What to know about Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State tight end and Green Bay Packers third-round pick in the 2023 NFL draft

Tom Dombeck
Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter
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GREEN BAY − The Green Bay Packers made it two tight ends on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL draft, selecting South Dakota State's Tucker Kraft at No. 78 overall in the third round Friday night.

The pick reinforces the Packers' need to revamp a bare tight end room.

A little Robert Tonyan in Tucker Kraft

PackersNews.com analysis: The Packers clearly intended to restock the shelf at tight end, getting a player in the third round who has the look of a young Robert Tonyan. He played running back and linebacker in high school, so he's got good athleticism.

South Dakota State tight end Tucker Kraft scores a touchdown against North Dakota.

Height, weight, other measurables

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 254 pounds

Hand size: 10 inches

Arm length: 32 3/4 inches

Tucker Kraft South Dakota State highlights

  • Limited to nine games in 2022 due to an ankle injury
  • Named third-team AP FCS All-American
  • Named first-team all -Missouri Valley Football Conference
  • Caught 27 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns

Tucker Kraft on the Packers

Kraft met the local media via conference call Friday night. Here are some highlights.

On playing in the NFL: "The NFL's been on my radar since I was about a 19-year-old ... it's just been about a lot of hard work and determination. Coming from a small community, my father passing away when I was 12, my mother dealing with an autoimmune disease, I realized I was gonna have to take this path on my own."

On predicting being a Packer: "I was fully anticipating being a Packer. That was one team my agent said was on the radar, so when I got that call, I was not surprised at all."

On learning about the Packers' offense: "I've had two meetings on Zoom with the tight ends coach ... but after all my visits and the wisdom I've been able to pick up, I've noticed there's a ton of carryover between teams and I'm hoping that holds true for the Packers." 

Packers' general manager Brian Gutekunst on Tucker Kraft

On double dipping on tight ends: "We felt good about what our picks were and just kinda waiting to see where it would fall ... the board's held up pretty strong." 

On Kraft's size: "Tucker's very big with the ball in his hands ... he's got strength to break tackles, keep the play alive."

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein’s take on Tucker Kraft

"Combination tight end with the projectable skill set to handle pass-catching and run-blocking duties at the next level. Currently, he’s a more effective blocker in space than in-line, but that is correctable with better hand usage and proper angles of entry into his base blocks. Kraft provides formational versatility that will be appealing for teams that make heavy use of 12 personnel (two tight ends). He has the body control and catch toughness to be more than just a traditional Y tight end. Kraft has Day 2 talent and should see the field early with a chance to become a TE1."

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