Packers rookie tight end Luke Musgrave is passing the shorts test
Luke Musgrave looks the part in shorts, and not just because of the fashionably short inseam he and fellow rookie Tucker Kraft have going so far this spring in Green Bay. In fact, their similar statures and short lengths provide the perfect kind of measuring stick. Kraft is an elite athlete with a Relative Athletic Score over 9, yet Musgrave appears to be moving at different a speed and fluidity. It’s just OTAs, merely the first course in a long meal to determine the fate of the top offensive pick’s Yelp review in the Green Bay Packers’ 2023 draft. But since the former Oregon State standout can’t fast-forward time to play with pads on in live action, he’s checking the boxes he can check.
There’s an old cliche about football teams and the rosters that win getting off the bus. They look the part with hulking physiques on enormous frames. Three of the four top Packers rookie picks are on the All-Bus team, to the went Lukas Van Ness earned the nickname “Hercules.”
On the field though, there’s a similar truism about looking the part in shorts. In general, it doesn’t mean much, though it certainly beats the hell out of the alternative. We can think of myriad examples over the years of Packers players who ripped up the spring practices and never made anything of themselves in games that mattered. Josh Jones is the example of choice here.
Tight end is a notoriously slow-developing position due to the high volume of information rookies have to process. Not only do they have to learn every route from every position like the receivers do, but they also have to learn the blocking schemes in the run game and protection calls. Outside of quarterbacks, no one else has to process more information to prepare to play at a high level.
The flip side of this is history shows us a slew of examples of former college athletes who just athlete’d their way to NFL success. It’s a position where being an elite athlete may be the only true prerequisite.