Here is a look at the Green Bay Packers’ projected depth chart at tight end for the start of training camp:
Jermichael Finley (6-5, 247; sixth season): Finley’s 61 catches in 2012 were most in franchise history by a tight end. It was the tale of two seasons, however. Finley dropped seven passes in the first eight games but just two in the final 10 — including zero in the last six games. He caught 77.1 percent of the passes thrown his way during the second half of the season, when he was one of the NFL’s top tight ends.
Andrew Quarless (6-4, 252; fourth season): Quarless emerged as the unit’s best blocker in 2011 before a devastating knee injury. He didn’t play in 2012. He’s got the power and will to block and the athleticism to be an aseet in the passing game. If healthy and fully recovered, he’s the best two-way tight end in a unit of specialists.
D.J. Williams (6-2, 245; third season): It’s a make-or-break season for Williams, a fifth-round pick in 2011. A big-time receiving threat at Arkansas, he’ll enter this season with merely nine catches for 70 yards and no touchdowns in 26 career games. He has become a quality blocker while in motion or from the backfield.
Matthew Mulligan (6-4, 267; fifth season): Tom Crabtree, the unit’s designated blocker last season, signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent. Mulligan will assume that role and looks like an upgrade. He’s caught 14 passes in 50 career games.
Ryan Taylor (6-3, 254; third season): Taylor caught one pass in each of his first two seasons but is a standout on special teams who’s played in 31 of 32 career contests. He’s made 18 career stops in the kicking game.
Brandon Bostick (6-3, 250; first season): Bostick, who spent his rookie season on the practice squad, is an intriguing prospect. A standout wide receiver at Division II Newberry, he’s got stretch-the-field ability and good hands. It’s time to take “another step” and make the team, he said.
Jake Stoneburner (6-3, 249; rookie/UDFA): Stoneburner is another intriguing prospect. At Ohio State, he finished his career with 53 receptions, 714 yards and 13 touchdowns. He ran 4.53 at pro day and played to that speed during offseason practices. He was “surprised” that he wasn’t drafted but thinks his skill-set is a good match with Green Bay’s scheme.
Total: 7. On 2012 opening roster: 4 (Tom Crabtree, Finley, Taylor, Williams).
Final prediction: 5 (Finley, Mulligan, Quarless, Taylor, Williams).