Continuing Acme Packing Company’s site-wide project breaking down the Green Bay Packers’ roster and predicting the team’s 53-man roster, our attention turns to the tight end position. The Packers’ tight end room is in an odd spot entering the 2022 season. The main contributions in the passing game are expected to come from Robert Tonyan, who is recovering from a torn ACL, but four other tight ends have been featured as blocking-first options for the team in the past.
Like every other position group, nailing down this unit on the 53-man roster comes down to a numbers game: Will they keep three or four to start the season? With Tonyan expected to begin the season on the physically unable to perform list — barring injury — it’s unlikely that if a fourth tight does make the team in September that he will still be on the team in December. With that being said, the door is still open for a fourth at the position, depending on how some of these special teams roles break.
Here is how APC’s staff believes the tight end room will shake out to start the season:
At 38 years old, “Big Dog” still has enough in the tank to contribute as an inline tight end specializing in blocking. Over the last two years, Lewis has started all 32 games he has suited up for, even if he has only recorded 321 receiving yards over that time. Expect him to be in for about 50 percent of Green Bay’s offensive snaps in a heavily-rotated group.
Tyler Davis, Josiah Deguara and Dominique Dafney
All three of these tight ends are quality run blockers, but the big question moving forward is who will be the team’s third-down tight end until Robert Tonyan returns to the field. While Davis is an inline tight end, Deguara and Dafney are both off-ball/fullback types. If the Packers do keep seven receivers on their 53-man roster, it could very well come at the expense of a fourth tight end.
Tonyan is easily the team’s best pass-catching tight end and will make the roster whenever he can come off the injury list. He tore his ACL in a mid-season game against the Arizona Cardinals last season and has been working in the “rehab group” throughout this offseason, so the assumption is that he will start the year on the physically unable to perform list.
Alize Mack and Eli Wolf
Both Mack and Wolf were added by the Packers this offseason. While both have athletic upside, it’s tough to imagine that they would leap Dafney for the team’s fourth spot on the depth chart by September. Even then, whenever Tonyan returns to the active roster, it’s tougher to imagine one of them holding onto that spot by mid-season.
Friday’s posts will focus on the offensive line position, which might have the most fluidity in terms of roster spots.
Read our roster preview for the tight end position here.