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TE Scouting Reports - 2023

Bird’s Eye View: Positional Analysis

The 2023 TE class is one of the most loaded of any position group in the draft and is one of the better TE classes to come through the pipeline in some time. This is one of the best blocking TE classes in years and there are several well-rounded prospects available, such as, Michael Mayer (Notre Dame), Luke Musgrave (Oregon State), Darnell Washington (Georgia), Sam LaPorta (Iowa), Tucker Kraft (South Dakota State), and Dalton Kincaid (Utah).

Positional Grade: A

Sam LaPorta, Iowa

6033 / 245 / 32.1” Arms

NFL size and length and looks the part. Displays natural hands. Both quick and fast – dangerous with the ball in space and gains YAC in chunks. Very good deep speed. Good route runner who separates effectively from LBs. Tough and excels in the middle of the field. Hard-nosed, physical in-line blocker who generally blocks with leverage and sound fundamentals.

Sam LaPorta, Iowa

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Player Comparison:

George Kittle, San Francisco

Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State

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Player Comparison:

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia

Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State

6050 / 254 / 32.6” Arms

Huge target. Naturally athletic. Smooth route runner – gets into his breaks easily for such a big target. Displays excellent downfield speed. Very active blocker, both in-line and stalking DBs in the open field – blocks with leverage, technique, and toughness. Will line up out wide to create mismatches, especially near the goal line. Typically displays reliable hands but is susceptible to concentration drops. Dangerous after the catch due to physicality and toughness. Declared for the 2023 NFL Draft but is still played in the FCS playoffs for the National Champion Jack Rabbits.

Jamal Turner, Toledo

6046 / 239 / 33.3” Arms

Prototypical measurements for an NFL TE with long arms and a chiseled physique. Excellent athlete and looks like a WR running downfield with enough size to be able to hold up on the OL as a blocker. Nice body control and ability to adjust to off target passes. Competes as a run blocker but lacks technique and needs continued development in that facet of his game although he shows promise in this regard.

Jamal Turner, Toledo

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Luke Musgrave / Oregon State

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Player Comparison:

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh

Luke Musgrave / Oregon State

6057 / 253 / 32.5” Arms

Prototypical size and length for the TE position. Had 11 catches / 169 / 1 TD before suffering a season-ending knee injury. First practice back since the injury was at the Senior Bowl on 1/31. When he bends at the knees, he is an effective blocker who sinks his pads and executes blocking assignments. Very good body control and possesses deceptive speed (recorded a 20+ MPH GPS during Senior Bowl week) and agility. Route running needs continued development. Is more of a projection at this point than a proven commodity but has undeniable upside and athleticism to be developed into a solid professional.

Zack Kuntz / Old Dominion

6065 / 255 / 34” Arms

Transfer from Penn State. Huge TE prospect with size, length, and a huge catch radius. Lines up out wide and in the slot – basically a WR in ODU’s offense. Linear build plus lack of experience as an in-line blocker makes him a project as a traditional TE but is a match-up nightmare in space – too big for a CB or a S to cover; too fast and agile for most LBs to cover in space. Displays good hands and the body control to adjust to off-target passes. Deceptively fast and can threaten a defense deep – an invaluable quality from a TE. Possesses some unique qualities that a creative OC can use to exploit defenses at the next level. Suffered a season-ending knee injury against Liberty in October and medical examinations at the Combine will have a huge impact on his draft status in April.

Zack Kuntz / Old Dominion

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Player Comparison:

Mike Gesicki, New England

Brenton Strange / Penn State

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Player Comparison:

TJ Hockenson, Minnesota

Brenton Strange / Penn State

6036 / 253 / 31.1” Arms

Prototypical height, size, and physical dimensions for an NFL TE. Displays soft hands and the ability to adjust to the off-target pass. Runs behind his pads and gains YAC through physicality and effort. Very good route runner and understands route concepts and principles. Reads coverages well and adjusts to coverages and creates a target for his QB. Excels working the intermediate zone in the middle of the field. Lines up primarily in the slot or as an H-back. Needs additional reps working as an in-line blocker due to lack of experience with that role.

Josh Whyle / Cincinnati

6065 / 248 / 31.4” Arms

Tall TE with a large catch radius and solid mass – although he could stand to gain a little bit of weight. Displays good quickness getting into his route. Reliable hands catcher. Secures the ball and immediately becomes a powerful runner in the open field. Physical, tough and will run through arm tackles. Possesses deceptive deep speed and has a burst to create separation. Good athlete who creates mismatches due to his size, agility, and athleticism – can adjust to the low pass and make a clean catch. Lines up out wide, in the slot, or as an H-back. Limited reps as an in-line blocker.

