Adam Trautman was largely unknown before the Senior Bowl. Now, he has worked his way into the top tier of tight ends for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Trautman is a small-school product out of Dayton, which is mostly why he went unnoticed for a stretch of time. While jumping from small schools in college to the NFL is never easy, Trautman might have just the skillset to overcome the challenge.
Let's take a a deep five into this prospect's profile:
Type and versatility
- Trautman is not just an in-line blocking type of guy. He can line up all over the field. He can be an effective in-line blocker, serve as a receiver out wide, can go and run routes over the middle. He has plenty of versatility and that is impressive for his size.
- Not much to speak of here. Trautman catches the ball cleanly, doesn't make too many body catches, and appears to have a pretty sound catch radius. No red flags, nothing to jump out at you. Just routine hand skills.
- Extremely talented route-runner. Dayton asked him to do virtually everything as a route-runner. His route tree is extremely diverse.
- Trautman has a high IQ as a route-runner, which helps him find the open holes in defenses, and can make secondaries uncomfortable by threatening leverage. Those are all impressive traits. On top of that, he can stack defenders on vertical routes and get back to his landmarks.
- He still lacks some NFL route-running traits. His main problem was inviting defenders to get too much contact into his frame and his route timing was sometimes a little off.
- Trautman is really strong at the point of attack. He has a lot of fight in him. Trautman takes pride in his blocking and puts a lot of effort into it.
- His hands are violent in the blocking game. Even in the Senior Bowl against better competition than he saw in college, he made a dominating pancake block, which showed up on film at Dayton numerous times.
- With that being said - his technique leaves a lot to be desired. Which is mainly because of things he has not learned yet. That can be relieving news to NFL teams, as it can be much harder to fix bad habits than it is to teach someone a new skill.
Technique and fundamentals
- Trautman came into Dayton as a quarterback, thus there are still parts to his game that are developing. However, being a quarterback has also been an advantage for him, as he said in an interview with the Cincinnati Bengals' website. He said it allows him to see things before they happen, increases his awareness, allows him to spot blitzes and read the safeties.
- Yet again, Trautman still requires more polish for the NFL. He comes at a disadvantage from not playing tight end until college and playing in the FCS. There are just things that he has not quite mastered yet to be an NFL starter.
- His technique in both the blocking and receiving game needs work. While his technique can improve for sure with his football IQ appearing high, there are naturally concerns about the learning curve from small-school FCS to the NFL.
- In the FCS at Dayton, Trautman could frequently win just off his physical traits and athleticism. Jumping up to the NFL, Trautman will most certainly not have the same success with that approach.
With this learning curve, I give him at least a year, if not two, to become the starter in New England's offense.
- Not only is Trautman 6-foot-6, 253 pounds, but he also could end up running a 4.5 40-yard in the upcoming combine. To move like that with his frame and size is what makes him so versatile. This would allow offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to do a lot of things in order to create mismatches with Trautman.
- Trautman is SO athletically gifted. Again, his blend of size and speed will make NFL teams salivate. His high school basketball background helps him win 50/50 balls.
- Trautman is extremely explosive as an athlete. His speed and agility are trademark tools for him. He could be the most athletic, most explosive tight end in this draft class, which says something with his size.
Like Cole Kmet, Trautman will be a project. However, both tight ends are great fits in the Patriots' system. Trautman might have the biggest upside out of any tight end in this class. He is so athletic and gifted with tools, and few tight ends can offer what Trautman offers potential-wise.
He would be the no. 2 or no. 3 tight end in the Patriots' offense to start his career. However, he could be used effectively in certain situations and might be a great tool in the redzone. His combo of speed and athleticism would allow McDaniels to get creative with creating mismatches for the Dayton product. Trautman could also start by running down the seam, like LaCosse did at times last season. However, in the following years, the hope would be that Trautman would flower into aNew England's go-to tight end.