Packers TE Josiah Deguara will see an expanded role as the 2021 season moves along. In Green Bay’s 24-14 win over the Bears in Week 6, Deguara was on the field for 25% of the teams offensive snaps. In comparison to his counterparts Robert Tonyan (63% of snaps) and Marcedes Lewis (68% of snaps), he’s currently the 3rd TE on the team.
|Player||Snap Count Week 3||Snap Count Week 4||Snap Count Week 5||Snap Count Week 6|
|Robert Tonyan||46 (73%)||56 (78%)||38 (59%)||37 (63%)|
|Marcedes Lewis||25 (40%)||35 (49%)||29 (45%)||40 (68%)|
|Josiah Deguara||17 (27%)||24 (33%)||13 (20%)||15 (25%)|
It was obvious that the Packers wanted to run the football against Chicago, given Marcedes Lewis’ 68% snap count on offense, his most in almost two years. Many people know that Lewis is known for his exceptional blocking. Green Bay finished last week’s game with 31 rushing attempts for 154 yards. Packers starting TE Robert Tonyan saw his fewest amount of snaps since Week 2.
What we can cautiously observe is the Packers moving more and more towards the run game. In their last 3 games, the Green Bay offense has rushed for at least 130+ yards on the ground in each contest, which has allowed them the luxury of putting less stress on their lineman in pass protection and less stress on their banged-up defense.
Thus far in 2021, starting TE Robert Tonyan hasn’t lived up to some of his preseason hype. The player that caught 52 passes for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns last year currently has a stat line of 11/92/1, which puts him on pace for 31 receptions, 261 yards and 3 touchdowns (in a 17 game season, compared to last years 16 game season).
Although the season is still relatively early, Tonyan needs to step up his productivity in the passing game. If he continues to struggle separating from defenders, his playing time will take a dip. Additionally, the talented TE has not been good in run-blocking situations, offering little-to-no value on rushing plays, as Peter Bukowski pointed out on the Locked on Packers podcast.
Enter Josiah Deguara, the versatile 2nd Year TE from the University of Cincinnati. The largely unknown swiss army knife of the Packers offense, Deguara has yet to fully show off his dynamic skill set. The 6’2, 240 pound, 24 year-old is early into his comeback season off a torn ACL in 2020. As the weeks continue to pass, Deguara will receive more opportunities to see the field.
The Packers spent high draft capital on Deguara, using a 3rd round pick on him in the 2020 NFL Draft. According to Bukowski, Packers HC Matt LaFleur loves the skills the young TE brings to the table and will want to find more ways to use him. Many comparisons to 49ers All-Pro Kyle Juszczyk have been made since Green Bay selected him.
Deguara, who holds the University of Cincinnati record for most receptions all-time by a TE, can run, block, catch and is assignment savvy. As the Packers look for more productivity from their TE group, Deguara is the logical first place to look and as the season continues, he will receive more snaps.——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a diehard Packers fan. Alex\\\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.