Josh Whyle / Cincinnati

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Leonard Taylor / Cincinnati

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Player Comparison:

Gerald Everett, LA Chargers

Leonard Taylor / Cincinnati

6046 / 250 / 32.6” Arms

Excellent combination of height, mass, and a large catch radius. Very good hand-eye coordination and ability to track the ball in the air. Strong hands. Offers limited burst after the catch but is a big and powerful runner who churns out yards through contact and physicality. Deploys an effective stiff arm after the catch. Effective in-line blocker due to playing with leverage and balance. Well-rounded skill set.

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

6044 / 249 / 31.5” Arms

Prototypical physical makeup of an NFL TE – large catch radius and looks the part. Excellent, natural hands. Tough and strong. Excellent route runner. Limited long speed but runs with power and creates YAC in chunks. Underrated athlete who is tough to match-up with in space. Very effective high pointing the ball and winning at the catch point. Effective and improving as an in-line blocker. Recorded 71 catches in 2021. Projects as a Top 25 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame

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Player Comparison:

Sam Ehlinger, Indianapolis

Darnell Washington, Georgia

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Player Comparison:

Vernon Davis, retired NFL player

Darnell Washington, Georgia

6065 / 264 / 11” Hands / 34.3” Arms

Huge man with enormous size but possesses the athleticism of a WR. Excellent athlete with balance and body control. Possesses large, natural hands. Physical and tough after the catch and is too fast and athletic for most LBs, and too big and strong for safeties, to handle in man coverage. Dominating in-line blocker who plays with excellent leverage and a nasty finishing disposition. Has missed significant time with injuries and medical evaluations will impact his draft status.

Dalton Kincaid, Utah

6035 / 246 / 32.5” Arms

Transfer from San Diego. NFL size with good height and a solid build. Offers a huge target. Reliable hands. Strong and physical route runner. Doesn’t create much separation but uses his body well to post up and make contested catches. Utilized a lot out of the slot and creates mismatches in space. Tough and difficult to knock off his route.

Dalton Kincaid, Utah

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Davis Allen, Clemson

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Player Comparison:

Hayden Hurst, Atlanta

Davis Allen, Clemson

6054 / 245 / 32.2” Arms

Prototypical size with the height and build desired for a TE in the NFL. Athletic enough to line up in the slot and create mismatches. Good speed. Solid route runner. Displays good YAC due to a combination of speed and power. Reliable hands but is prone to occasional concentration drops. Solid run blocker who competes and can create movement in the run game. Big TE who can high point the ball but also grab the low pass.

Marshon Ford, Louisville

Lacks the size of the traditional in-line TE. Looks and runs like a WR. Fast for a TE. Excellent hands. Understands positioning and body control. Lacks the size needed to be a competent in-line blocker and is used almost exclusively out of the slot in the Cardinal’s offense.

Marshon Ford, Louisville

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Player Comparison:

Isaiah Likely, Baltimore

Payne Durham, Purdue

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Player Comparison:

Mark Andrews, Baltimore

Payne Durham, Purdue

6055 / 253 / 33.3” Arms

Big, strong, and physical. Huge catch radius. Reliable hands and displays excellent concentration. Experienced route runner. Tracks the ball in the air well and high points the ball effectively. Not explosive and that limits YAC ability. Surprisingly athletic. Has the size necessary to be an effective in-line blocker but lacks experience in that role.

Travis Vokolek, Nebraska

6060 / 259 / 32.7” Arms

Transfer from Rutgers. Huge target with a huge catch radius. Reliable hands and can make the contested catch. Surprisingly good athlete who displays good concentration. Known more for his blocking ability coming into the year, he can create mismatches with combination of size and athleticism. Effective at gaining YAC due to power and strength.

Travis Vokolek, Nebraska

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Blake Whiteheart, Wake Forest

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Player Comparison:

Brock Wright, Detroit

Blake Whiteheart, Wake Forest

6037 / 247 / 32.1” Arms

Good height with a solid frame. Displays good balance and body control. Tough, willing to take a hit, and make the catch. Physical, tough, and competitive blocker, although he lacks some desired strength. Works the middle of the field well. High points the ball and uses his size well. Gains YAC through toughness and effort.

Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan

6050 / 251 / 32.7” Arms

Good size. Looks the part. Displays reliable hands and toughness to work the center of the field. Effective route runner. Limited speed and offers minimal YAC ability. Very good blocker – can handle a defender lined up on his face. Smart, fundamentally solid football player.

Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan

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Player Comparison:

Daniel Bellinger, NY Giants

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