Mon, 16 May 2022

Trey McBride's Dream Puts Him Where He Wants - Arizona

Arizona Cardinals
13 May 2022, 19:03 GMT+10

Rookie tight end ready to learn from Ertz, WilliamsKevin Parrish Jr.

Trey McBride dreamed of making the NFL at an early age and shared the aspiration with his parents.

He may not have been waiting in the green room in Las Vegas, but McBride spent the event in Colorado with family and friends. He wore a purple suit with two silver chains atop his black collared shirt as they waited for his name to be called.

Late in the second round, his phone finally rang. GM Steve Keim was on the line, informing McBride the team would select him with their 55th overall pick. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said he did not expect McBride to be available by their selection, and Keim said the tight end from Colorado State had the highest grade on their remaining draft board.

Before Keim handed the phone to Kingsbury and owner Michael Bidwill to speak with the rookie, McBride felt a whirlwind of emotions and celebrated with his loved ones.

"It was a dream come true," McBride said while talking to the media for the first time in Arizona Thursday. "This is where I wanted to be. Like I said, I've trained here and did my pre-combine stuff here in Arizona. I fell in love with this place. I told my agent whether I went there or not, I wanted to live there. It all worked out."

The weather. The people. The vibes from the community all enhanced McBride's desire to call Arizona his main home while preparing for the draft. Since that's the case, his excitement turns on the field towards joining the NFC West franchise.

"This is such a great organization," McBride said. "To see Kyler (Murray) and Zach (Ertz), guys I've watched play for such a long time and now being teammates with them, is very special. Kyler is such a dynamic player and a great athlete. He's someone I'm excited to play with and learn around. Coach Kingsbury has been very successful and runs a great offense. I'm excited to see how he utilizes everybody."

McBride said he does not feel pressure to perform as a second-round pick this season in an offense led by Murray. Instead, he's excited to showcase his talents to his new teammates.

McBride's talent as a pass-catcher is well documented. The tight end in 2021 became the first unanimous All-American in school history because of it, hauling 90 receptions for more than 1,000 receiving yards. But McBride prides himself on being a successful blocker, too.

"I love blocking," McBride said. "I think that's what got me on the field early in my career. I wasn't always the No. 1 tight end, so early, I was the blocking tight end that came in for the other guy. I had to do all the dirty work. My coach (at Colorado State) would also run the ball 65-70 percent of the time.

"I had 1,000 receiving yards, but I blocked 70 percent of the time. I think it's fun. I think blocking makes tight end much more special."

McBride will join a tight end room that includes Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams. This offseason, Ertz landed a three-year deal with the Cardinals following his trade from Philadelphia last season. Williams re-signed this offseason but on a one-year deal. The veteran is still recovering from a season-ending knee injury that occurred in Week 5 against the 49ers last season. It's why McBride could receive more playing time this year.

McBride said he has yet to speak with Ertz but had a conversation with Williams. McBride isn't worried about fitting into Kingsbury's offense or jelling with Ertz. He's more excited to learn from the three-time Pro Bowler.

"I look forward to seeing him face to face and just getting to know him," McBride said. " And build that relationship with him because we'll spend a lot of time together.

"He's a tight end who has played in this league for a long time. I'm excited to pick his brain, be a sponge, and soak everything I can from him. And not only him but other guys on the team."

After being the big man on campus in college, McBride will now become the new kid on the block in the NFL. It doesn't faze him, though. He's just excited to begin the experience of living his childhood dream.

"I'm just excited to meet the guys and prove to them who I am," McBride said. "This is a great opportunity, and obviously, I know I have a lot to prove. I have to earn that respect from my teammates and that's something I'm excited to do."

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