The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects who could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Since Aaron Rodgers will be on his way to the Big Apple sometime in the near future, the end of the Marcedes Lewis era is likely to come at 1265 Lombardi Avenue as well. His close friend Robert Tonyan just signed with the Chicago Bears.
That leaves Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis as the two tight ends who had game time last season. Expect Brian Gutekunst to add a tight end or two in the 2023 NFL Draft.
One player Gutekunst could target for Day 3 of the upcoming NFL draft is Josh Whyle. The Cincinnati tight end checks in at #49 in the Unpacking Future packer Countdown.
Whyle, a three-star recruit, had 28 receptions for 353 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. The following season, Whyle caught 26 passes for 332 yards and six touchdowns. Last season, Whyle caught 32 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns.
Whyle is quite a tall athlete. The Cincinnati tight end is 6-6 and posted a time of 4.69-40 at the Scouting Combine. That 4.69 time was the seventh best among the tight ends. That athleticism is a big reason Whyle was Bruce Feldman’s #78 geeks List last summer.
“Whyle’s greatest strength is his physical attributes,” said Kevin Fielder, an Underdog Dynasty contributor. “He measured 6-foot-6 during the NFL Combine and plays tape at that height. Despite being big for the position, Whyle doesn’t miss a step athletically. He’s one of the fastest tight ends in his class and uses that speed to affect the game in a variety of ways. His physique and athleticism make him a versatile player who can line up in multiple spots to improve his offense.”
Whyle has good close-range quickness to handle the intermediate routes and he has the long speed to be a vertical threat. He accelerates quickly off the line of scrimmage. With his size and toughness, he can work in midfield. He looks beyond comfortable catching in a crowd. He has strong hands and excellent hand-eye coordination. According to Pro Football Focus, Whyle was tagged with just one drop last season. With his size and speed, he can be a mismatch nightmare in the red zone.
“Whyle was developed as a route runner who can contribute at all levels of the field,” Fielder said. “When you turn on the tape, Whyle stands out as a player who knows how to use his athleticism and footwork to break away from defenders. Whyle might not have run an entire track tree in Cincinnati, but that’s not his fault. If Cincinnati had wanted to, he could have run a varied route tree.”
As a blocker, Whyle likes to do the dirty work. As a lead blocker, he excels at blocking on the move. He’s an avid blocker, but he needs to get stronger at the attack point.
“Whyle’s character doesn’t do him any good as a blocker,” Fielder said. “Even though he’s 6ft 6, Whyle only weighs 248lbs, making him relatively slim for the tight end position. However, I appreciate Whyle’s development as a blocker. Whyle evolved as a blocker each season, showing a player ready to block, which is half the battle. However, stronger players will always be a challenge for Whyle. It was a problem with the Americans and it will probably continue to be a problem in the NFL. Overall I think Whyle is an inconsistent but usable run blocker.”
During his time as a Bearcat, Whyle recorded 433 snaps on special teams. This experience could help him make an immediate impact as a rookie.
“He can absolutely contribute to special teams as a rookie,” Fielder said. “Not only will his experience in special teams help him, his athletic profile also fits what teams in special teams are looking for.”
Fit with the packers
The Packers need playmakers in the tight end position. Deguara and Davis have combined for two career touchdowns.
With his size and athleticism, Whyle has the tools to become a weapon. While he’ll never become a true No. 1 option, he has the skills to be a reliable target for a team within his 20s. Additionally, he has the experience of Special Teams to intervene from day one and make an impact at this stage of the game.
“Personally, I love athletic tight ends,” Fielder said. “Even if they were relatively raw, I’d bet on an athletic tight end to find their groove in the NFL. Unlike other athletic tight ends, however, Whyle has at least the basis to be at least a viable blocker, meaning he can be a “real” tight end who finds himself attached to the offensive line. I have no doubts that as a pass catcher, Whyle can contribute to an NFL team that isn’t a net negative on blocking.
The Packers struggled in the red zone last season. With a player of Whyle’s size and speed, Cincinnati’s tight end could help.
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Source : sports.yahoo.com