Brandon Bostick: The Packers’ Darkhorse at Tight End All Green Bay Packers All the Time
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Packers TE Brandon Bostick scored his first NFL touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013

As everyone continues to wait and watch for news on the football future of Jermichael Finley, the Green Bay Packers are facing a point where they will soon have to make a decision at the tight end position.

Drafting a tight end in the upcoming NFL Draft seems like a foregone conclusion for the Packers, but they’d be wise to take a long hard look at a player currently on their roster before taking a tight end too high.

That player is not named Andrew Quarless either, though he showed some promise late last season after finally getting healthy from a 2011 knee injury.

No, the dark horse to watch is Brandon Bostick.  He saw action in 11 games in 2013 and had seven catches for 120 yards with one touchdown and three dropped passes. Those three drops all came in the Week 12 tie against the Minnesota Vikings, however.  It wasn’t an overwhelming performance, but Bostick showed enough that should warrant at a least a shot at the starting job in training camp.

The undrafted Bostick beat out former fifth round pick D.J Williams and veteran Matthew Mulligan last year in camp and had shown some flashes in practice. Bostick played wide receiver for small Newberry College and the Packers knew transitioning him to tight end would take some time.

By making the roster in 2013, Bostick must have shown he was making significant progress.  During the regular season, Bostick saw action in 11 games and scored his first NFL touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Scott Tolzien.

Looking at 2014 and beyond, Bostick could be the long term answer at tight end for Green Bay. He plays in a similar manner to Finley and having a tight end with that kind of ability does wonders for the Packers’ offense. While Finley never put up “huge” numbers for the Packers, his presence on the field alone affected how teams would attack the Green Bay offense.

By inserting Bostick, the Packers would have to do little tweaking to their style of offense.  There are going to be growing pains, but the reward in this case outweighs the risk.  It would also give Aaron Rodgers one more weapon in the passing game.

He also has some room to grow. He needs to improve his blocking, especially with the new emphasis on the running game with Eddie Lacy and holes on the offensive line.  However the same goes for all the tight ends on the roster.

This isn’t to say the Packers won’t or shouldn’t pursue other options. Quarless came on late last year, however there are still lingering doubts about his health. He is also basically the same size as Bostick but in an older body that also had a major knee injury.  He too needs to improve his blocking to be more effective.

Green Bay could also take a tight end early in the draft but with big holes still on defense as well as at center, tight end probably won’t be a priority until the later rounds.

General manager Ted Thompson always likes to see his own guys male leaps from year to year. Bostick’s performance last year, combined with his natural athletic ability, gives him a chance to be one of those players in 2014.  He will face competition at the position, but that should only make him better.

There is always one or two dark horses that come out of training camp each year. This year, look for it to be Bostick.

The search for the next Jermichael Finley may be over and that player may already be on the Green Bay roster.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


22 thoughts on “Brandon Bostick: The Packers’ Darkhorse at Tight End

  1. I like both Bostick and Quarless. I like Bostick’s speed but I like Quarless’s hands. When we play our big WR sets they add another degree of difficultly. Unfortunately, neither TE provide much in the run game. At 250 lbs and being catching TE’s both these guys don’t provide much blocking potential. It would be nice to have a guy who brings all skills to the party.

    1. Bostic attended the same school as my son. He was used as a reciever yet he was a “Tweener” even there. If I recal MM said that Bostic was the best blocker of the group. It sounded strange but if true I agree that he may be our best option at TE if we dont draft a TE.

    2. Is it just me or does Bostick seem to get dinged in every game he plays significant snaps? It seemed that the announcers were always saying, “Bostick went to the lockerroom early,” or “His status for the remainder of the game is questionable”.

  2. There are only about five TEs in this draft who are better than Quarless and Bostick. IMO there is no need to draft another “project.” I think TT will draft a TE if the right one is available in 3rd round.

  3. Don’t know about Bostick. One thing I do know for sure, you can stick a fork in Finley, he is done…

    1. I wouldn’t be so sure, if I were you. I wouldn’t be suprised if Finley was back on the Packers roster by training camp…

      1. Even if he is back, he will never be the same. He will always here footsteps and develop alligator arms.

    2. I wouldn’t be so sure, if I were you. I wouldn’t be suprised if Finley was back on the Packers roster by training camp…

  4. Bostic could be a nice option of his blocking develops but I think we all agree a double edged sword at TE would be preferred with the emergence of our running game.
    C. J. Fiedorowicz anyone? Comp Pick in 3?
    He’s a good blocker with better than average receiver skills. Rodgers makes everyone look good on that end so better than average combined with Rodgers makes a good option no?

    1. CJ Fiedorowicz would be a great 3rd round pick. I think he would be a tremendous red zone weapon. I attended some training camp last year and I singled out Bostick and watched him during a particular practice. He made a falling down one handed TD catch that was pretty sweet. He has the tools – you can see it during practice. But, can he stay healthy and take the next step?

  5. I forgot the Iowa pipeline is there too. One good DT (Daniels). One good CB (Hyde). Could we have… One good TE (Fiedorowicz) for a third consecutive year?

