6’5″ – 256 lbs. – 4.75e
Redshirted in 2013, then rotated into the offense the following year before taking over a starting role as a redshirt sophomore. Put together two straight seasons of over a thousand yards receiving to close out his career. Team captain. Well-built tight end who has average height and lines up all over the field: as an H-Back, as an inline tight end, in the slot, and outside. Very heavily integrated into his team’s passing game. May be at his most dangerous when he’s using his athleticism to challenge defenses down the seams or on intermediate patterns. Smooth accelerator who has the speed and suddenness out of his breaks to create separation at the intermediate level against opposing linebackers. Has impressive flexibility for a tight end in terms of dropping his hips going into his breaks. Also gets some manufactured production on tunnel screens and other short passes through congested areas near the line of scrimmage. Pretty natural receiver who made a focus drop during the games reviewed but generally looks comfortable plucking the ball away from his frame, with sound catching technique. Able to come down with contested catches or absorb hits in order to make a reception. Gets upfield quickly with the ball in his hands, with some ability to rack up yards after the catch; wasn’t a major threat to make defenders miss during the games reviewed, but is a no-nonsense player who doesn’t shy away from contact and is willing to get physical with defensive backs down the field. Physical, aggressive blocker who can handle different types of assignments, whether sealing the edge on an outside rushing attempt, executing cut blocks on angles, stalking opposing linebackers and defensive backs from the slot, or coming in motion to crack backside pursuers. Able to jolt defenders with his initial punch and does a good job of keeping his arms extended and his legs churning to generate push. Exhibits the ability to attack the outside shoulder, turn defenders away from the play, and create rushing lanes off-tackle. Rarely used as a pass protector. A versatile prospect who has the speed, flexibility, body control, and ball skills to make plays in the passing game, and the physicality and aggression to block in the run game. Small-school pedigree and lack of ideal height may affect his draft stock, but looks like a potential first-round prospect.