Draft 2020: Tight Ends
Much like I did with the receiver class I have decided to boil this years class down to a few players who intrigue me.
This years Tight End class is lacking in the top end talent that we saw in recent years and the class has a lot of players who have unique specific skillsets that limit their application at the next level. But looking closely there are a few who could blossom down the line. And one player in particular who is blossoming right in front of us. So let’s start with him….
Watching the Senior week, Adam Trautmann completely changed my perception of the Class. He also helped shape my perception of him as a prospect.
Trautmann was a dominant focal point of the Dayton Offense and he was unnerving in his consistency and outright physical dominance on a week to week basis.
He demonstrated good route running, very consistent ball skills and excellent Yards after catch potential. He also demonstrated continuous dominant performances as a blocker in the run and as a 6th pass blocker. He was pretty good or very good at most things….in the FCS.
Given the low level of competition he faced, I had real pause to question wether what I saw was going to cut it against better competition. Then the Senior Bowl happened, he dominated all week vs high level competition as a blocker and receiver. And in the game itself was an absolute monster as a blocker all game.
As the most rounded guy here I feel best about him. His floor is a decent TE2/3 Who is truly versatile in every way. His ceiling however is considerably higher than I first thought. I wouldn’t be surprised if by year 3, he isnt a decent starter.
For more on him. Click here
Knee problems have limited Bryant to this point in his career. His 964 snaps at the collegiate level isnt exactly a huge sample size, and we only have one full season of production to really look back on. Add to that the fact that he is only 6’2″ and only recently up to 240lbs. With a surprisingly pedestrian combine workout. And it occurs to one that Bryant is very much a projection as a prospect at this point.
The thing is, if one views Bryant as a Tight End and assesses his skills through that particular lens he is very much limited to being a “Move” Tight End. However if we look at Bryant’s athletic performances in pads and look purely at his receiving skills then he is a highly intriguing player. Bryant forced 10 missed tackles last year, averaged over 7 yards after the catch per reception, and had an average depth of target of 10.6 yards. Those are receiver numbers and Bryant certainly plays like a Wide receiver. He is clearly a high level athlete and at say 220lbs could potentially move much faster than the 4.7 he ran at Indy.
Unfortunately Bryant does have a few developmental areas. He struggled in the contested catch arena consistently and also had an 8.2% drop rate. Which for a Tight End selling himself on his receiving skill, gives one pause for thought.
Bryant is a player who potentially could develop into a Jordan Reed style player, with a Delanie Walker frame, but selecting him on Day one would be a bridge too far based on the projection and limitations mentioned here. Even so, dont bet on a pass heavy offense falling for his potential as a pass receiver with informational versatility. Bryant has potential inthe right scheme but if teams want a well rounded, old school Tight End, forget it. They will be disappointed. Keep an open mind, and you have a weapon.
For more, click here.
As the son of famous Oilers/Titans offensive lineman Brad Hopkins. One would be forgiven for expecting Hopkins to be a road-grading, piledriver of a blocking Tight End. Instead, he presents a puzzling, tantalising evaluation that is you wouldn’t expect.
Very much in the Jordan Reed style of “Move” TE. Hopkins is very much a big play, downfield threat as a receiver. He has excellent vertical straight line speed and demonstrates a penchant for spectacular catches downfield – he reeled in 10 of his 18 contested targets last year. He is a YAC monster too with 6 missed tackles forced last year and a 6.8 yards avg after the catch.
The big questions around Hopkins are his inconsistent hands. “BUT you said he has good hands!” He does. But he has a 14.5% drop rate that is all about focus, and it’s at the jarring end of the scale as a percentage.
All this plus some highly inconsistent blocking in the run game gives concern over his versatility, that plus his pedestrian combine measurables makes for a promising day 2 pick with some areas of real development that need addressing if he is to start down the road.
But at his best Hopkins is a devastating deep threat at the position and creates matchup issues wherever he goes.
For more, click here.
In terms of physical dimensions, outwardly it appears that the difference between Chase Claypool and Cole Kmet, is a big dinner. For many Kmet is the De-facto TE1 on peoples boards because he is so very “quite good” at lots of things.
Kmet has excellent size for the position and certainly looks the part in pads. He runs with purpose and aggression, if not power. He also isnt shy of contact by any means. At the short and intermediate level he can uncover well vs zone coverage and has a shifty elusive nature to his releases, particularly when attached to the formation.
Kmet has capability as a blocker but he is very inconsistent. Some plays he holds up very well in the complex running game Washington run. But at others he can be hesitant at the point of attack and get muscled out of the play.
He also has work to do on contested catches and uncovering vs press and or man coverage, where his lack of speed or suddenness has limited him.
In summary Kmet is probably a developmental TE2 in a pass heavy team. He has done nice traits that translate, and he can easily land on a roster and survive the cut.
For more, click here. https://twitter.com/jamesru1/status/1253078945085431808?s=19
Anyway, thats my favourite guys at the position this year. I hope you enjoy the draft.
See you on the other side.