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Scouting The 2018 NFL Draft: TE Dallas Goedert

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NCAA Football: South Dakota State at Texas Christian Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a look at one of the best move tight end prospects in the 2018 NFL draft, Dallas Goedert out of South Dakota State University.

Personal/Physical

Height: 6’ 5”

Weight: 256

Hometown: Britton, South Dakota

Born: January 3, 1995 (age 23 on draft day)

Honors: Senior Bowl, Walter Payton Award (best FCS player) finalist, First Team All Missouri Valley Football Conference

Career Stats

2014: 6 Games, 8 receptions, 100 yards (12.5 Y/R), 0 touchdowns

2015: 10 Games, 26 receptions, 484 yards (18.6 Y/R), 3 touchdowns

2016: 13 Games, 92 receptions, 1293 yards (14.1 Y/R), 11 touchdowns

2017: 14 games, 72 receptions, 1111 yards (15.4 Y/R), 7 touchdowns

I watched the following games from Dallas Goedert’s 2017 and 2016 seasons: Western Illinois (2017), Youngstown State (2017), New Hampshire (2017), North Dakota State (2017), TCU (2016)

Positives

  • Uber-productive in college, with 2400+ yards and 18 touchdowns his last two years.
  • Soft and strong hands, long 33” arms, prototypical height and weight for an NFL tight end at 6’ 5”, 256 pounds. Goedert has the physical tools checked off.
  • Large catch radius which he uses to his advantage.
  • Good speed for his size; rumored to run a 4.65 40, although he did not run at the Combine or his Pro Day due to a “tweaked” hamstring.
  • Soft, strong hands; makes difficult catches look easy.
  • Smooth and athletic for his size.
  • Physical in his route running and after the catch; inflicts punishment on defensive backs trying to bring him down.
  • Was productive when he stepped up in competition against TCU.

Negatives

  • Low level college competition at FCS school South Dakota State. May need more time than most to adjust to NFL.
  • Blocking technique is rudimentary. Willing to get physical, but not very effective in the trenches. Little ability to block in space; struggles finding and engaging with blocking targets on the move. Hand placement often poor, allowing smaller defenders to get inside him. Does not square up and use leverage well. At times lets defensive backs drive him back in the running game.
  • Needs work on route running. Not sharp in and out of breaks. Doesn’t set up defenders well. Will need good coaching at next level to refine techniques.
  • A lot of his success came on simple go routes up the seam against slower FCS linebackers. Will need to work on expanding his route tree.
  • Good speed for his size but lacks elite explosiveness. Needs to work up a head of steam to reach top speed.
  • Lacks feel for finding the open spot in a zone.
  • Tends to lack enthusiasm for selling his routes when he is not the primary target.

Draft Grade: Rounds 2-3

Dallas Goedert has come a long way. His hometown of Britton, South Dakota has a population of around 1250 residents. My high school had substantially more people in it.

Goedert was pegged from the start by his father for NFL potential. A large baby, Goedert was named Dallas by his father, after the elder Goedert’s favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys. While Goedert’s father may have seen the potential, Dallas wasn’t convinced. He participated in every sport available growing up, including football, track, ice skating, basketball, kayaking, soccer, swimming, baseball, downhill skiing, and wrestling. Dallas also found the time to master the unicycle well enough to ride one in the local Independence Day Parade.

Goedert preferred basketball to football growing up, and did not switch preferences until his senior year in high school. He freely admits to not applying himself to football with maximum effort, and he was far from a weight room junkie. On the field Dallas played quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver and linebacker at times. He was extremely athletic but not very motivated. He came out of high school weighing just 205 pounds and received just one scholarship offer, to a school he did not want to attend. Instead, Goedert walked on to the South Dakota State program, where he was met by a skeptical coaching staff who saw some potential but didn’t love the preparation.

At South Dakota State Goedert got serious, and the results eventually came. He made the team as a redshirt, and began to play a little the next year as a second year freshman. His first two years Goedert paid his own way. It wasn’t until his third year that Goedert earned a 40% scholarship. His junior year that went up to 70%, and finally he earned a full ride for his senior season. Not exactly the typical road to the NFL for a top rated prospect.

Goedert’s struggle to earn scholarship support may have had a positive effect on him, as he completely transformed his work ethic and his body, bulking up to NFL size at tight end and becoming a team leader in his work ethic, while blossoming into a major receiving threat on the field.

Dallas Goedert dominated the competition at South Dakota State. His size, speed and hands were too much for overmatched FCS competition. A question with Goedert, as it is with most FCS athletes, is how he will adjust to the enormous jump in competition at the NFL level.

Goedert excelled in using his size and speed to dominate smaller, slower opponents in college. He routinely beat opponents on seam routes and his outstanding yards per catch numbers reflect consistent success beating opponents deep. At the next level he will need to refine his route running, work on his explosion coming in and out of breaks, and expand his route tree. You rarely see Goedert win on double moves or create separation with lateral explosion. He either beats people with straight line speed and overwhelming size advantages or he does not win his matchup. That limited repertoire will not work as well in the NFL. At this point he is more project than polished prospect, and he will take time to develop at the NFL level. However, there is a lot to like about this project. Goedert has great size, speed and wingspan, along with soft, strong hands. These things cannot be taught. He has the raw tools to develop into a top NFL tight end, but will need time and coaching to reach his potential.

Given the rawness of Goedert as an NFL prospect I would hesitate to take him as high as many people are projecting, as early as the late 1st round. I would be comfortable taking Goedert with the Jets high 3rd round pick; however, there is a good chance he won’t be available that late in the draft.

Here are some game tapes for you to check out Dallas Goedert yourself: