The Cardinals have two more years with Zach Ertz. They chose his understudy Friday night.
Arizona spent the 55th overall pick on Colorado State standout Trey McBride, making him the first tight end selected in the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas.
McBride brings the hardware with him to the NFL. The 2021 Mackey Award winner led all tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 1,121 receiving yards and earned first-team All-American honors in his final season with the Rams, capping a career that also included two first-team All-Mountain West selections (2019, 2021). McBride's 1,121 yards were the fourth-most from a tight end in a single season in the FBS since at least 1996.
He certainly earned them. McBride's highlight tape shows off a number of examples of him making contested catches with his strong hands -- he recorded 17 such receptions in 2021, per Pro Football Focus -- as well as catch-and-run opportunities that helped him rack up that gaudy receiving total. McBride is also a bit of a throwback, showing off effective blocking skills during Senior Bowl practices that should make him a true Y tight end at the next level.
McBride's selection allows Arizona to deploy more 12 personnel and add variety, allowing both McBride and Ertz to take advantage of potential defensive mismatches while Kyler Murray causes headaches for the entire opposition. He'll also be able to provide effective blocking for an Arizona backfield that returns James Conner as its lead back entering 2022.