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2021 Senior Bowl Scouting Previews: Tight Ends (TE)

Air Date:
January 19, 2021

2021 Senior Bowl Scouting Previews: Tight Ends (TE)

 

Each year, before the players arrive in Mobile, I spend 20-30+ minutes or so in a small scouting session (looking at tape and output data) and then type out an instant reaction preview and grade.

This is a very early, limited study on each player…just to get a feel, just to start the process. I’ll observe the Senior Bowl week and game and then adjust the grades for a post-week analysis. We’ll do it all over again for the NFL Combine process and grade them there as well. Eventually, with most top 100+ prospects, we’ll do a deeper dive, individual study and full scouting report. For now, just a quick preview to get ready for the Senior Bowl.

 

 TE Kylen Granson, SMU (Preview grade = B-/C+)

6’3”/235

I’m glad Granson was a late acceptance to the Senior Bowl…because he’s clearly the best pro prospect TE here.

Moves well off the snap…looks like a muscular WR playing TE but has more TE look than WR. Soft hands. Good acceleration…good feet off the snap to run a slant against a linebacker and beat them consistently. Pretty nice, soft hands catching the ball. And a willing, decent blocker. I was very impressed with what I saw here.

Granson is one of the Kyle Pitts consolation prize TE prospects, potentially. I see him ranked anywhere from #125-250 on January scouting site rankings. The Senior Bowl week might really launch him.

2019 = 43-721-9 (12 games)


TE Quintin Morris, Bowling Green (Preview grade = C)

6’4”/240

A former wide receiver turned tight end convert in college.

Could be a ‘B’ prospect, but it’s hard to tell given he’s played in such a garbage passing game the past two seasons. In 2018, he caught 42 passes for 516 yards, and 7 TDs…a nice breakout sophomore/2018 season. He’s numbers declined with a new QB in 2019…and then disappeared in 2020 in what I would describe as maybe the worst passing game/QB that I’ve ever seen.

Think I’m joking? Bowling Green State played 5 games…went (0-5) and their two QBs combined for 1 TD pass and 7 INTs in those five games. That’s no joke. And we can’t see how much better Morris might have gotten in his senior year.

Looking at his 2018 and 2019 work, he looks like a legit NFL TE prospect who had nice numbers with any type of QB play. Harrison Bryant/David Njoku comp is what comes to mind. Moves a little like Bryant, physically looks like Njoku (but likely not as athletic as Njoku was, but a better catcher of the football).

I’m very interested to see how he fares with better QB play and against better defenders. He could break out…or swirl down the drain.

He’s a top 300 overall rated prospect for most scouting sites in January 2021.

2018 = 42-516-7 (12 games)

 

 

TE Tre McKitty, Georgia (Preview grade = C-/D+)

6’4”/240

McKitty did little-to-nothing in his college career at Florida State his first three years there. He’d flash a moment here or there, but his numbers were weak/nonexistent. He graduate-transferred to Georgia for the 2020 season and didn’t play (due to injury) until the last 4 games of the year, in which he flashed a couple of moments but then the season ended, and it was another campaign where McKitty is not on any radar.

McKitty has moments where he looks like he has a little NFL potential but it’s brief and not sustained. He has good TE speed and makes some aggressive catches but is too often just not a factor or plan in an offense. He has a slight Gerald Everett vibe, maybe? He’s likely an undrafted guy for a team to develop on the practice squad, BUT the Senior Bowl week might be his kind of place to shine with his athleticism and get himself on the map, get a Combine invite and then maybe put up Combine numbers to get into the draft discussion.

It looks shaky, but there is a window of hope/opportunity for him. We’ll see if he seizes it in the next month+.

He’s a top 300-350 overall rated prospect for most scouting sites in January 2021.

2020 = 6-108-1 (4 games)

 

 

TE Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss (Preview grade = D+)

6’4”/240

Built more like a WR than a TE…like a WR in mid-body conversion to TE. Long, lanky, thin thighs/calves/legs – not the type of TE look that draws NFL scouts to him. Yeboah needs more body work to attract the NFL, but he’s had five years at a major D1 program to get bulked up and it hasn’t happened.

Despite his frame, he does a decent job blocking. He also had a little speed/wiggle to his game…he can get open and make some plays. He just looks very stiff/non-fluid moving around and he is not a natural catcher of the ball.

Yeboah is not doomed as a prospect, but I think the chips are stacked against him.

He’s a top 150-200 overall rated prospect for most scouting sites in January 2021.

2019 = 27-524-6 (7 games)

 

 

TE Noah Gray, Duke (Preview grade = D+)

6’4”/240

It’s hard to scout Gray fully because the past two seasons he has played in a totally garbage passing game. At a glance, Gray looks like a big WR more than a TE. His frame is thinner, and he gets overpowered as a blocker often. However, he does have NFL-quick feet and is a good receiver. With some body work, you probably have a serviceable NFL TE on your hands at some point.

It’s hard to tell where he falls on the scale between two TE prospects he reminds me of, at first preview – somewhere between Jace Sternberger and Cole Kmet (and I didn’t think Kmet was near as good as the NFL did last NFL Draft).

He’s a top 250 overall rated prospect for most scouting sites in January 2021.

2019 = 29-285-2 (10 games)

 

 

TE Hunter Long, Boston College (Preview grade = D+)

6’4”/250

Heavy-legged (slow), capable, decent hands tight end prospect. He’s like every generic TE prospect you’ll ever see…the kind the NFL likes/thinks about. 6’4”…250 pounds…slow…tough…reliable enough hands…the NFL can’t get enough of it for some reason. So, Long has some prospect status…but I didn’t see much to get excited about off the bat. He’ll make the NFL out of the gates; I just don’t know that he’ll ever matter much.

He’s a top 150 overall rated prospect for most scouting sites in January 2021.

2020 = 57-685-5 (11 games)

 

 

TE Tony Poljan, Virginia (Preview grade = D-)

6’6”/245

Former/failed (2 TDs/5 INTs, 53.0%) QB at Central Michigan turned TE transfer to Virginia. Still has the body of a QB…tall, but lanky – and blocks like a QB; a lot of hands and pushing at a distance not a lot of locking horns and moving anyone. Moves way too slow/stiff for the next level impact. Has the height that appeals but not much of anything else.

He’s a top 150-200 overall rated prospect for most scouting sites in January 2021.

2019 = 38-411-6 (10 games)


TE John Bates, Boise State (Preview grade = F+)

6’5”/255

Strictly a run blocker…and one with VERY slow feet. There’s nothing to see here. Not sure why he’s here…

2019 = 22-273-1 (11 games)


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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>