The Green Bay Packers could keep four tight ends on the roster in 2019.
But assuming the Packers don’t make any more changes at the position, there are currently six tight ends on the 90-man roster who could potentially make the Week 1 roster.
Here’s how I predict the depth chart will look this season:
By keeping Jimmy Graham this season, it’s clear he’ll at least start the year at number one on the depth chart. And he’ll likely keep that role all season, especially if he is a bigger red zone threat in Matt LaFleur’s offense.
Even at 32 years old, Graham can still be an effective part of the Packers’ passing game. While he might not offer much as a blocker, he’s still a mismatch as a receiver, which is key in the red zone.
Marcedes Lewis might initially start the season at number two on the depth chart, but Jace Sternberger should get more snaps at the year goes on. Lewis is the best blocking tight end on the roster so he’ll still have an important role to play in the run game, but Sternberger’s talent as a pass catcher could see him earn more opportunities later in the year.
What the Packers lack is an all-around tight end like Detroit Lions first-round pick T.J. Hockenson, but they do have two talented pass catchers and a good blocking tight end on the roster.
Robert Tonyan will be a player to watch. He didn’t get many opportunities on offense last year, but he has the potential to get more snaps this season. The depth chart is a little crowded at the moment, but he should make the roster based on his potential. If there’s an injury, he could step up and play more snaps.
Last season, only five Packers played more special teams snaps than Tonyan, according to Pro Football Reference. That’s where he’ll be used the most again in 2019.