Round 2, 55th Overall: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
In a vacuum, I love this pick, and even had the Arizona Cardinals selecting Trey McBride in one of my mock drafts that I wrote a few months ago. But these picks aren’t made in a vacuum, and you need to take roster context into account. The Cardinals re-signed tight ends Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams this offseason.
My mock draft assumed they would be letting one or both of them go. But they didn’t. The argument might be that Maxx Williams can’t be counted on to stay healthy, and that’s a fair point, but then there’s no need to re-sign him.
Lots of teams like to claim that they take the “best player available” but I’m not so sure that it often shakes out that way. Teams usually try to fill needs with the best possible players. In that sense, I think that Trey McBride could be a successful tight end at some point for the Arizona Cardinals. Maxx Williams is injury prone, and Zach Ertz will turn 32 this November. McBride will get an opportunity to catch passes, but unless Arizona wants to run a lot of two-tight end sets, he probably won’t be seeing the field with the first team offense that much next year.
Complicating matters is the fact that Zach Ertz is due $31.65 million over the next three years. If the Cardinals didn’t select the top player at his position (like McBride was), their grade would have been much worse. But they did select the Mackey Award winner and it will be fascinating to see how creatively they utilize him next year.