While heading to the NFL usually means finding one’s place on a brand new team, tight end Luke Schoonmaker will have a familiar face alongside him.
The Dallas Cowboys selected Schoonmaker with the 58th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, a day after they drafted defensive tackle Mazi Smith late in the first round. Both were the first two players from the Michigan football team to get picked in this year’s draft.
Schoonmaker finished his Wolverines career with 54 catches for 637 yards across 43 games played. The lion’s share of those yards — 418 to be exact — came this season due to increased reps at the position. Whereas the year prior Schoonmaker had split time with tight end Erick All, an injury to All meant that Schoonmaker had sole possession of the TE1 title starting in this season’s conference slate.
With that extra playing time, Schoonmaker became a reliable cog in the offensive machine. His 35 catches ranked second among all Michigan players.
But Schoonmaker wasn’t just a receiving tight end. His blocking helped fuel Michigan’s run game as well, often creating holes for running backs to burst through. That included one that kickstarted a 54-yard run by sophomore running back Donovan Edwards at the start of the 2022 Fiesta Bowl.
While there’s no telling if Schoonmaker will parlay that college versatility into an NFL career, the Cowboys felt impressed enough with his resume to pick him in the second round. He was the fifth tight end to be drafted, including Utah tight end TE Dalton Kincaid, who was the first to be selected at the position at 25th overall.
Schoonmaker’s task now becomes cracking the Dallas roster and building on his professional goals. And with longtime teammate Smith heading to the same team, he’ll have plenty of company on his journey.