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Colts 2022 Draft Interviews: Lucas Krull, TE, Pitt

Meet Pitt tight end Lucas Krull. We discuss his incredible transition from baseball to college football, his versatility as a tight end, and what he brings to a NFL roster.

Lucas Krull is a tight end that starred as a two-sport athlete at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, Kansas. He ultimately chose to pursue baseball out of the two sports, and committed to Arkansas as one of the top baseball recruits in the country.

For the rest of his background, I'm going to let Krull tell the entire story of how he got to this point. He opened up to me about his entire journey on this phone call and I'm going to let you all read everything that he went into detail about:

This has definitely been a crazy journey that I've done, and I wouldn't change it for the world. Backtracking first, I was always a two-sport athlete in high school. I played both baseball and football and being a big, left-handed pitcher is a commodity that a lot of people want.

Baseball was something that I did really well with at a young age and, for me, a lot of what I loved was more of the hype (because I was immature and young). Everybody told me that baseball is what I should do because of my size, and sophomore year (of high school), I started blowing up in the baseball world.

Everybody wanted me and I was more falling in love with the aspect of this being something that everybody wanted me to do. I know I loved the hype, but it wasn't what I truly loved in my heart. My heart was always with football. My day played football and he has always been on the gridiron with me.

Jumping forward to my time at Arkansas, things just weren't going my way. I was a big lefty that could throw really hard, but really couldn't find my control with my fastball. I started to fall off a little bit and they wanted to move me more to a relief pitcher rather than a starter. At that stage in my career, I thought I had to throw more, so I transferred to a JUCO after the year.

I get to the JUCO and I really started to lose that love for something that I thought I liked. I started to blow back up a little bit with the hype, but my first outing was a bit of the same story with 50+ scouts out there. I was great with my curveball and could throw the piss out of a fastball, I just didn't know where it was going half the time.

I stepped off the mound that day and realized that this is not what i want. After the tournament, I called my high school football coach and told him I wanted to get back into football. What he did was he reached out to all the football schools that were interested in me in high school. The schools were interested in what I looked like now and I had grown quite a bit since high school.

I went from maybe 6'6" 190 pounds to now being 6'7" 240 pounds. So I'm doing workouts and forty yard dashes with my high school coach each week and he is sending it out to every single D-I school that he can. I fully expected to be a walk-on somewhere, but SMU came out and offered me a scholarship.

Once they did that, all these other schools came out and started offering too. With all these schools offering, here comes Florida coming out to see me at my JUCO. They watched a baseball practice and then had me run some routes on the football field afterwards. They offered 30 minutes later and I committed after a visit to their school.

I came in to Florida in year one and busted my tail to do everything they needed for me to be successful. In that second year, it was me and Kyle Pitts at the position. I was getting a majority of the blocking stuff that year, rightfully so with how special Kyle Pitts is, but I always knew I had more potential as a pass catcher.

I entered the transfer portal and found the perfect fit for everything I need with Pitt. With Kenny Pickett, the best quarterback in this draft, and Coach (Mark) Whipple, I knew they could help me be the player I wanted to be. I got another year (after my 2020 season was cut due to an injury) and I was able to do everything I wanted to do and then some in 2021.

It was a pretty special year to end this entire journey I've been on.

Krull finished his senior season with the Panthers with 38 receptions for 451 yards and six touchdowns as the team went on to win the ACC Championship.

Breakout Season in 2021

Krull mentioned it above, but he was rarely used as a pass catcher in his college career until this past season at Pitt. While he was a natural fit in that role, it is a bit of an adjustment to go from a blocking tight end to a player that is heavily featured in the passing game.

I asked Krull what that transition was like into being a more prominent target in the offense:

I've always known, with everything that I am about, that I could step up whenever a team was ready for me to be the guy. This year really proved it for me, just being on that field the whole time and doing things that way. I was finally able to show my ability as a pass catcher.

Kyle Pitts is a phenomenal player, but I always felt that I could do the things that he was doing if given the chance in an offense. That is why I knew that finding a spot that was going to give me that opportunity was going to be so big, and that is why I decided to go to Pittsburgh. It was just a dream come true.

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Coach Whipple Offense

Krull had a bit of work to do before he had that opportunity at Pitt. Coach Whipple (the Offensive Coordinator at Pitt this past season) is known for running a fairly complex, NFL-style offense at the college ranks.

I asked Krull about his transition into an offense that is fairly tough to master:

One thing I found easy in the transition was that a lot of designs are very similar in the two playbooks. When I got to Pitt, I was in with Coach Whipple and Kenny (Pickett) to do whatever I could do to learn the playbook.

I obviously knew my Florida playbook, so when they would call a certain formation a term, I would say, "oh,that was 27-Gas for us (or something) at Florida." It really is a lot of the same stuff, just different wording.

Something that Whipple does so well is his scheme is a pro-style offense with NFL-style lingo. That is going to help me so much moving forward in this class. Just having that love of the game and being willing to learn helped me pick up the offense quick.

Versatility on Offense

Being in a pro-style offense under Coach Whipple, Krull was asked to do a lot of things. He had to be an in-line tight end, a sniffer/HB role, and out wide in the slot on some occasions.

I asked Krull if he believes this experience will help him in the pre-draft process:

Absolutely, and that is why I was so happy to be in an offense that was able to use my versatility as an advantage. Having great receivers and a great quarterback around makes that role that much easier, I'll tell you that much.

Coach Whipple always knew I could do multiple things. Whether he needed me in-line helping on double/deuce blocks or helping with the tackle or guard, I could do it. We did a lot of tackle-over stuff too so I was a legit tackle on some plays if you look at the scheme. Whatever a team needs, I'm able to do it all and at full speed with a lot of success.

NFL Outlook

I finished off the interview with the same way I finish all of them. I asked Krull how he would sell himself to a team this offseason. I asked him what my team would be getting, on and off the field, if they draft him:

They are getting a complete leader, a complete competitor, a versatile athlete, and a player that will do it all at either special teams or the tight end position. You are getting a guy that is willing and able to do it all.

Something I take pride in is whatever it takes to help a team, whether it is special teams or on offense, I will get it done. They are getting a complete competitor and a guy that loves this game more than a lot of people really do.

Krull has one of the more fascinating stories in college football and it is remarkable that he is even at this point as a draft prospect. He has the athletic ability and work ethic to be a real asset to a NFL team.

Whatever team drafts him in this class is getting a player that is certainly going to put in the work and a player that the fanbase is going to absolutely love from day one.

Follow Zach on Twitter @ZachHicks2.

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