The Arizona Cardinals stunned quite a few people with their selection of Colorado State tight end Trey McBride with the 55th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Despite the lingering need to add a pass rusher opposite Markus Golden, Arizona opted to give quarterback Kyler Murray another weapon on offense with its second-round pick.
And while he won’t be asked to start right away with Zach Ertz in the fold, The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones thinks McBride will have the biggest impact among the rest of the team’s draft class.
Trey McBride, the Cardinals’ second-round pick, won’t be asked to be Arizona’s starting tight end. That job belongs to Zach Ertz, whom Arizona re-signed earlier this year. But McBride is a talented enough receiver and a strong (and willing) blocker, giving Kliff Kingsbury options to run two tight end sets that were unavailable to the Cardinals’ offense last season.
For general manager Steve Keim, the pick was easy given McBride was the highest rated prospect on Arizona’s board by the time pick No. 55 rolled around.
“The guy can do it all,” Keim told reporters after drafting the tight end. “He can play in-line, he can flex, he can motion, he can play out of the backfield. He’s got tremendous hands, great catching radius, really strong in a crowd. Character is off the charts, a three-time captain, a phenomenal leader and just thankful he was there.”
And with no timetable for tight end Maxx Williams’ return from a season-ending knee injury last season, McBride figures to get his fair share of snaps as a rookie.
Last season as a senior at Colorado State, McBride reeled in 90 catches for 1,121 yards, both career marks, and one touchdown. When he’s not catching the football, he’s still getting work in as a solid blocking option.
If McBride can get himself integrated in the offense right away, it’ll pay dividends for a team that will be without No. 1 wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a third of the season. Hopkins was hit with a six-game suspension on Monday for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.