Replacement: Tucker Kraft
Previously a tight end, Josiah Deguara clocked in this season listed as a fullback in the Packers offense. There was excitement that he would contribute to the offense, similar to how Kyle Juszczyk does for the San Francisco 49ers.
However, that experiment has all but failed.
After hauling in only 13 catches in 2022, there was optimism that the established rapport with Jordan Love would favor Deguara's new role in the short passing game. Unfortunately, Deguara's 2023 has been more of a demonstration of missing blocks in the run game with minimal pass-game involvement.
With only seven catches on the season and rookie Ben Sims having a more significant impact when he gets involved in the passing game, it may be time for the Packers to consider other alignments that remove Deguara from the lineup. With other rookie tight end Tucker Kraft waiting in the wings, it may be time for Green Bay to run out their latest third-round pick.
Kraft is also a willing blocker, and with how Deguara is performing in that department this season, it would hardly be a downgrade, if at all. Kraft is also more of a matchup problem for opposing defenses than Deguara, coming in at 6-foot-5, 259 pounds, with a strong athletic profile.
Given the Packers' lackluster passing attack, deploying more 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) could create favorable matchups for Love to take advantage of. Considering that Green Bay invested in two tight ends early in the 2023 draft (Luke Musgrave, Tucker Kraft), both clocking in over 6-5 with high-end athleticism, it'd make sense to put those players to use.
Deguara doesn't figure to be in the picture after his rookie contract expires, so if his play is not meeting expectations, it does the Packers little harm to start evaluating other options this season.