Yes, the 2020 season ended in disappointing fashion.
If just one play or one call or one playcall would have been different, the Packers could have been in the Super Bowl. Based on the disarray the Chiefs were in from injuries and off-the-field issues, the Packers may very well have won.
But it didn’t happen.
There’s looming salary cap issues in 2021 and some key players surely won’t be back, but there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the 2021 season and we’ll be counting them throughout the offseason.
Today we look at Reason #7: Bob Tonyan.
The epitome of developing prospects and improving from within, Tonyan was originally signed by the Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but cut before the season started, He landed on the Packers practice squad in later stages of the season.
His work – and the support and high standards of his teammates (as outlined in his self-penned letter to Green Bay) – got him spot duty appearances in 2018 and 2019, but only resulted in 14 total catches.
Still, he worked.
Then in 2020, he broke out.
His 14 TDs led all NFL tight ends and his 586 yards receiving was better than Jimmy Graham’s average from his two year stint. The difference is Tonyan had 0 drops and cost a ton less.
Snubbed as a Pro Bowler, Tonyan was nevertheless one of the best tight ends in the league last year.
Next year, Tonyan – entering his second season as a starter – looks to be even more improved.
With Josiah Deguara – a 2nd year player with a much different skillset – coming back from injury, Tonyan will be able to focus more on his strengths as a receiver and positional blocker.
And he’s only getting better.
As a restricted free agent, he will almost certainly be back – and that’s a reason for excitement!
Want to learn more!?
Want more insight into how winning teams build through the draft (and how losing teams fail)? We’ve got you covered!
Start shallow, then get deep into understanding draft strategy with our draft book (rated a #1 New Release): A Fan’s Guide To Understanding The NFL Draft: Strategies, Tactics, And Case Studies For Building A Professional Football Team
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Check out our PFTW 2021 Mock Draft Archive to see how other scenarios played out!
Check out Packers Draft Central 2021 for all our 2020 NFL Draft coverage!