It's time for Portland to rebuild
Hello darkness my old friend...
Not so long ago, there was a time when tight ends were essentially nothing more than pseudo offensive linemen that had the mobility skills to block in a gaping hole on the offensive line. While there were a select few that were capable of being productive in the passing game, by and large, the value of the tight end was predicated on them being immensely strong, tough and fearless.
However, looking at how last years draft transpired, the age of the bid-bodied, bruising tight end is now seemingly approaching an inevitable end. Based on the results of the lasts years draft, tight ends such as Evan Ingram and David Njoku were selected almost solely for their abilities as sure-handed pass catchers that could make plays anywhere on the field. Although hefty tight ends still exist within the NFL, they have had to adapt to what is now a pass happy, offensively explosive league in order to remain on the 53-man rosters of their respective NFL franchises.
What is intriguing about tight end prospect Dallas Goedert is his impressive combination of size and speed, which he utilizes effectively as both a blocker on the offensive line and as a well-versed pass catcher. Posting back-to-back 1000 receiving yard seasons with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, Goedert was incredibly prolific as a gifted receiver as he could effectively catch the football at all three levels of the field. While some may consider Goedert's time at an FCS school a detriment to his draft stock and overall skill set, the dynamic playmaker has all of the tools and confidence to be an elite starter in the NFL.
The key aspect of Goedert's game that will allow him to rise quickly through various draft boards is his ability to line up anywhere on the line of scrimmage. Whether he is being utilized as a blocker or lined up outside of the numbers as a deep threat receiver, Goedert will prove to be quite the conundrum for defenders that are attempting to match up with him. In the short and intermediate passing game, Goedert actually posses strong separation skills, an attribute that will serve him well against some of the more agile and speedy defensive backs in the pros.
Even more intriguing than his skills as a football player are his draw dropping abilities as a lengthy basketball player. Possessing impressive hops and massive hands, Goedert will be regularly looked to in 50-50 pass catching situations as he can regularly use his frame and athleticism to go up and emphatically bring down a pass that is within his area code. This combination of size, athleticism and focus will make Goedert a difficult prospect to pass on in the draft, especially if he falls out of the first round and becomes an enticing steal in one of the later rounds.
Although Goedert can go toe to toe with most defensive backs, his route running abilities and deception needs to be improved for him to be effective in garnering yards after the catch. On top of that, Goedert would behoove himself to vary his route running speeds, which would assist him in throwing off defenders that are capable of keeping up with and blanketing him.
While he has the size to be an adequate to above average blocker, his effort level in this regard wavers from time to time as he has a tendency to exert a less than desired effort against defensive linemen that have a noticeable size advantage on him. Even though Goedert will most likely be coveted for his pass catching abilities over what he can do as a blocker, he still needs to devote more time and energy to developing the latter skill set if he truly wants to impress his new team going into his monumentally important rookie season.