Tyler Kroft: A Scouting Report on Bengals’ New Tight End
Sep 6, 2014; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights tight end Tyler Kroft (86) walks off the field after their 38-25 victory over the Howard Bison at High Points Solutions Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals needed to take a tight end at some point in this year’s draft, and they selected Tyler Kroft in the third round. Here is a deeper look at how his game tape looked, along with his strengths and weaknesses.
Tyler Kroft is quick off of the line of scrimmage. He is a natural receiver. He’s versatile, as he had played in the slot and in the tight end position. Uses his quickness to get off of blocks quickly to go out for a pass. Threat deep in the middle of the field. Has a knack to find the soft spots in zone coverage. Great with getting yards after the catch. Willing blocker, never gives up. Relies heavily on technique and footwork while engaged in blocking. Never quits on a play, continues through to the whistle. Holds the frame most NFL teams want in a tight end. Did extremely well against Michigan State’s defensive end Shilique Calhoun when blocking him.
Struggles consistently to win contested catches. Catches with his body more than he does with his hands. Aggressive blocker, but he is more so catching the defender rather than sustaining a block. While he has the frame, he needs to add more bulk and strength to be a consistent threat both as a receiving tight end and a blocker. Productivity dropped in 2014. Not a great second level blocker. Needs to use his height to block out receivers, rather than play as a wide receiver in certain situations.
While watching game tape, Kroft eerily reminded me of a player the Bengals drafted years ago: Chase Coffman. Take that for what it’s worth. Both have a ton of upside in the passing game, but sadly Coffman could never each his potential.
Kroft is a much better blocker and has shown that he fights for extra yards. He’s deceptively quick and aggressive in his blocks. If he adds bulk and keeps his speed, he could be a nightmare in the seam. Kroft has to work on his receiving technique since the competition is going to be tougher. For example; using his frame to block out defenders for a ball in the air. He will mostly be used as a receiving specialist and used in a ton of play action.
Kroft’s tape screams potential and shows what you want in a tight end, but his numbers doesn’t support what he shows on tape. Kroft will be a reliable weapon that Andy Dalton will use to his advantage.