Could Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft become the best set of tight ends in Packers history?

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Mark Eckel

Could Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft become the best set of tight ends in Packers history?

Musgrave and Kraft just might rival Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson for best ever.

It could be debated with good arguments all day as to who is, or was, the greatest tight end in Green Bay Packers history.

To me, and it’s just one opinion, it would be Paul Coffman who was part of had coach Bart Starr’s point-a-minute offense in the early ’80s and averaged 50 catches a season from 1979-85 with the exception of the strike-shortened 1982 season.

Now the next question: Who are the best set of tight ends in Packers history? You might not have to go back so far for that answer. It might be staring you in the face presently.

Sure it’s early and all we have to go by is a rookie season in which one of the two missed almost half of it. But it certainly appears that Luke Musgrave and Tucker Kraft, both selected in the what might be the NFL’s greatest tight end draft class ever, could easily become the best duo of tight ends in Packers history.

Right now, and it’s probably not even close, the best would be the combination of Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson. That duo helped the Packers get to the NFC Championship Game in 1995 and win a Super Bowl in 1996. But the two only played 25 games together over those two seasons. If you remember, Jackson, after being traded to the Packers from the Miami Dolphins, balked and did not report to the team until after the seventh game of the season.

That NFC Championship ’95 season saw Chmura catch 54 passes for 679 yards, while Jackson, after finally arriving, caught 13 for 142. During the Super Bowl season Jackson showed why the Packers traded for him with a Pro Bowl season that produced just 40 catches, but for 505 yards and 10 touchdowns. Chmura, more of the blocking tight end at this point, caught 28 passes for 370 yards.

And that was it. After winning the Super Bowl, Jackson, after nine years and at just 31 years old, decided to retire. 

So for now even though it did not last very long the Jackson/Chmura duo has to be the best. But it might not be for much longer.

In their rookie season Musgrave, the second round pick out of Oregon State, and Kraft, the third round pick out of South Dakota State, showed enough to make you think general manager Brian Gutekunst didn’t just end his third-round jinx but doubled up at a position that was of great need before the draft.

Musgrave, who missed all or parts of six games, caught 34 passes for 352 yards. Kraft, who dressed for all 17 games and started seven, caught 31 passes for 355 yards. Sixty-five catches for 707 yards is pretty darn good, especially for a pair of rookies. 

And it should only get better. 

Maybe good enough to be the best set of tight ends in Packers history.