While the tight end position isn't as much of a need as a defensive tackle or an interior offensive lineman, the Dallas Cowboys should do their due diligence. Picking one up at this year's NFL draft could pay huge dividends.
Trey McBride and a couple of other tight end prospects would surely benefit the Cowboys. The question is, how early should Jerry Jones draft one? McBride, for example, can be had in the second round. Charlie Kolar and Jalen Wydermyer could be available in the third.
How early Jones has to select a tight end will likely depend on his current breakout player, Dalton Schultz. His fourth season with the Cowboys went well. He caught 808 passes and scored eight times.
However, Schultz is a free agent, and the team finds itself in a financial strain that leaves the future of several players in doubt. Going the draft route is a cheaper option, and the Cowboys could end up with a future star in exchange.
Who should the Cowboys target at tight end?
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
The six-foot-four, 260-pound McBride was a 2021 Consensus All American last year and was the recipient of the John Mackey Award. While McBride is rising on draft boards, it's possible that Jones could move up into the early selections of the second round.
Last season, McBride broke out, amassing 1,121 receiving yards and stretching the field from the tight end slot, averaging 12.5 yards per reception. He was second in the Mountain West Conference with 90 receptions and eighth in yards from scrimmage.
Showcasing a solid frame highlighted by his impressive thick lower body, McBride's athleticism is noteworthy. He possesses dependable hands, and his route-running is crisp for a tight end. He has excellent awareness of zone coverage as well.
Overall, McBride would be a great option as a long-term solution for the Cowboys.
Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
Another prospect that the Cowboys should consider, this one in the third round, is Iowa State's Charlie Kolar. The tall tight end, who stands at six-foot-six and weighs 260 pounds, has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
Size can't be coached. However, Kolar's downside is his hands, which can be inconsistent at times. His speed is lacking, but it's made up for with his polished route running. Kolar's initial impact on the Cowboys will be felt on short and intermediate routes.
To his credit, Kolar was first-team All-Big 12 last year and was in the Big-12's top five for touchdowns, receiving yards, and receptions as well.
Jalen Wydermyer, TE, Texas A&M
The Cowboys could go with Sean McKeon next season if Schultz becomes a commodity they can't afford. By doing so, they allow McBride, or in this case, Jalen Wydermyer, to be the team's TE2 next year.
The six-foot-five, 255-pound prospect emerged as a scoring threat in the SEC last season. He was ninth in the powerhouse conference with six touchdowns. In his three-year, 34-game career, Wydermyer racked up 1,468 yards from scrimmage and totaled 16 touchdowns
Unlike Kolar, it's doubtful that Wydermyer will last until the third round. That's due to his impressive size, which boasts imposing length and can hold his own against defensive linemen.
A solid athlete that can vertically stretch the field with his stunning speed, but he'll also get you yards after the catch as he's able to bounce off defenders. His ability to block in both pass and run plays against quick edge rushers earns him more points.
The Cowboys could have themselves a potential future star in Wydermyer, who offers great value and upside for a second-round choice.