I agree to an extent, but knowing Ballard's history, I don't see him gambling much either.
If though for instance, if Love is their guy, and he's not projected to go until early second, I could see them going DT first IF they have a trade partner to pop back into the mid/late 1st round (17-22nd) for a QB (Love). Or they may be happy with both Love and Eason for instance and feel confident at least one is available later.
I honestly don't care as long as they don't mortgage the future.
Being middle of the road isn't going to be of much value in trying to get a QB, if that's even a thing (it probably should be, but don't be shocked if it's not).
I feel like we're watching a slow rolling undoing of future potential and we're kind of ending up where we were under Grigson and Pagano when they go fired, for different reasons. They had Luck but a bottom barrel roster. Ballard and Reich have a passable roster (when healthy) but QB issues. Both are going to result in hovering around 8-8 and that's no mans land when it comes to fixing big issues through the top of the draft.
There's only 10% difference in hit rate between 2nd and 3rd round TEs. And 3rd through 5th all have similar hit rates. Given well rounded TEs have arguably the 2nd steepest learning curve (QB is first) when transitioning to the NFL, early impact TEs are pretty rare (unless they are limited to receiving and not so much blocking). In short, if you're not going 1st round for TE (which teams rarely do), rounds 3-5 are just fine.
I also doubt the FO sees TE as dire right now (enough to use a second). They just locked up Doyle, and MAC was improving and tracking well last year before his regression (really lack of targets, not his regression) this year. And, probably most important, TE is a devalued position (similar to LB), are are one of the best values in FA. That plus the steep learning curve (longer development) make FA TEs more attractive than drafting an early TE.
In terms of talent, this isn't a great class for top end TE talent anyway. I don't see any TEs projected in the first round. Only 2 that might go in the 2nd, but I'd actually bet on only 1 going mid to late 2nd. Then there are 2-4 that will go 3rd or 4th. There are several hidden gem type that could go 4-6 IMO.