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Cardinals Draft Primer 2023: Tight End

With Ertz and McBride, team likely isn't looking at deep class as priority


The Cardinals, with eight draft picks and with the No. 3 overall selection, have a chance in GM Monti Ossenfort's first season to begin to build a roster that is desperate for an infusion of youthful talent. The draft begins April 27 – held in Kansas City, Missouri – but before then, will take a look at each position and how the Cardinals may look at them on draft weekend. Here is the next position group breakdown.

Here is the next position group breakdown:

Draft primer: Tight end

Players under contract: Zach Ertz, Trey McBride, Noah Togiai, Chris Pierce, Bernhard Seikovits

Need: Low

The Cardinals' situation: Ertz was off to a good year – one in which he would have obliterated the franchise record for catches by a tight end – before he tore his ACL. Ertz hopes to be ready by Week 1, but there is still much rehab between then and now. McBride had some flashes as Ertz's replacement, but it would make sense to get him a bigger role, especially since coach Jonathan Gannon will often want to employ two and three tight ends.

The draft class: If you need a tight end, this is a good time to grab one. Notre Dame's Michael Mayer, Iowa's Sam Laporta and Oregon State's Luke Musgrave are all good options, but there is no one more interesting – and maybe most fitting for the Cardinals – than gigantic 6-foot-7, 270-pound Georgia tight end Darnell Washington.

The conclusion: With Gannon in on using tight ends, finding a third and a fourth will be crucial, especially with Ertz returning from injury. Tight end is not a position most teams lean into with high draft capital, and given that the Cards just used a second-round pick on one last season, it seems unlikely to be an early pick. But later? It still seems unlikely, but the way the draft board falls is hard to predict.