Green Bay Packers training camp preview: Robert Tonyan and Tight Ends

GREEN BAY, Wis. – How will the Green Bay Packers replace Davante Adams production? A healthy Robert Tonyan would help. With the first practice of training camp set for July 27, here’s a look at the tight ends.

Packers Tight Ends Depth Chart

Robert Tonyan was unable to capitalize on his 2020 rebounding season due to a torn ACL suffered mid-season in 2021. Thus his production dropped from 52 receptions for 586 yards and 11 touchdowns to 18 receptions for 204 yards and two touchdowns. The last two seasons, he has 70 receptions and a drop. Other than Randall Cobb, no player on the list has caught more Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes than Tonyan (15).

Marcedes Lewis is a player at heart and soul, appreciated for his courage and his leadership. The oldest tight end in the NFL, he remains a top tackle tackle. He can still catch too. He caught 23 of 28 targets for 214 yards last season to help fill the void created by Tonyan’s injury. His fumble completely drained the Packers of their early mojo in the NFC Championship Game. During the OTAs, he said, “If you care, you’re going to have nightmares. This is exactly what happened. Watching the playoffs unfold, it’s like, ‘Damn, this is a game I wish I had back.’

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Tyler Davis took on the role of Tonyan in the offseason and showed some potential. A 2020 sixth-round pick, the Packers removed him from the Colts’ practice squad in late September. He played in 14 games — 88 of his 121 snaps came in the past four games — and caught four passes for 35 yards. Davis started his college career as a quarterback, as did Tonyan. “I have tons of Bobby clips on my iPad that I watch every day,” he said in May.

Josiah Deguara is a tight end in name only. A third-round pick in 2020, his value is to play here, there and everywhere. Coming back from a torn ACL that ruined his rookie season, he had 367 snaps last season. According to PFF, he played 162 snaps as a traditional tight end, 108 as a slot receiver, 53 as a wide receiver and 44 running back. He caught 25 of 33 passes (75.8%) for 245 yards (9.8 average) and two touchdowns. The highlight of his season was a 62-yard catch-up touchdown in Detroit.

Dominique Daffney was limited to 10 games last season. He caught two passes for 34 yards, highlighted by a 26-yarder in the Finals at Detroit. Like Deguara, he plays what former tight ends coach Justin Outten called the “universal” role. The former nightclub bouncer blocked well but was only targeted four times in the passing game.

Alize Mack was a seventh-round pick by the Saints in 2019, but still hasn’t played in an NFL game. At Notre Dame, Mack was suspended for the 2016 season for academic reasons. The advice of Brian Kelly, then coach? “It will either be the best thing that happens to you or the worst,” Mack recalled. For Mack, that was the best thing. He caught 19 passes for 166 yards in 2017 and 36 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns — all career highs — in 2018.

Eli Wolf started his college career as an extra in Tennessee before finishing in Georgia in 2019, when he caught 13 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown. Wolf spent all of 2020 on the Ravens practice squad and the second half of the 2021 season on the Colts practice squad. The Packers added him in May. He is the second member of his family to be vaccinated with the Packers; Older brother Ethan, also a tight end, spent part of the 2018 season on the practice squad.

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Kristen T. Prall