Luke Musgrave recently visited with the Buffalo Bills on a top-30 pre-draft visit. The Oregon State football product is part of a deep tight end class for the 2023 NFL Draft. Musgrave will likely land as a Day 2 draft pick and is a dark horse to be the best tight end that comes out of this class. Let’s see why!
Luke Musgrave’s college career
The biggest downside to Musgrave and his game is his lack of major production. Musgrave had his 2022 season cut short by a knee injury, appearing in only two games. In 2021 he posted 22 receptions for 304 yards and one TD. He only played in seven games in 2020 due to the COVID-19 abbreviated season.
It’s actually quite amazing that Musgrave has the draft stock he does with these minuscule statistics, but he exudes the traits of a potential top-tier tight end in the NFL (which we’ll review in the next segment below).
Musgrave is smooth for his size and possesses the type of hips and feet more often seen from a wide receiver. He can play in-line as a traditional tight end or split wide to run routes. With below-average college game time experience, Musgrave will likely need some time to refine his skills and develop in a position that already usually takes longer for rookies to grasp in the NFL.
#OregonState TE Luke Musgrave is such an interesting eval, became a focal feature part of their offense late in 2021 that carried over to his only 2 games into 2022.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) April 10, 2023
Vertical ability up the seams, but also in the threat in boundary — ran double move vs Oregon, Fresno State. pic.twitter.com/NUSGTKHmc7
Luke Musgrave hauls in the catch for a TD pic.twitter.com/IaQ1x4bTGl— WalkTheMock (@WalkTheMock) September 4, 2022
Luke Musgrave at the 2023 Senior Bowl
Luke Musgrave was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl this year and really turned some heads. The week in Mobile, AL was especially important for him to show what he had to offer since he missed most of the 2022 season with a knee injury. Musgrave didn’t disappoint, and he was turning heads all week in practice. Check out some highlights below:
In the 5 years that they have been tracking play speed during Senior Bowl practices, Musgrave is the first TE to surpass 20.0 MPH.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 3, 2023
That should translate to a 4.5 40 at the Combine (at 255 pounds). https://t.co/k85IQkmAnR
I mean come on — just watch Luke Musgrave run!— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) February 1, 2023
How many TEs have the gas to cruise past the Nickel and throttle down? Heck, if he hadn’t move cut his speed down he’d have overran the throw! He can FLY pic.twitter.com/4cfSd6DEyD
At 6’5 255 Luke Musgrave is an athletic move TE with good hands ball tracking and can stress a defense vertically— Joe O’Leary (@TheHQNerd) February 2, 2023
Clocked 20.05 MPH down in Mobile which is the highest by any TE since the Senior Bowl started tracking in 2018
Getting legit top 50 buzz
Luke Musgrave’s NFL Combine performance
Luke Musgrave measured in at 6’6” and 253 pounds with 32 5/8” arms and 10 3/8” hands. Here are Musgrave’s combine statistics:
- 40-yard dash = 4.61s
- 10-yard split = 1.54s
- Vertical jump = 36”
- Broad jump = 10’5”
Musgrave was graded as the fourth-best tight end in Next Gen Stats Athleticism score with these test results from the combine. His 4.61-second 40-yard dash was good for the fourth-fastest of the TE group, while his 1.54-second 10-yard split took the top spot. He also ranked in the top four for both the vertical and broad jump. Check out his impressive Relative Athletic Score (RAS) below.
Luke Musgrave is a TE prospect in the 2023 draft class. He scored a 9.78 #RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 25 out of 1104 TE from 1987 to 2023. https://t.co/QYDHcn2wNQ pic.twitter.com/ZOG1llsP4r— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 16, 2023
The Pros & Cons of Luke Musgrave
- His athleticism & size are a scary-good combo
- Has the speed to beat LBs in the seam route and the toughness to catch the ball in front of the safeties
- Has the traits to develop into a superstar TE
- Can play in-line or split wide
- Smooth runner — makes his routes look easy
- Shows some promise to develop into an advanced route runner
- Limited collegiate game experience
- His play strength doesn’t quite match up with his frame
- Doesn’t always maintain balance through the catch — sometimes he falls down when it looks like he could have maintained balance and gained extra yards
- Blocking skills need time to develop
I would look for Buffalo to add to the TE room in this draft and/or via undrafted free agency. Currently, they only have Dawson Knox and Quintin Morris who played on the active roster last season. Musgrave would join an ideal situation where he could learn and develop under Dawson Knox for a couple of years and then (potentially) blossom into the superstar tight end he can capably become.