Scouting Profile: Tight End Dallas Goedert

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 19, 2018

South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert is among the top-three at his position and may be selected in the first-round of the NFL Draft

Dallas Goedert
South Dakota State

Height: 6’5″
Weight: 256 pounds
40-yard dash: N/A
Vertical: 35 inches
Broad Jump: 10’1″

Regarded as the top tight end prospect, Goedert is someone who’s expected to be drafted inside the top two rounds. He’s built ideally for a tight end in today’s NFL, though the lone concern that some have had with him is his lack of competition while playing at South Dakota State. Did he dominate the smaller schools the way he should have?

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There were four games where Goedert hauled in eight or more passes, but there were also six games where he caught just three or less. His yardage totals were somewhat sporadic, too, but his quarterback play may have contributed to the inconsistencies. The one area that’s odd is that despite him catching 164 total balls over the last two years, they amounted to just 18 touchdowns, which is a bit light for a tight end of his skill-level.

Size/Versatility: 4.5 out of 5 stars
It’s easy to fall in love with Goedert’s size, as he’s someone you can clearly see playing in the NFL. His size comparison is right around Greg Olsen territory, so he leaves you wanting nothing there. His versatility is also a strength, as he can line-up anywhere on the field. While at South Dakota State, he primarily lined up out of the slot or out wide, though there were also times he lined up in the backfield. He’s not going to be the standard in-line tight end in an offense, but knowing he can play anywhere on the field is a bonus for a lot of teams who want to move their tight end around the field to create mismatches.

Route Running/Ability to Separate: 2.0 out of 5 stars
This was one area I was let down while watching Goedert. When you hear a prospect is considered the No. 1 at his position, you should expect him to be solid at gaining separation. Not only did he play against weak competition, but he didn’t get much separation while in his routes. He’s not very animated in his routes and looks sluggish at times. He’s unable to make a cut at full-speed and needs to decelerate more than you’d like. You’ll see him catch the ball in space at times, but from what I saw, a lot of those times were against zone coverage where he found the soft spot in the coverage. That’s a plus for his intelligence, but his route-running is slightly below-average.

Speed: 2.5 out of 5 stars
There’s a lack of urgency in his routes, doesn’t have the explosiveness that you want to see out of a receiver-first tight end. Some routes are run faster than others, so maybe durability or stamina isn’t quite where it should be? Once he gets into his route, though, Goedert’s speed down-the-field is solid for someone his size. His lack of short-area speed shows up in his routes, too, as it takes him time to get back into the route if there’s a hard break. His lack of acceleration hurts his ability to separate early in his routes.

Hands/High-Pointing: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Makes some spectacular catches, but I don’t think his hands are a sure thing. He had focus drops a few times during the games I was able to watch. Lack of talent on the opposite side of the ball allows him to focus more than someone right in his grill. With that being said, he’s extremely solid at high-pointing the ball over the defender, which likely comes from his basketball background. He’ll sometimes try to make a one-handed catch rather than turn his body to snag it with two hands. This could be a lack of agility while moving at full-speed, or it could be that he simply trusts his hands too much. He’s not going to be known for special hands, though he will make some remarkable catches at times.

After the Catch: 3.5 out of 5 stars
He’s not elusive or agile, but he’s really hard to bring down. You almost never see him tackled cleanly. He’s not someone who can make a cut at full-speed, so you shouldn’t expect him to be a great open-field runner. Some are always looking for the next Rob Gronkowski, and while Goedert isn’t that, he does look like Gronkowski when tacklers are literally hanging on while trying to tackle him. The difference is that Gronkowski does that in the NFL against the best competition, while Goedert did it at South Dakota State. I’d still consider him above-average after the catch because he doesn’t often go down on first contact.

Blocking: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Not a bad blocker, is willing to throw his body in front of a defender, making him serviceable. His technique looks solid, though he may be overpowered at times. Still, for a player who is expected to be running routes more often than not, he’s better than expected. He’s also a decent run-blocker who seems to know where the play is going and what he needs to do. His athleticism allows him to get out in front of the running back, which is something your average in-line tight end cannot do fast enough. Goedert is a decent enough blocker where it shouldn’t hinder his ability to get on the field early in his career.

Potential Landing Spot
There are a few teams who could use a TE1, but I’ve projected Goedert to the Raiders. Jon Gruden wants to turn back the clocks to 1998 and he’s going to have plenty of 2TE sets if that’s the case. He just released Clive Walford, leaving just Jared Cook and Lee Smith as the top two on the roster. After addressing some of the defensive concerns in free agency, they can afford to take him at the top of the second-round. Other potential landing spots include the Jaguars and Dolphins.

NFL Comparison
Though I think Kyle Rudolph has more explosion off the line than Goedert does, that’s who I’d say his comparison is at the NFL level. Both have excellent frames to be a big target in the red zone, and they’re both better receivers than they are blockers, though Rudolph has improved in-line over the years. Neither are particularly elusive in the open field but aren’t the easiest men to bring down. There are times where Rudolph makes a touchdown catch that has you wondering how high his ceiling could be, only to let you down on an easy target on the next possession. Goedert does this exact same thing.

Don’t miss the other Scouting Profiles on top prospects below:
Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State)
Derrius Guice (RB – LSU)
Ronald Jones (RB – USC)
Sony Michel (RB – Georgia)
Nick Chubb (RB – Georgia)
Royce Freeman (RB – Oregon)
Rashaad Penny (RB – San Diego State)
Kerryon Johnson (RB – Auburn)
John Kelly (RB – Tennessee)
Kalen Ballage (RB – Arizona State)
Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
D.J. Moore (WR – Maryland)
Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)
Anthony Miller (WR – Memphis)
Equanimeous St. Brown (WR – Notre Dame)
Daesean Hamilton (WR – Penn State)
Dante Pettis (WR – Washington)
Keke Coutee (WR – Texas Tech)
Auden Tate (WR – Florida State)
Baker Mayfield (QB – Oklahoma)
Josh Rosen (QB – UCLA)
Josh Allen (QB – Wyoming)
Lamar Jackson (QB – Louisville)
Mason Rudolph (QB – Oklahoma State)

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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