Packers Annual Checkup: Brandon Bostick
FEB 03, 2014 6:00a ET
FOX Sports Wisconsin's Paul Imig gives an in-depth statistical analysis and film study of every Packers player in his annual offseason checkup. Check every weekday through mid-April for his latest report.
Brandon Bostick, tight end / special teams
Season stats: 11 games (144 offensive snaps); seven catches, 120 yards, one touchdown, three dropped passes, forced two missed tackles; special teams -- five tackles, zero missed tackles
ProFootballFocus.com season rating: minus-3.5 on offense (ranked second out of Packers' four tight ends); 1.0 on special teams
Best game: Week 10 loss vs. Philadelphia (29 snaps; three catches, 42 yards, one touchdown; 0.4 PFF rating)
Worst game: Week 12 tie vs. Minnesota (20 snaps; three dropped passes, one catch, 24 yards; minus-2.9 PFF rating)
Expectations at the start of the season: Low
Expectations were ... Met
Looking live: Brandon Bostick was all about potential at the beginning of the season and is still all about potential. Though he developed his all-around game in 2013, Bostick is still raw as a tight end. Given that he was a wide receiver at the small Newberry College in South Carolina, the Packers knew this was an experiment that would take time. After a year on the practice squad in 2012, Bostick was somewhat of a surprise when he made Green Bay's 53-man roster out of training camp in 2013. He beat out D.J. Williams (a fifth-round pick in 2011) and Matthew Mulligan (a proven run blocker), partially because of a report that other teams had begun to recognize Bostick and wanted him for themselves. Bostick did earn his spot with a strong performance in training camp, though. He was twice recognized in the "Movin' On Up" category of the Training Camp Report series. On Day 9, Bostick worked with the starting offense and caught two touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers. On Day 18, Bostick made a one-handed, leaping catch in the end zone with two defenders in his area. It was the "wow" moment that likely sealed the deal for Bostick being more valuable to the team than Williams or Mulligan.
Upon further review: Bostick plays a lot like Jermichael Finley. Bostick is two inches shorter, three pounds heavier and nearly matches Finley's athleticism. Bostick runs routes well and improved in that area quite a bit in 2013. Looking at his three-catch game against Philadelphia, Bostick got open for just-off-the-bench backup quarterback Scott Tolzien on two occasions. On the first, Tolzien had nowhere to go and decided to step up in the pocket; Bostick is 12 yards downfield and completely covered up in single coverage. That's when Bostick quickly broke outside just in time for Tolzien to fire the pass. Bostick then proceeded to show his power and Finley-esque ability to break tackles when he ran through Eagles linebacker Najee Goode to gain eight extra yards. Later in that game, Bostick collected his first NFL touchdown when he pulled down a bit of a high pass from Tolzien and went shoulder-first into cornerback Roc Carmichael at the goal line to score. Those plays were the highlights of Bostick's season. On the down side, he struggled with drops two games later. At home against Minnesota, Bostick's first drop came as the Packers were looking to score before halftime when he let a catchable ball hit him in the hands and fall to the ground. Later in the game he couldn't haul in a high pass from Tolzien nor a low ball from Matt Flynn -- though neither were easy catches. Bostick also had a chance to make what would've been a difficult grab in the end zone in double coverage, but he couldn't come down with it. That, along with the majority of his 74 snaps as a run blocker, weren't so pretty. Bostick isn't an unwilling blocker, but he has to get a lot better at it if he's ever going to reach his full potential and perhaps blossom into the starting-caliber tight end that he could be.
Overall 2013 grade: C-plus
Status for 2014: Ninety percent chance of being on the Packers' active roster to begin the 2014 season. He's still a project, albeit one who's getting there and improving rapidly. There would be little reason for Green Bay to have invested two years into Bostick and then not have him on the team in 2014. The bigger question revolves around how much the Packers can get out of him next season. He's certainly not yet ready to be the starter and replace Finley (who's a free agent and coming off of neck surgery). Andrew Quarless is also a free agent and has questions of his own of whether he's good enough to start full-time. Green Bay will likely add a tight end in the offseason (maybe even in the early rounds of the draft), but Bostick will contribute in 2014. If he improves as much heading into Year 3 as he did heading into Year 2, Bostick could probably even contribute a lot. He'll be among the most intriguing players to watch when the Packers open training camp in late July.
Next: Defensive lineman Josh Boyd
Follow Paul Imig on Twitter