TE Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic
Bryant has experience at offensive tackle, which is a big win for his blocking ability. Despite needing to add some bulk, he grades well as a blocking option due to his career path and foundation skill set. His most significant issue in this area will come when faced with straight on power rushers.
Over the past three seasons at Florida Atlantic, Bryant's game improved each year (32/408/5, 45/662/4, and 65/1004/7). Last year Bryant had one impact showing (10/182/1) while ending the year with six touchdowns in four games.
In college, his team ran a spread offense, which led to him getting a free release outside the hash marks on many plays. He showed a feel for soft zones and the ability to beat his man downfield, especially with no help over the top. At the next level, Bryant will need to work harder to get open due to the superior talent on the defensive side of the ball.
On the positive side, he understood play development. This allowed him to get open on delays or set passing plays designed for him. Bryant can win jump balls, and he will bounce off defenders at times in the open field, helping his value after the catch.
Overall, his speed (4.73) is about average for an NFL tight end. He does need to get stronger (13 reps in the bench press at the NFL combine). Bryant runs good routes with an excellent feel for the game. I expect him to do his pre-game prep while striving to become a better player.
Prediction: Indianapolis Colts (3.11)
TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Heading into college, Kmet had top prospect pedigree for the tight end position. However, he had minimal chances over his first two years with the Fighting Irish (2/14 and 15/162). His game pushed to an attractive NFL level over 10 games (43/515/6) in 2019. Kmet missed the last two contests of the season with a broken collarbone.
Kmet does have some flaws coming out of college. His release, his ability to fight off pressed blocks, and initial quickness invites some questions surrounding his three-down value. When given a free run to the second level of the defense, his game looks much better. Kmet will be a vertical threat with the speed (4.7 forty yard dash) to hit on long plays down the seam.
An NFL team will look to get him space with motion before the snap to help gain an earlier edge in pass patterns. At the goal line, Kmet will invite more scoring upside on delays or misdirection plays when he’s overlooked as a top scoring threat. Ideally, I'd like to see him land on a team where he would be the fourth option in the passing game until he develops the rest of his game.
I expect him to get stronger and add more bulk, which will increase his value in both run and pass blocking. As of now, Kmet shows some foundation skills to have value as a blocker. He needs more fire or sense of urgency off the snap while developing the foresight to anticipate where to locate his first target on the move when blocking.
His route running needs work and there are some questions about his hands when he is under fire. To be a stud tight end in the NFL, a player needs to own the short areas of the field. Kmet does not have that club in his bag at this point in his career.
Prediction: Buffalo Bills (3.22)
TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA
Asiasi is another tight end with a minimal resume before 2019. Over his first two seasons at UCLA, he caught only six passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Last year Asiasi finished with 44 catches for 641 yards and four TDs while gaining momentum over his final three contests (5/72, 5/141/1, and 8/99).
His speed (4.73 forty yard dash) is about the same as Harrison Bryant. However, Asiasi has showed more strength (16 reps in the bench press). Asiasi comes in at 6’3” and 255 pounds.
Last year he was more mobile after weighing in at almost 280 pounds earlier in his career. Asiasi looked nimble in 2019 with the talent to make plays at all three levels of the defense. His best value appears to be when moving forward with the ability to sit down against zone coverage. Asiasi does lose some value when asked to work back to the ball out of breaks over the short areas of the field. His hands should be assets, and he offers deceiving speed and quickness downfield.
Asiasi grades as a neutral option in the blocking game, which will improve with better foundation skills.
Prediction: Green Bay Packers (4.30)
TE Hunter Bryant, Washington
Bryant comes to the NFL with a big wide receiver feel, which was highlighted by him wearing the number one on his jersey at Washington. He came into the NFL Combine measuring at 6’2” and 248 pounds. Bryant has no problem showing off his immense strength (23 reps in the bench press).
After a couple of quiet seasons (22/331/1 and 11/238/1) at Washington, his game blossomed when the team upgraded at quarterback to Jacob Easton. Bryant posted two games with over 100 yards receiving (5/115/1 and 6/105/2) in 2019, leading to 52 catches for 825 yards and three touchdowns. Over his final four contests, he had a floor of five catches in each game (22/273/2).
Bryant did miss some time due to knee issues over the previous two seasons.
Based on the ability to make plays at the second and third levels of the defense, he’ll be an attractive option for the right offense in the NFL. Bryant will be a matchup problem against linebackers and safeties when challenging the deep parts of the field. His route running takes a hit when asked to change directions toward the ball or facing traffic in space. Bryant has good hands and some open-field running ability.
Blocking will be an issue on early downs in the run game. He will need to improve his technique in order to be an effective blocker. Bryant struggles at times against press coverage. His route running isn’t where it needs to be to create separation over the short areas of the field.
Prediction: Jacksonville (4.31)
TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford
Over the last two seasons at Stanford, Parkinson picked up 77 combined catches for 1,074 yards and eight touchdowns. His game improved in 2019 (48/589), but he posted only one touchdown compared to seven the previous year on 29 catches.
He wins the battle among tight ends this year as far as height (6’7”) but trails the top options in speed (4.77 forty yard dash) and quickness.
Parkinson has the look of a jump ball specialist in one-on-one coverage, especially in the red zone. His release and route running look viable, but I don’t see much damage after the catch unless he breaks a tackle or slips free after a defender blew his assignment. Parkinson offers strong hands and the ability to catch the ball at the high point.
I don’t expect him to develop in the blocking game unless he commits to getting stronger, adding more bulk, and improving his foundation skill set. At the same time, this change in his frame may lower some of his value and explosiveness in the overall passing game.
Parkinson is an up and down player who will have matchup value at the goal line in the right system early in his career.
Prediction: Washington (4.2)
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