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NFL Draft Profile: Arik Gilbert, Tight End, Georgia Bulldogs

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Georgia TE Arik Gilbert
Georgia TE Arik Gilbert
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#14
Pos: TE
Ht: 6041
Wt: 249
DOB: 2/22/2002
Hometown: Marietta, GA
High School: Marietta
Eligibility: 2023

Arik Gilbert
Georgia Bulldogs


One-Liners

If Gilbert had played in 2020, he’d be considered a clear-cut top ten player in the class and one of the best tight end prospects in recent memory.

Evaluation:

Even though Gilbert only has freshman film, the former five-star recruit flashed immense potential. He is an unbelievable blocker with natural play strength to make an impact in the run game. He was able to drive defenders out of the play. His technique and footwork were elite for such a young player. As a junior next season, Gilbert should be one of the best blockers in the nation, and his blocking ability will translate to the next level. He is going to be able to contribute as a blocker from day one in the NFL. LSU always left him in no matter the down or distance because of his blocking. As a pass catcher, Gilbert displayed elite speed. Gilbert should have the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine, and he moves like a receiver. There is buildup speed there to threaten a defense vertically that few tight ends possess. He is a fluid athlete who can change direction with ease. Gilbert gets in and out of breaks really well, and he is extremely quick for his size. After the catch, Gilbert is able to use his speed and play strength to break tackles. Even in the NFL, defenders will struggle to bring him down. With all the good that comes with Gilbert, he is raw. He didn’t drop the ball on tape, but at times Gilbert struggles to catch the ball cleanly. Gilbert doesn’t really know how to run a route and relies on natural athleticism to get open. His understanding of attacking leverages to get open isn’t there yet, either. Gilbert is really fast, but he isn’t quick off the line. He takes false steps and is all over the place with his footwork at times as a receiver. Gilbert, for the most part, just struggles with the little things. As he gets more experience, a lot of his issues should improve. There truly isn’t a trait teams look for in a tight end that Gilbert doesn’t possess. If he can build off of his freshman campaign and stay focused next season, Gilbert has the talent to compete to be the first tight end drafted. There are question marks but Gilbert could have been a top 50 pick on his freshman film alone. If he builds on it, Gilbert has the chance to vault himself into the top 15 of the draft.

Grade:

1st Round

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Background:

Arik Gilbert came to Georgia from LSU in 2021, where he was a second-team All-American Preseason pick by PFF. At LSU, he was looked at as an impressive freshman where he was All-SEC and even started eight games for the Tigers. He was the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2019, the first tight end to do so. He was the twelfth best player in ESPN’s 300 ranking. At Georgia, Gilbert is majoring in Finance. 

Quotes: 

"I expect him to give us an A-effort every day. When you give an A grade effort, you got the talent that he has, it's a great combination. He's a tremendous athlete. He's had to do some extra conditioning. He was a little heavy for the spring. He's worked really hard on bringing that town. He had a really good year academically, which was a big hurdle. He had to focus on his academics upon coming to us from LSU. He got a great opportunity this spring. People forget Darnell and Brock were both out. The opportunity he got, he seized that opportunity to grow and develop. He will have to continue to do that to be a major contributor for us. He's bought into doing that, being a team player. There's a lot more to being a tight end than just catching the ball. He's bought into that." -- Georgia HC Kirby Smart on TE Arik Gilbert