While most tight ends tend to have a big learning curve in transitioning from college to the pros, Deguara’s unique skill set could help the 23-year-old buck that rookie trend.
Lewis, who turned 36 in May, remains one of the league’s preeminent blocking tight ends entering his 16th NFL season. Along with being a locker-room leader, the 6-foot-6, 267-pound veteran saw his pass-catching numbers jump during his first year in LaFleur’s scheme.
Tonyan, entering his third season, completed his transition from receiver to tight end last year and figured to be a key offensive contributor before injuring his hip following 23-yard catch along the sideline last October in Dallas. He battled the injury for the remainder of the season, missing five games along the way.
In addition to his 14 career catches for 177 yards and two TDs, Tonyan has been a mainstay on Green Bay’s special-teams units over the past two seasons.
While Tonyan and Sternberger were out, the Packers elevated 6-foot-5, 250-pound tight end Evan Baylis from the practice squad to be their No. 3 behind Graham and Lewis. Baylis played in three games for Green Bay, primarily on special teams, before finishing the year on the practice squad.
Joining Baylis on the practice squad was former seventh-round pick James Looney, who shifted from defensive line to tight end last season after impressing the coaching staff on the scout team.
Looney, who was listed at 6-3, 287, was drafted two years ago in part because of his eye-catching measureables at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
He ranked in the top 10 amongst defensive linemen in several categories, including second in the short-shuttle (4.37 seconds) and third in the vertical jump (35½ inches). Looney trained this offseason with the full intention of tight end being his primary position moving forward.
With tight end expected to be a focal point of the offense moving forward, Green Bay is putting its faith in potential over proven production with its young players. Aside from Lewis, the rest of the Packers’ tight ends possess only 41 combined games of NFL experience (including postseason).