To say there has been a lof of fuss over the Packers wide receiver depth may be the understatement of the century. But tight end was another position many expected the Packers to address on day 2 or 3 of the NFL Draft. Now in Matt LaFleur’s offense, all tight ends are not alike. The traditional Y position has been effectively split between Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis the past two years. And with Tonyan coming off an ACL tear, and Lewis celebrating his 38th birthday today (Happy birthday, Big Dog!), this is where things get a little shaky. But the F position firmly belongs to Josiah Deguara.
It has admittedly been a rocky first two seasons for Deguara. After his promising rookie season was cut short after his own ACL tear in week 5, he then suffered a concussion in Week 1 of the 2021 season. But as the season went along, he began to settle in to his role in the offense. From Week 10 on, he played at least 25 snaps per game, and had 19 of his 25 receptions in that period. And he showed flashes not only as a receiver, but as a blocker as well. Then tights end coach Justin Outten spoke profusely of Deguara last December, saying “I feel like he’s just progressively gotten better… mentally, he’s just really advanced in that room.”
And the way that the Packers offense is shaping up, his role should continue to grow in 2022. Expect the Packers to play a lot of of 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE), and use Deguara as a chess piece. When Matt LaFleur was first hired as HC in 2019, he spoke of creating the illusion of complexity on offense. And Deguara can be what allows that to come into fruition.
He possesses the versatility to align in the backfield at fullback, split out as a receiver, or in-line as a tight end. This gives Green Bay the huge advantage of not tipping the defense off on what play might be coming based on what personnel is in the game. They can run the same plays out of completely different formations, and use this to create mismatches in their favor.
The Packers are going to be a very balanced attack on offense. With the most efficient QB of all time and one of the best RB tandems in the league, defenses are going to have a hard time knowing where the ball is going to go. And Deguara has the chance to be a key cog in making it all go.——————
Jared is a rogue Packers fan from a Steelers family and an overall football junkie, including playing 4 years at Ithaca College. You can follow him on twitter at @JPrugar.