Keep It Tight: Breaking Down The Tight Ends In This Years NFL Draft.
Hey Mr.GM, good to hear from you again. Let’s talk about modern football. We know that space is key to an offense, but the only thing cooler than a Kriss Kross (shout out backward clothes) is a mismatch. We know that a good tight end is a major key to that in today’s modern game. One could say it makes opposing linebackers jump (ok last Kriss Kross reference). We know that Kyle Pitts is this year’s head and shoulders best prospect at the position, he got Todd McShay’s highest grade ever. We know this position can yield great value later in the draft. Let’s take a look at who is on the board.
Penn State 6’5 258 pounds. His nickname is “Baby Gronk” that shouldn’t be a surprise when you see how he breaks tackles. It was like watching you try to tackle your older brother when there was a three-year age gap. He has a good number of ways to separate along with a good dip in his breaks. Pat had a 27.8% target rate in college, making him no stranger to a heavy workload. That being said he’s still not the most agile guy in the room. There’s a stiffness in his hips. On tape, he is on his toes in most of his blocks, looks to project as a good inline blocker in year one. He isn’t going to line up as an “X” that we see in the modern game. Looks to be a more classically built Tight End.
Notre Dame 6’4 242 pounds. Whichever team drafts this kid is getting a player that plays two positions, Tommy was a fullback in another life. I refuse to be told otherwise, he is tremendous blocking in space. When you watch the tape, he gets as much joy clearing a path for a teammate as he does catching the ball. He has great power and an explosive lower body. Is a joy to watch coming off the line. He played more in the slot last year than in 2019 and is an asset in the screen game as a receiver and passer. I selfishly am really excited to see him in a creative offense next year.
Miami 6’3 245 pounds. It is not very often we can break down a tight end with 2.7 yards per route run. Brevin is one of the fastest tight ends in college football. He looks like a running back with the ball in his hands, he shed 21 tackles on 105 catches in his career. His separation vs linebackers is SPECIAL averaging 2.93 yards per route. He has filled out his frame, but he is still a bit on the small size for the position. I’ll be interested to see if he can maintain his agility as he gains some additional weight. Blocking will be an issue, never played in line at Miami. He will be a killer on drags and crosses immediately but the rest of the position will be a learning curve for this project.
Alright, we have a few prospects here. Do we have the personnel to maximize them? Or are we best signing at a retread free agent from somewhere else? The mismatches and the ability to line up all over the field are what will set these guys apart at the next level.