The tight end position for the Green Bay Packers has been severely lacking in an offense that desperately needs talent from wherever it can get it. Ever since the days of Jermichael Finley, TEs have failed to make any significant contributions (outside of Robert Tonyan’s 11-TD season in 2020).
Tonyan, Josiah Deguara, Marcedes Lewis, and Tyler Davis all recorded receptions this past season for the Packers, racking up four total TDs and over 600 yards between the bunch. This type of production pales in comparison to how some teams utilize their tight ends, something that Matt LaFleur really should try to implement moving forward.
The only issue is how the roster is currently structured and how their lack of talent at TE limits just how well they can utilize them.
2022 Stats – 53 receptions, 67 targets, 470 yards, 8.9 yards per catch, 2 TDs
In his fifth season in Green Bay, Tonyan put together one of the best seasons of his career, and he was healthy enough to play in all 17 games, a huge step.
As the clear-cut TE1 on the Packers, Tonyan recorded the third-most receptions, targets, and receiving yards of all pass catchers in 2022, showing that he and Aaron Rodgers still have a pretty solid chemistry.
This type of production is quite fine for a WR3 or a TE2 on any NFL roster, but the fact that this came from the ‘third-best’ receiver on the team is cause for concern in Green Bay. Tonyan fills his role extremely well and would be a great resource for Jordan Love if that transition happens this offseason, but unless he finds another level in his career or LaFleur crafts a more TE-centric game plan, Tonyan may follow the money elsewhere.
Josiah Deguara, Marcedes Lewis & Tyler Davis
Combined Stats: 23 receptions, 29 targets, 206 yards, 2 TDs
These three remaining players – Josiah Deguara, Marcedes Lewis, and Tyler Davis – all fill minuscule roles in the Green Bay offense, hence why their stats all lean towards the small side.
Deguara has failed to live up to his third-round draft status back in 2020, and last season (25/245/2) was the peak of his young NFL career so far. He’s a fine backup TE option and he shifts all around the offense – in-line, split, and in the backfield – but expecting anything more than that role just isn’t ideal.
Lewis is still going strong after having been drafted in the first round back in 2006 – and his relationship with Rodgers seems to be one of the stronger ones the team currently has. Asked to fulfill blocking duties more than be active in the passing game, Lewis and his 2 TDs were the most he has recorded in green and gold since his 3-TD campaign back in 2020.
Davis is the fourth-string TE on this team and spends most of his time on special teams and not on offense. Having almost played 2x as many snaps on special teams (346) than on offense (174), Davis is a solid role player who does the things that don’t show up on stat sheets and don’t register for fantasy football.
This grouping of TEs is in pretty rough shape (and has been for the last few seasons), and this year’s incoming rookie crop of TEs would be a perfect chance to upgrade this position. If Rodgers does leave we could also see Lewis go elsewhere or retire, which would create a big hole in our run-game blocking.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23