end. The 2023 NFL Draft class is loaded with talent at the position, and one of the best has received a positive medical update. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave received full clearance for his knee injury and is reportedly back at full strength.
Oregon St TE Luke Musgrave, one of the top at his position, received full medical clearance on his knee in Indy, sources say. He had surgery from Dr. Neal ElAttrache last season, was full go in Mobile, then took a similar hit to what originally caused it. But no issues at all.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2023
Luke Musgrave, Chargers Draft Target, Receives Positive Medical Update
Luke Musgrave is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. When on the field, the tight end has flashed the rare ability to be a Travis Kelce type of offensive threat. Of course, that potential hasn’t consistently shown up on the field, in large part thanks to injury. The tight end suffered a knee injury after just two games, ending his season before it ever began. During his limited time on the field last year, the tight end recorded 11 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown.
Fortunately, it appears as though he’s back to full health. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Musgrave has “no issues” with his knee and that he will be able to perform drills at the Combine. Per the tweet, the tight end will run the 50 and do positional drills in Indianapolis but save the agility testing for his Pro Day.
This is fantastic news for the Chargers and every team that needs a tight end. While Michael Mayer is probably the consensus TE1 in a loaded class, it’s safe to say that Musgrave has the highest ceiling. The Oregon State product is an athletic freak, and athleticism is huge for a position that requires players to be strong enough to block defensive linemen and fast enough to blow past safeties.
How Luke Musgrave Fits the Chargers
For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Rapoport’s source is reliable and that Musgrave is completely back to his old self. If the 2023 NFL Draft happened today, Musgrave would probably be a second-round pick, but it’s easy to imagine him soaring up draft boards once teams see him at full strength. If the Chargers have their heart set on Musgrave, then they should probably trade back from 21, add an extra pick, and take him at some point in the mid to late 20’s.
It’s rare for tight ends to contribute as rookies, but Musgrave might be the exception to the rule. He already possesses elite speed for the position, and reportedly hit 20 miles per hour while at the Senior Bowl. That type of skill will immediately make him a threat in the seam, and his speed combined with Justin Herbert’s elite deep ball could wreak havoc among opposing defenses. He is also a massive human being, listed at 6′-6″ and 250 pounds, so safeties won’t be able to match his size on contested passes.
Luke Musgrave will have a role as a rookie, and he could develop into a top-five tight end in a season or two. However, his route running is too raw for him to make too much of an immediate impact as a rookie. This is why trading back for Musgrave is the best option, as the Chargers can use that extra pick to select a Day 2 wide receiver that is also capable of absorbing a few targets a game.
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