TE Chris Herndon, Miami (FL)

6’4″ – 253 lbs. – 4.80e

Appeared in just three games as a freshman, then started three of thirteen games the following season and twelve of thirteen as a junior despite the presence of eventual first-round pick David Njoku. Enjoyed a highly productive senior campaign over eleven games before sustaining a season-ending MCL injury. More of a flex tight end who typically lines up split out in the slot; also projects as an “F” at the next level, as his game, skillset, and size are not very well-suited to a “Y” (inline) role. Played a lot of fullback as a junior. Pretty natural receiver who is smoother than he is fast. Gets fed the ball on a lot of shorter volume throws with the intention of getting it into his hands, namely digs, screens, and route combinations which free him up. Seems able to deal with chips near the line of scrimmage. Does a good job of settling into soft spots in zone coverage and providing his quarterback with a safety valve underneath. Looks natural catching the ball away from his frame, with soft, reliable hands. A good runner after the catch; no-nonsense player who will tuck the ball away, runs hard, and fights for extra yardage after contact with opponents. Wasn’t asked to challenge defenses down the field very often, and may not really have the speed to easily uncover in man coverage against athletic linebackers; also not very sudden or explosive when running routes. Has the size to potentially serve as an effective stalk blocker, but on tape looks disinterested, giving only perfunctory effort and rarely sustaining his blocks through the whistle. Can be more of a spectator on many running downs, and doesn’t appear to aggressively seek out opponents to block. Given that his typical usage was from the slot, wasn’t asked to play with his hand in the dirt and drive opponents off the line of scrimmage or stay back in pass protection on a regular basis, and those responsibilities may not be commensurate with his on-field temperament. However, has the anchor and length to make improvements if he is committed, and looked better as a lead blocker from the fullback position than as a tight end. A reliable receiving option who runs hard after the catch and who has been praised for his work ethic, but who can look lazy when blocking and running routes. Should be able to rotate into an offense as a safety valve underneath, but has a long way to go before becoming a more complete tight end.

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