TE Kaden Smith, Stanford*

6’5” – 255 lbs. – 4.92
Highly-regarded recruit who did not play as a freshman, but made an impact the following season, posting 23-414-5. Enjoyed a breakout junior year of 47-635-2, then decided to declare from the draft. Listed height and weight are in line with pro requirements, but has a somewhat linear build and might be a little bit smaller than he’s listed. Lines up all over the field, often as an H-Back, but also as an inline tight end and split out as more of a receiver. Smooth athlete who glides through routes and looks natural catching the ball. Runs routes to different levels of the field and flashes the ability to sink his hips and snap at the route stem; good footwork to release and work through breaks. At his most deadly on deep curls and post routes which allow him to use his body and climb the ladder. Can dip his shoulder and slip past chips when releasing off the line. Able to find soft spots in the seams against zone coverage and punish defenses with vertical routes, or operate underneath, using his body to shield defenders from the ball. Able to leap and catch the ball away from his frame, adjusting well to high passes. However, tends to get disrupted by contact too easily for a player of his size. On his best snaps, gets set up quickly, positions himself effectively to wall off blockers, and plays with a wide base and good extension. However, snap-to-snap consistency is an issue, and problems crop up in almost every facet: hand placement, base, balance. Tends to lunge and lower his head; consequently, ends up on the ground too often. Works through the whistle and is willing to put his body on the line but doesn’t have the strength to dominate. Ran routes on almost all of the passing downs during the games reviewed rather than being held back in protection. Has the effort level and physical/athletic attributes to develop into someone who can reach second-level defenders and help in the run game, but there’s a way to go before he will be an every-down asset. Offering two years of production at a program known for producing high-quality tight end prospects, he will be attractive to teams for his fluid movement skills and natural receiving ability. Has the traits of a potential number-one tight end, but needs to improve his fundamentals as a blocker in order to maximize his potential. After running a 4.92 at the Combine, wouldn’t be surprising if he slipped into the third day.

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