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Cleveland Browns NFL Draft Profile: Greg Dulcich, TE UCLA

The Cleveland Browns could be looking to replace tight end Austin Hooper in the 2022 NFL Draft, and UCLA’s Greg Dulcich checks all the team’s boxes.

The Cleveland Browns moved on from tight end Austin Hooper in a move that was obvious to many, and haven’t replaced his spot on the roster. That could mean a decrease in multi-TE sets, or it could indicate the team plans to address the position in the 2022 NFL Draft, potentially with Greg Dulcich out of UCLA.

Dulcich has a slighter frame for a TE, but that is partially due to his background, as he arrived at UCLA as a 210-pound walk-on and has since gained 35 pounds of weight as he became one of college football’s top TEs. He has the long speed to outrun defensive backs, and is very quick and shifty for the position. He often looks more like a possession wide receiver, especially when releasing at the line of scrimmage.

He entered the NFL Draft scene with an impressive 2020 campaign that saw him catch 26 passes for 517 yards and 5 touchdowns, then followed that up with 42 grabs for 725 yards and 5 scores in 2021. He earned Pro Football Focus receiving grades of 83.7 and 72.5 in those seasons, which ranked 10th and 29th in the country, respectively.

Dulcich just has a very natural feel for how to get open as tight end, along with the athletic ability to make full use of those instincts, and that’s why he should appeal to the Browns. He fits every guardrail in place for Cleveland and could pair with David Njoku to give the team a dynamic pass-catching duo at the position for the foreseeable future. He’s adept at finding soft spots in zones and has the agility and stop-start ability to shake defensive backs, which is a great combination with his size. He’s a mismatch for all but the biggest, most skilled safeties, and there aren’t too many of those floating around the NFL.

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Blocking is not Dulcich’s strong suit, and he does need to continue adding mass to his frame and improving his technique, but he isn’t a poor blocker right now and the effort is certainly there. That aspect of his game can be tolerated until it improves, and even if it’s never “good”, his ability as a receiver will more than make up for it. Another negative is his career 45% catch rate in contested situations, a number that will hopefully improve with time. Dulcich wasn't thrown many fades in college but that could potentially become part of his game moving forward.

Dulcich is currently projected to go in the 70-80 range by most boards, and that would put him around the Browns second pick, 78th overall. TE isn’t as big a need as WR or EDGE, but Dulcich could easily be the best player available at that point, and would certainly be worth the pick for this offense.