  6. The two young players I am most excited about to become break-through starters in 2014 are Brandon Bostick and JC Tretter. One of the most dazzling plays of 2013 was when Bostick reached forward as far as he could on teh dead run to catch a TD pass from Tolzein down the left sideline. He then bounced off a defender to score. Yes, the concern about being susceptible to injuries seems real, but this guy deserves a chance to fail this year.

    With that said, I am 100% for drafting TE Troy Nicklas from ND in this draft. I had been hoping to get him at 3A but it now seems like it will take a R2 pick to get him. This guy will give AROD his own Mark Bavaro for the next decade. As such, he will help clear the way for many big Eddie Lacy runs.

  7. WR Allan Robinson and TW Troy Niklas would make great start to 2014 Packers’ draft.

    Think back to Jordy Nelson. Pack trades out of R1 and grabs the best WR in that class, Jordy Nelson in R2. Allan Robinson, WR, PSU, could be a repeat of that success story. Big, fast, fluid and great hands. A home run hitter all the way.

    The key to trading down this year will likely be the QB class and where they get drafted. If they drop, as it looks like they will, everyone knows CLE is waiting at pick 26 to pick one off. Thus the feeding frenzy to trade back into R1 ahead of CLE. Pick 21 should be tempting to teams such as Houston and ythe Jaguars if they passed on a signal caller at the top of R1. The price of such a trade down should be a high pick in R3. That would give the Pack three picks in R3.

    1 – Trade out w Houston/JAX
    2A – From Houston/Jax – A Robinson, WR
    2B – T Niklas, TE
    3A – BPA
    3B – BPA
    3C – BPA

    Just think of the Pack’s offense with Robinson and Niklas added to Jordy, Cobb, Eddie and AROD. Run or pass, pick your poison. S has to stay back. Eddie gets 7 man fronts forever.

    If we keep pick 21, I think R Shazier, ILB, will be the guy. With Shazier chasing fast QBs like C Kapernick and covering fast TEs downfield, the Pack defense will eliminate a long time Achilles heel. If the Pack passes on Shazier, there is not another ILB like him in this draft. That is why I think they grab him over a CB or Kony Ealy at pick 21. I am assuming Mosley and both top S are off the board but even if they aren’t, Shazier could be the pick!

  8. Easy to make the case that two unique players in this draft are: R Shazier, ILB and T Niklas, TE. Pack could draft both, 1-2. I would be ecstatic with that, as I would be with my trade scenario above.

    1. I’d definitely prefer this to the scenario above. Just can’t imagine going offense with the first two picks, especially when you consider the depth at WR. There are guys like Jarvis Landry, Paul Richardson, Cody Latimer, Bruce Ellington etc, that will be available a bit later.

      I do like the idea of trading down, though. That seems like the move to make in this draft, unless a can’t miss player falls to 21.

  9. With Finley likely gone, the Packers need a reliable big receiver for Rodgers to go to in bail-out situations. Unless Bostick or Quarless show something in camp the Packers will be really deficient at TE. Bostick is only 6’3″. Quarless has decent size, but can he even get open anymore. Ryan and Stoneburner are backup types and are on the short-end too at 6’3″. No sizzle with this group. Say what you want about Finley, at least he was someone the opponent had to scheme for. With the current configuration the Packers don’t scare anyone.

    The Packers need to address this position in the top half of the draft. Hopefully get someone who’s at least 6’4″ or taller who can present a decent target for ARod. Even with all the help we need on D, I would take Ebron at 21 if he were still there.

    1. But if they address the ‘tall’ requirement with a pick at receiver, they can go with a lower pick at TE. Need to get some better blockers in there, too.

      That said, Ebron is good and if he makes it to around pick 19 or so, I wouldn’t mind a trade up for him. But that’s exactly why he won’t fall that far.

  10. The TE position shouldn’t be a position the Packers look to in this draft. They have 2 young players on the roster that have shown some ability and they need to be given the chance to prove they are the starter the Packers need. Both Quarless and Bostic should be given the opportunity to make the job his. Its how a draft and develop team should operate.

    That said if Niklas is available in the 3rd round the BPA would override it. At that point he would easily be the BPA. CJ Fed might be similar in the 4th round. Beyond a fall by either of those 2 TE’s the Packers should sit tight and give Quarless and Bostic the chance to step up. At the very least they would have a decent TE duo that can provide a good option for Rodgers in the passing game.

    If all you want is a TE the be is a bail out option and reliable player there is absolutely no need to waste a draft pick on a TE. And between Q and Bostic the ability is there for one or both, or the combination to make some plays.

    Hold off on TE unless one of them falls by about a round.

    1. This year is interesting because the PAckers don’t actually have a ‘need’ that requires a 1st round pick (even at safety, Hyde provides enough to avoid *needing* to pick one early). SO BPA should rule in all rounds. WHoever we get, should be good enough for the pick used, regardless. That said I could see someone like Fedorowitz (Sp?) in the third, both of our picks are relatively late in the round.

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