NFL draft: Ex-Georgia standout Brock Bowers is the top tight end

Here’s the third story of our position-by-position NFL draft series. Today, we’ll look at the top tight ends.

Former Georgia tight end Brock Bowers likely will be the only player at his position taken in the first round of the NFL draft, which is set for April 25-27 in Detroit.

Bowers, a dynamic pass-catcher, helped the Bulldogs win back-to-back national championships as a freshman and sophomore.

“Tight end is a prime position to be in right now,” Bowers said. “I’m just glad it’s now.”

Bowers could slide out of the top 10 in the draft.

“As we’ve gone over the positional stuff, the financial aspect of it, the history, the draft history, even though he’s a top ten player in this draft, I would not be – I would not rule it out that somehow Brock Bowers (slips),” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said.

Over three seasons in Athens, Bowers caught 175 passes for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns. He hopes to one day join some of the NFL’s great tight ends.

“I grew up watching (Rob Gronkowski),” Bowers said. “I loved watching Gronk. He’s kind of like a huge role model for me looking at him growing up. And watching (49ers tight end George) Kittle and (Chiefs tight end Travis) Kelce.”

Bowers has met with more than 15 of the NFL teams.

“There’s a lot of moving around,” Bowers said. “Just answering those core questions and watching film. Just letting them know my football knowledge.”

The 49ers selected two tight ends last season in the third and seventh rounds.

“I think that goes in and out,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “I remember when I was playing, that position, tight end, and safety were probably always undervalued in terms of compensation. I always thought it was really integral to the success of teams because they’re asked to do a little bit of everything and asked to do a lot.”

Tight ends are important to the rushing attack and in the passing game.

“They’re very involved in everything that you do,” Lynch said. “You can’t hide them. Those type things you can’t get away from them if you’re trying to. So, I think there’s great value in football when I played, and I think we’re a team that shows that there’s tremendous value.”

Last year, Utah’s Dalton Kincaid was the only tight end selected in the first round. He was picked 25th overall by Buffalo. He has 73 catches for 672 yards and two touchdowns for the Bills.

The Lions drafted Sam LaPorta (34th) and Green Bay drafted Oregon State’s Luke Musgrave (42nd overall) early in the second round. LaPorta, who had 86 catches for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns, was named to the PFWA’s all-rookie team. Musgrave had 34 catches for 352 yards and a touchdown.

Bowers knows that expectations will be high for him in the NFL.

“It’s exciting to see those young guys balling out,” Bowers said. “My rookie year’s coming up, and I’d like to do the same thing. It would be good to learn from those dudes and learn from what they did and what worked well.”

Two more blocking tight ends went in the second round, as Dallas took Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker (58th) and Jacksonville took Penn State’s Brenton Strange (61st) in the 2023 draft.

“So, I think it can really make your team better when you find (one), and it’s not just one anymore, you need a couple,” said Lynch, a Pro Football Hall of Famer from his hard-hitting days as a safety with Tampa Bay and Denver. “It’s a real critical position.”

Bowers could have a similar impact that LaPorta had if he goes to a team with a veteran quarterback, who knows how to use the tight end position.

“He reminds me of Kittle like in a Dallas Clark body a little bit,” Jeremiah said. “Similar in terms of how you would use Dallas Clark and move him and do all those different things. Kind of like if Kittle and Dallas Clark had a baby, it would be Brock Bowers.”

Most teams have thoroughly checked out Bowers’ ankle injury that required tightrope surgery.

“I don’t think that will impact too much where he ends up playing.” Jeremiah said. “He should be fine.”

Bowers’ versatility is intriguing to NFL teams.

“Bowers can play anywhere,” said Mel Kiper Jr., who has been the expert analyst for ESPN’s draft coverage since 1984. “You can move him around. He can play in the backfield. He can be H-back, fullback, tight end or slot wide.”

Bowers also scored five career rushing touchdowns and was a two-time winner of the John Mackey Award – presented annually to the top tight end in college football.

“You could move him around any which way you want. He’ll come through for you,” Kiper said of Bowers. “I think he’s in the mix for the Jets (who currently own the 10th overall pick). He’ll certainly be in the mix for Indianapolis if he drops down to 15.”

Bowers didn’t work out at the combine or at his Pro Day. He had a private workout for some teams Wednesday.

“I don’t know what he runs,” former NFL executive Bill Polian said. “Obviously, the people that are interested in him will have timed him in the 40. He didn’t run at the combine. Based on film, I’d say it’s perfectly fine. It’s going to be sub 4.7 for sure.”

The knock on Bowers is his blocking.

“Does everything you want him to do at the tight end position,” Polian said. “But power block, he’s not going to be Anthony Fasano. He’s not going to go down there and double-team tackles.

“That’s not how we do it in the National Football League anymore, anyway. Most of it is zone blocking where he’s going out and getting on top of a defensive end. He’s got the quickness to do that and the willingness to do it. He’s a tough guy.”


WIDE RECEIVERS -- Don’t sleep on Washington’s Rome Odunze among talented wide receivers | Top 10 WRs

RUNNING BACKS -- ‘Day two is going to be the running back day,’ an analyst says | Top 10 RBs








WIDE RECEIVERS – Past few drafts have spoiled NFL teams looking for wide receivers | Top 10 WRs

RUNNING BACKS – Running backs Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs may have to wait to hear their names called | Top 10 RBs

TIGHT ENDS – Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer heads a dee TE class | Top 10 TEs

QUARTERBACKS – Bryce Young’s small stature no longer an issue in the NFL | Top 10 QBs

OFFENSIVE LINE – Skoronski’s short arm length being scrutinized for left tackle | Top 5 C,G, &OTs

DEFENSIVE LINE – Is Jalen Carter the real deal or a potential bust? | Top 5 DTs, DEs

LINEBACKERS – Dutchtown’s Will Anderson expected to go in the top 5 of NFL draft | Top LBs

CORNERBACKS – Former Georgia standout Kelee Ringo one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL draft | Top CBs

SAFETIES – Alabama’s Brian Branch, Jordan Battle are top safeties in the NFL draft | Top FS/SS

SPECIAL TEAMS – Michigan’s Jake Moody hopes to kick way to NFL draft | Top STs

The Bow Tie Chronicles