DENVER — To the surprise of noone, Trey McBride announced on Twitter Monday that he is declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft.

McBride made it clear throughout the 2021 season that it would be his final campaign with the Rams, so he was never expected to come back and use his final season of eligibility in 2022. But as of Monday, Jan. 10, it’s now official, McBride is taking his talents to the next level. 

Although draft projections will fluctuate in the coming months, the 2021 Mackey Award recipient is currently receiving high praise from experts in the field. 

ESPN’s Todd McShay had McBride as his No. 30 overall prospect and top-ranked tight end in his most recent 2022 NFL Draft rankings. McShay had the following to say of McBride’s skills: “He is versatile, lining up out wide, in the slot and in-line with the Rams, and he can be a real matchup problem for defensive coordinators. McBride is a big target who makes plays in traffic and downfield, thanks to elite ball skills. He leverages his routes well and is productive after the catch.”

Pro Football Focus also tabbed McBride as the nation’s top tight end prospect in their most recent ranking of the top 101 players in college football this year. PFF ranked No. 85 as the 9th best player in the FBS in 2021 and wrote the following on him: 

“McBride was the engine of the Rams’ offense this season. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end was targeted on 30% of his routes — the second-highest rate at the position — and he finished the season averaging an incredible 2.77 yards per route run. McBride earned a stellar 95.0 PFF overall grade for his efforts — second to only Kyle Pitts (2020) in the PFF College era. He also picked up 18 more combined first downs and touchdowns than any other FBS tight end. 

And if that wasn’t enough, he also recorded the seventh-most positively graded run blocks among FBS tight ends. Between his receiving ability and blocking prowess, McBride has made his name known as an all-around weapon at the tight end position.”

McBride will have more opportunities to improve his draft stock at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He’ll be training in Arizona on and off as he prepares for the events. 

Regardless of whether he goes in the first round or not — McBride clearly has the talent but the process is imperfect — there’s no doubt that he’ll forever be beloved in Fort Collins. He’ll also be up there with Shaq Barrett for the title of the most popular former Ram in the NFL. His college accomplishments are worth going over one final time though. 

Trey McBride leaves CSU as the program’s second-ever individual award winner (Mackey) and the school’s first unanimous All-American. He was a three-time all-conference selection. And his 2021 season will go down as one of the greatest by any tight end ever. 

He is one of the most dedicated individuals to ever come through the program. Regardless of conference, McBride is also one of the most dominant college football players I’ve ever witnessed. I cannot wait to see what comes next for him.

McBride’s CSU stats 

  • 40 games played 
  • 164 receptions*
  • 2,100 yards*
  • 10 receiving TD 
  • 72 rushing yards 
  • 1 rushing TD 

* = No. 1 amongst CSU tight ends all-time 

Justin Michael
Author

Justin has been covering Colorado State athletics since 2015 & has been featured in multiple national outlets. Along with keeping up with the Mountain West, Justin loves the local teams and has been going to Broncos games since he was six years old. Follow Justin on Twitter - @JustinTMichael

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