TE C.J. Conrad, Kentucky

6’5” – 249 lbs. – N/A
A highly-regarded recruit who went 15-149-1 as a freshman, starting nine games. Followed that up with eleven starts, going 19-262-4, and then ended up posting 16-286-4 before sustaining a season-ending foot injury as a junior. Had his most productive season as a senior (30-318-3). Pretty big tight end but with just an average body. Moves around the formation, lining up inline, as more of an H-Back, and out of a two-point stance tight to the formation. Had extensive blocking responsibilities in school. Was brought into motion to block out of the backfield, retained in pass protection, even from an H-Back look. Not the most physical or polished blocker, but gives solid effort and has the size and length to further develop his ability. At his best, flashes the ability to climb to the second level and engage defenders in space, with good leg drive and arm extension and decent grip strength to fight through the whistle. However, at this point he can be discarded too easily for a player his size, and needs to do a better job of blocking within his frame instead of overextending himself and creating balance issues; anchor and lower-body strength leave something to be desired. Results in the running game are thus inconsistent moreso than poor. Tends to run routes instead of staying in protection on passing downs. More of an underneath receiver who ran routes out of different looks (banana routes, curls, short ins and outs), but who was occasionally running vertical patterns down the seams. More smooth than fast and tends to rely on play design and on head-fakes at the route stem to create separation. Appears to have good overall receiving skills in terms of catching the ball away from his frame with soft, reliable hands. Good focus, looking the ball into his hands. Does a good job of improvising when he runs himself into coverage and providing easy looks for his quarterback. Able to use his body to shield the ball from defenders and establish inside position. A four-year starter with soft hands, good size, and experience executing different assignments, his learning curve may be somewhat smoother than other prospects, although there are some technical issues which undermine his attempts at blocking and he projects as more of a reliable safety valve than a threat down the field. A relatively safe prospect with some room to improve, but might be more of a late-rounder.

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