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Third Round #85: TE Tyler Kroft

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Three-year starter in high school, playing tight end his sophomore and junior years before moving to wide receiver as a senior. Was an All-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection and three-star recruit according to Rivals.com and Scout.com. Took a redshirt year in 2011 and played in 11 games getting one start in 2012. Was a member of the Big East All-Academic Football team. In 2013, was named first-team All-America after finishing with 43 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns. Took on more blocking responsibilities and was used as move tight end in 2014. Sprained his ankle in Dec. 26 bowl game and received rehab in order to be ready for combine. During medical exams, ankle was re-injured and was unable to participate. Ran 4.67 40-yard dash at his pro day with a 10-foot broad jump.


40-yard dash: 4.75 seconds

Vertical jump: 34 inches

Broad jump: 10 feet

20-yard short shuttle: 4.5 seconds

Three-cone drill: 7.18 seconds


STRENGTHS Above-average athleticism for the position. Quick release off the line and gets into routes with good play speed. Able to get yards after catch with quickness and some thump as a runner. Played from slot in 2013 and more in-line in 2014. Has speed and athleticism to threaten the deep middle. Tenacious blocker. Handled Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun as run blocker. Blocks with good base and sustains blocks with strong hands. Not content to stalemate -- wants to win the play as blocker. Able to handle himself in pass protection using adequate footwork and technique. Played under Ron Prince and Brian Angelichio, who are now NFL tight end coaches.

WEAKNESSES Appears on tape to have a limited catch radius. Too content to be body-catcher. Allows throws to get on top of him. Struggled with inconsistency on contested catches over the middle. Looked mechanical in his routes in 2014 compared to 2013. Needs to improve on spacial awareness against zone and work to clean spaces. Still learning to take more efficient angles to the second level as a run blocker.



BOTTOM LINE Tall, athletic tight end with the frame to add more muscle and the athleticism to get open in space. Kroft is an aggressive blocker who can help the running game win on the edges, but he also possesses the quickness to get open in space and make a play after the catch. Kroft's size, athleticism and competitiveness as a blocker make him a scheme fit for most offenses and he could be one of the top tight ends to come from this draft class.


Likely mid-round TE helps himself at Rutgers pro day

Kroft could benefit from shallow tight end pool

-Lance Zierlein

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