Draft season is almost upon us, so it is a good time to assess the state of the Packers' roster. Now we reach Ted Thompson's favorite position, Tight End. Here is a list of players the team has under contract:
TE Jermichael Finley (22Feb12: 2yr/$14 mil [$1 mil signing; $1 mil incentives]) FA: '14
2013: $4.45 mil (+$3 mil roster+$500k per-game roster+$300k workout)
TE Andrew Quarless (9Jul10: 4yr/$1,972,425 [$182,425 signing]) FA: '14
2013: $1.323 mil
TE D.J. Williams (28Jul11: 4yr/$2.238 mil [$198k signing]) FA: '15
TE Matthew Mulligan (7Apr13: 1yr/$820k [$50k signing]) FA: '14
2013: $715k ($30k roster+$25K workout)
TE Ryan Taylor (28Jul11: 4yr/$2.099 mil [$59,176 signing]) FA: '15
TE Brandon Bostick (14Jan13: 3yr/$1.485 mil) RFA: '16
Everybody's got an opinion on Jermichael. I like him (as a player) & have high hopes for him this season. I'm sure there are some who will vehemently disagree. Regardless, he is a FA after this season, so his future with the team is up in the air. Quarless looks to rebound after a lost season, and should be fully recovered from a '11 knee injury. What exactly his role will be in the offense is still in question. Williams has yet to display the talent that made him a Mackey award winner in '10, snagging only 9 passes so far in two years of service. Will this be the year he breaks out?
Mulligan was signed to meet the "two white TE minimum" after losing Crabtree to the Buccaneers this offseason. While he probably won't be quite the receiver that the Twitter star was, he looks to be an upgrade as far as blocking is concerned. Taylor will continue to be a core Special Teamer, and will get used sparingly on offense, where he's been used at FB as well. Bostick returns after a season on the PS, ready to compete for a roster spot.
Draft priority: Moderate
This is a tough position to figure. There's a lot of bodies & a lot of potential, and nearly everyone's contract expires in the next two years. I would not be surprised if Eifert is the 1st pick by the team, nor would I be surprised if a TE doesn't get drafted at all.
Potential 1st-7th round picks: Tyler Eifert, Zach Ertz, Travis Kelce, Vance McDonald, Gavin Escobar, Jordan Reed, Dion Sims, Levine Toilolo, Nick Kasa, Chris Gragg, Matt Furstenburg, Ryan Otten, Jake Stoneburner
Potential FA targets still on the market: Kevin Boss*, Randy McMichael*, Travis Beckum, Dallas Clark, Chris Cooley, Will Heller, Leonard Pope, Dante Rosario, Martin Rucker
*released; will not count against us for compensatory picks if signed