During the 2023 NFL Draft, the Brian Gutekunst looked make a serious investment into the Packers tight ends, injecting youth and athleticism the position. He undoubtedly succeeded, adding not one promising rookie to their roster but two: Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft. With their unique skill sets and potential, Musgrave and Kraft are poised to make a significant impact on the Packers’ offense in the upcoming season.
Tucker Kraft: A Versatile and Dynamic Playmaker
Third round pick Tucker Kraft, hailing from South Dakota State University, arrived in Green Bay as a highly experienced prospect with a skill set that blends athleticism, versatility, and strong fundamentals. Standing at 6’5″ and weighing 260 pounds, Kraft possesses the physical attributes that make him a formidable presence on the field.
What sets Kraft apart is his ability to make an impact both as a receiver and a blocker. His route-running skills, combined with his reliable hands, make him a dependable target for Packers quarterback Jordan Love. Kraft’s crisp routes allow him to create separation, and he has shown excellent body control to make difficult catches in traffic.
Kraft’s blocking skills have already caught the attention of the Packers coaching staff. He has displayed a willingness to engage defenders and execute his assignments with precision. His strength and technique have made him an asset in both pass protection and run blocking, contributing to the team’s offensive success on all three downs.
Luke Musgrave: A Dynamic Pass-Catching Threat
Luke Musgrave, a standout from Oregon State University, brings a different skill set to the Packers’ tight end corps than they have had in many years. While not quite as physically imposing as fellow rookie Tucker Kraft, Musgrave is an exceptional athlete with excellent speed and route-running abilities, making him a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses.
Musgrave’s explosive burst off the line of scrimmage and quickness in and out of breaks enable him to create separation and exploit mismatches. His agility and elusiveness in the open field have made him a reliable target for intermediate and deep passes. His ability to stretch the field vertically down the middle of the field adds a new dimension to the Packers’ passing game, forcing defenses to account for his presence at all times.
Though his primary impact in college was as a pass-catcher, Musgrave has shown a strong work ethic and willingness to improve his blocking skills. While he may not have the same physicality as Kraft, Musgrave’s technique and tenacity should allow him to contribute effectively in run blocking situations.
A Promising Future and Team Impact
The drafting of Musgrave and Kraft has brought a renewed sense of optimism to the Packers’ tight end position. The team now boasts a young, diverse and potent group of tight ends that can create mismatches and exploit opposing defenses.
Musgrave and Kraft’s performances in training camp and preseason games well give some indication of how they incorporate into the offense during their rookie year. The rookies will also have to quickly develop chemistry with Love, who will be looking to find targets that he can trust as he begins his first season as the Packers starting quarterback.
As the regular season approaches, Packers fans will eagerly anticipate the impact Musgrave and Kraft will have on the team’s offense. Their versatility, playmaking ability, and potential to grow and develop in the Packers’ system make them invaluable assets that must contribute immediately.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.