TE4: Luke Musgrave (Oregon State)
Height: 6-foot-5 7/8
Weight: 253 pounds
DOB: 9-02-2000 (22 years old)
This tight end class gets a lot of hype, especially the “big four”. Luke Musgrave is the first one I’ll mention, but it is reasonable to have the final four names in any order.
Musgrave is arguably the most unproven player on this list. That is what separates him from the top three on my rankings, but to see what Musgrave can truly be in the NFL, we must dive deeper into the tape.
Musgrave boasts the athletic profile to line up anywhere on the offense. He is strong enough to serve as an in-line blocker and agile enough to create separation from the slot. This versatility makes the projection easier, even without the raw counting numbers.
The Oregon State tight end never caught more than 22 passes in any season and only found the end zone twice as a Beaver. However, at nearly 6-foot-6, we can chalk this up to the scheme rather than Musgrave’s inability to score.
He showed a solid route tree in his limited action, and he is a terrifying cover for defensive backs if he leaks out downfield. Expect to see Musgrave used in short-yardage situations early, but as he grows more as a player, he will be a top option in the passing game.
Musgrave is less of a proven commodity than his reputation says, but the tape and his offseason workouts match his hype. I would select Musgrave in the middle of day two.
NFL Draft Grade: Mid Day 2
TE3: Darnell Washington (Georgia)
Height: 6-foot-6 5/8
Weight: 264 pounds
DOB: 8-17-2001 (21 years old)
Darnell Washington only has one season of legit production as a receiver, but he has been a menacing blocker since arriving in Athens. He set career marks in receptions (28), yards (454), and touchdowns (2) while also posting the highest run-blocking grade of his career (81.3) in 2022.
Washington carried this momentum into the offseason by dropping jaws during the NFL Combine. The Georgia star ran a 4.64 40-yard dash and knocked the shuttle drill and broad jump out of the park.
Washington’s size can get him in trouble as a blocker when defenders get into his body and negate his otherworldly length. He did a better job keeping his arms extended and dominating the point of attack in 2022, alleviating the size concerns.
As a pass catcher, Washington’s catch radius is superb. He looks like an alien when he reaches top speed, and I cannot imagine what it would feel like to try and tackle him one-on-one in space. Washington is a threat after the catch because of this.
He wasn’t used as much in the passing game once the team got to the red zone, but NFL teams will look to use him frequently. He is a mismatch for any defender, no matter if it’s a cornerback, safety, or linebacker.
Where Washington can stand to improve is his route diversity. He didn’t get a chance to run many routes at Georgia, so the questions surrounding his route tree are valid. Still, even if Washington is “only” a chain-moving threat, he is worth an early day-two selection.
His floor is a dominant blocking tight end with immense red zone potential. His ceiling is an all-around tight end who pressures the defense and learns how to eat up open areas in zone coverage. Washington can lead the NFL in touchdown receptions in the right situation and is an elite blocker from the moment he arrives at training camp.
NFL Draft Grade: Early Day 2