2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Trey McBrideby Charlie Parent February 10, 2022 1 comment
The 2022 NFL Draft has a ton of mid-major talent on the come-up. Teams like Cincinnati are producing early-round picks all over the board. However, almost no one would think that the 3-9 Colorado State Rams would have a potential early selection in tight end Trey McBride. McBride is a former three-star prospect who turned into a production monster in college. He caught 90 balls in 2021, for 1,121 and a touchdown. Additionally, the tight end class is weak. Can McBride top it? Let’s find out.
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Name: Trey McBride
Jersey: No. 85
Position: Tight End
School: Colorado State
Weight: 260 lbs
Games Watched: Vanderbilt (2021), Utah State (2021), San Jose State (2021), Boise State (2020)
Major Injury History: None
Blocking is by far McBride’s best strength. He is simply an excellent blocker. At 260 pounds, you’d almost need McBride to be good here, and it shows early on every tape. Colorado State was a primarily run-heavy team, which allowed McBride to show his multitude of talents in this area.
First off, McBride has great strength, and he never gets pushed back to an extreme. He’s a reliable guy to line up one on one against defensive ends and dominates linebackers if he gets into the second level. McBride set the edge very well against Boise State, the earliest game watched, and continued to do so into 2021. Finally, a key for a tight end’s blocking is succeeding in split zone, and McBride has shown he has the athleticism and technique to do so.
Route Running (11.75/15)
McBride has continued to impress with his route running as his career has progressed, and we saw tons of this in the Senior Bowl. Early in his career, McBride was slow. His routes weren’t crisp, and most were curved then clean with precise cuts. Now, McBride is very polished, especially across the middle of the field.
The route tree consists of outs, drags, crossers, some ins, skinny posts, seams, and bootleg flats. McBride is certainly strongest with his crossers and drags. However, the out routes still need some work, but it’s coachable. McBride doesn’t have absurd speed, which is natural for his size, even with all this improvement. McBride can be a good route runner in the NFL, but he will be best known for blocking.
McBride gets utilized all over the field but has some inconsistencies with his release. The mistake he falls into is simply being too slow to get off the break. However, when he shows the flashes of a good release package, then it becomes lethal. McBride uses his hands very well when on the outside. He can also get his strength involved to overpower cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage. We’ll see a nice stutter step when gaining inside leverage on the slant routes, but these come on occasions and can just disappear the next rep. Again, another category that McBride has potential in but needs polish.
Reeling the ball in is a very nice compliment to McBride’s game. He even does the very simple things right with his body control. On a make-or-break fourth down verse Vanderbilt, McBride made an adjustment while wide open on a ball well behind him for a touchdown. While he doesn’t go to the ground much, McBride can position himself mid-air to snag the ball over the defender.
Run After Catch (7.5/10)
This is a tough area to judge. McBride isn’t very quick out in space, but he’s somewhat of a tank. He did, in fact, look a lot quicker against Vanderbilt and San Jose State (in 2021) than against Boise State (in 2020). McBride also seemed more likely to just shed off incoming tacklers in 2021. This area may be graded a little too high because of the speed, but the strength makes McBride good here.
Let’s start off by saying that McBride had zero drops issues on the film. We saw some nice one-handers, but there are some inconsistencies. The reason he gets knocked is the catch radius. Sometimes it is massive, others it’s tiny. McBride needs to find some continuity in how big of a target he can be for NFL quarterbacks. If he can do so, there may be no stopping this kid.
Contested Catch (9.25/10)
Putting catch radius aside, when McBride gets his hands on the ball, he’s going to catch it 99% of the time, it seems. This comes on simple 10-yard curl routes, where he secures a pass even with three defenders closing in on him. It also comes one on one outside, where he nabbed a ball right over a Vanderbilt defender. Then, we have a near touchdown grab where McBride got the ball with his back faced toward the goal line and two defenders on him. McBride not only secured the catch but drove his legs backward to push himself down to the one yard-line. Contact clearly doesn’t disturb McBride when catching the football.
Colorado State was was not a good football team in 2021. But, they did know that with a bad team, you need to get your best player involved to compete. This allowed McBride to lineup all over at tight end. He has reps at in-line tight end, in the slot, outside (on both sides). He didn’t ever play H-back, although that isn’t too bad at all. McBride also got a decent amount of screens with the Rams.
The problem is, the experience is there, but the production may not project to the NFL. Can he lineup outside to create mismatches? Definitely. However, he cannot be put in the slot in the NFL because of the speed alone. Linebackers may be able to easily cover McBride, which will cause problems because you need him to create mismatches to become a star. All in all, this is an area teams will like for McBride but need to be careful with early on.
You can probably guess what McBride’s strengths and weaknesses are here. He’s got absurd strength and will probably dominate the tight-end competition in the bench press at the combine. The speed, though, is an issue. While we do keep griping about this, McBride is not so slow where it’ll be detrimental to his career. Speed might hinder him a little. McBride most likely projects to run a 4.60-4.65 40-yard dash. If he can get that anywhere near the mid to low 4.5s tho, this grade will shoot way up.
Tight ends in the NFL are a disappearing breed. Most excel in the receiving front, and that’s how they get recognized. While McBride has a different playstyle than George Kittle, Kittle is the only tight end who gets on the highlight shows for blocking. McBride can do the same early in his career while giving some receiving threat.
In terms of a projection, McBride should be a Day 2 pick. There are no tight ends worthy of going higher than him unless a team really wants to take a shot on Jalen Wydermyer‘s upside. Teams with run-heavy schemes in the second round should be taking a real look at McBride. This is a talent that could slip away from organizations as the receiving is so raw yet so productive. Overall, McBride has the potential to be a great NFL player with the right development at the next level.
Rookie Projection: Rotational Tight End for Blocking
Third Year Projection: High-End Backup with Breakout Potential
Player Grade (85/100): Early Second Round
Player Comparison: Marcedes Lewis
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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images