The tight end class in the 2020 draft is considered one of the weakest position groups. There aren’t two stud prospects like a T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant, but there are a few prospects who can be long term starters. Let’s look at the rankings.
1. Adam Trautman
Trautman is the best tight end in this class who flourishes in all aspects as a receiver. He is a good route runner, physical at the catch point, consistently makes contested catches, and he offers value after the catch. There are concerns about the step up in level of competition, but Trautman showed off well at the Senior Bowl.
Adam Trautman is TE1 for me. Route running, YAC, wide catch radius, and good contested receiver pic.twitter.com/zFWiOLy6wo— Billy M (@BillyM_91) March 28, 2020
Projection: Round 2 pick
2. Cole Kmet
Kmet is a reliable pass catcher as he only dropped two passes on sixty targets per Pro Football Focus. He has a large frame, which give him a strong catch radius.
Cole Kmet is a threat down the seam. Possesses a decent catch radius and has reliable hands. Only 2 drops on 60 catchable targets over past two seasons per PFF pic.twitter.com/XkFijnGcHS— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 4, 2020
Kmet offers some run after the catch ability due to his physicality to bounce off tacklers and keep his legs moving.
Nice adjustment and finish by Kmet. Pretty physical after the catch pic.twitter.com/pALXbv3uqW— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 4, 2020
Kmet is a relatively novice blocker at this stage, but he has experience playing primarily in-line for the Irish’s pro offensive scheme. He tested out surprisingly well, which gives him unique upside.
Projection: Round 2/3 pick
3. Devin Asiasi
Asiasi isn’t an explosive athlete, but his skill set is solid all around. The most appealing part of his game is presenting a window for the quarterback down the seam. He can adjust, carry his movements well, and is typically reliable as a pass catcher.
Really like how Asiasi is able to adjust to balls outside his frame. Allows him to carry his movements forward so he can quickly turn and run pic.twitter.com/BibrvlRvNz— Billy M (@BillyM_91) April 11, 2020
Asiasi is likely suited to be a No. 2 tight end at the next level. His blocking still has mechanical issues, which take time to clean up.
Projection: Round 3/4 pick
4. Albert Okwuegbunam
Okwuegbunam tested much better than I anticipated. He stretches the field much better than his peers, but he is a lackadaisical route runner. Okweugbunam relies on his physical traits at the catch point. He has impressive body control to adjust to most throws even if they’re off target, but he is too straight line of an athlete.
Back-shoulder adjustments are all over his tape. Other tight ends struggle with these kinds of catches down the field, Okwuegbunam does not. pic.twitter.com/jcYLEyPjzK— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 26, 2020
Projection: Round 4 pick
5. Brycen Hopkins
Hopkins is a smooth athlete on film. He makes sharp cuts within his routes to create separation, presents a large catch radius, and works well down the seam.
Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins has some smoothness to his game. Changes direction well to make a nice cut. Then shows some contact balance and run after catch pic.twitter.com/Yy9gZAMwt5— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 7, 2020
Hopkins drops and flips his hips to change direction really well. Shows good speed after the catch pic.twitter.com/tM627Ct7Nb— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 7, 2020
Hopkins is still learning how to apply himself as a blocker as he rarely played in-line for the Purdue Boilmakers.
Projection: Round 4 pick
6. Dalton Keene
Keene is the most athletic tight end in this class. He had the best Combine performance, but those same athletic skills transfer on the field. He’s not a field stretcher as the majority of his production came on screens, drags, and flat routes.
Keene’s projection is low, but there are similarities to his game to Ian Thomas.
The majority of Dalton Keene's explosive plays in 2019 came on screens, flats, and crossers (mainly short routes). Unproven as a downfield threat, but his YAC ability is impressive pic.twitter.com/IK2pWoaITu— Billy M (@BillyM_91) April 11, 2020
Projection: Round 4/5 pick
7. Hunter Bryant
My initial impressions of Bryant were pretty high, but his small stature and poor Combine altered that opinion. It’s tough for a tight end with his size and his athletic profile to succeed in the NFL, but Bryant does have interesting traits. He has loose movement skills, which give him the opportunity to create windows for the quarterback.
He rarely played in-line due to his size, which makes it tougher to project him as a positive for his blocking.
Establishes inside leverage immediately, which makes him a big target pic.twitter.com/k3bJr2tB5S— Billy M (@BillyM_91) February 5, 2020
Projection: Round 5/6 pick
8. Harrison Bryant
Harrison Bryant is another tight end who tested poorly and it shows on film too. He doesn’t threaten defenses with his vertical speed and is not a refined route runner at this stage. The initial hype seems to be misplaced.
Lots of teams treated him as a slot WR and used a DB on him in coverage. He’s not a polished route runner. Rounds this route off as he breaks inside, no jab step of head fake outside to hold the safety, who’s able to undercut and break up the pass. pic.twitter.com/btDE0XX4D1— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) April 4, 2020
Projection: Round 6 pick
9. Jared Pinkey
Pinkey was one of the top tight end prospects heading into the 2019 season, but his production took a noise dive. There are aspects of his game that remain appealing such as his ability to break down efficiently into his cuts and create a large radius down the seam. However, he can get overpowered at the catch point and his blocking is a negative.
Vanderbilt TE Jared Pinkey with a nice catch over the middle on 3rd and long. Sets up 4th and 1 pic.twitter.com/ks42kdsnCe— Billy M (@BillyM_91) September 7, 2019
Projection: Round 6 pick
10. Stephen Sullivan
Sullivan is a converted wide receiver who moved to tight end for LSU. His tweener skill set won’t appeal to many teams, but his route running ability stands out. His long wingspan make him a target on contested throws too. I was most impressed with him at the Senior Bowl where he consistently stood out.
Sullivan is still raw overall especially as a blocker, but his upside is part of the reason why I’d take a chance on him.
Herbert to Stephen Sullivan on the fade. Good throw. Good route pic.twitter.com/EwAk8TvglF— Billy M (@BillyM_91) January 23, 2020
Projection: Round 6/7 pick
Do any of these prospects stand out to you? Which ones?