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Scouting Profile: Tight End Mark Andrews

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 24, 2018

Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews isn’t a pro-ready blocker, but he can contribute in the passing-game immediately

Mark Andrews, Oklahoma

Height: 6’5″
Weight: 256 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds
Vertical: 31.0 inches
Broad Jump: 9’5″

Playing with Baker Mayfield was likely a treat for the 6-foot-5 tight end who was highlighted by him in the passing-game more often than not. Andrews is a prospect you bring in to catch passes and that’s about it, as he wasn’t asked to block very often at Oklahoma. Another concern is that Andrews suffers from diabetes and has had multiple attacks that have led to him passing out at times. While he’ll get the best attention at the NFL level, it’s an added level of concern.

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Performing at the college level was no issue for Andrews, as he led all tight ends with 958 yards. The closest player to him was Adam Breneman who finished with 764 yards, nearly a 200-yard gap. He grew with Mayfield over the last three years, increasing his statistical output every season and totaled 22 touchdowns over 35 career college games. Was he a product of the Oklahoma system and Mayfield?

Size/Versatility: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Built similarly to Travis Kelce, solid from head-to-toe, though he’s not quite as athletic as Kelce. Essentially the ideal build for a tight end. The issue is that you don’t want to use him in-line if you can help it, which severely limits his versatility. He plays soft despite being as big as he is, something that can really hold his game back. He’s also not the athlete that some other tight ends in this class are, which could force teams to go in a different direction. Andrews is a receiving tight end who is extremely sure-handed, but that’s about it. He might as well be labeled as a wide receiver.

Route Running/Ability to Separate: 3.5 out of 5 stars
He’s a solid route-runner, though he’s not very sudden. He’ll often have a defender within a yard, but that’s all Mayfield needed a majority of the time. Short-strider who doesn’t round his routes as much as some tight ends do. He’s like Jason Witten while running routes in that he doesn’t appear to be moving very fast, but has small moves that create just a bit of space, and that’s all he ever really needed. He also understands how to read zone-coverage extremely well, sliding in between defenders, only to make a subtle move upfield and have nothing but daylight in front of him. Whether it be play-calling or him manipulating the defense, it worked more often than not. He also seemed to run a very diverse route-tree, something that should get him on the field as a receiver early in his career.

Speed: 3.0 out of 5 stars
He plays at a slightly above-average speed, though nothing spectacular. His 40-time was impressive for someone like him and likely moved him up some boards, but his play-speed is pretty consistent at every level of the field. He’s got solid initial burst off the line of scrimmage, though he can get jammed by a physical defender pretty easily. Once he gets into his route, he’s got solid ramp-up speed, but I don’t see different gears while running his routes. In the end, he’s not someone you’ll see stretching the field as much as he did in college.

Hands/High-Pointing: 4.5 out of 5 stars
If there’s one way to describe Andrews as a receiver, it’s “reliable.” He’s a natural hands catcher, plucks the ball out of the air if needed. He doesn’t need a big cushion to catch the ball, does well in traffic. Uses his body to shield defenders very well, creates good angles. Mayfield was more of a precision passer, so we didn’t see Andrews make too many over-the-top-of-defender catches, but he did show the ability to get up and snag the ball out of the air. His awareness and body-control around the sidelines isn’t a highlight of his game, but his hands are extremely solid.

After the Catch: 3.0 out of 5 stars
He doesn’t play like a big man and I’d describe him as soft. He’s not the easiest guy to bring down at 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds, but it doesn’t have to do with his will to get past the defender. He’s got solid vision in the open field, but his speed isn’t going to carry him through the next level. It’s so tough judging Andrews after the catch in comparison to most tight ends, because while watching him, all I see is a big wide receiver. But when comparing him to most tight ends after the catch, he’s slightly above-average.

Blocking: 1.0 out of 5 stars
He’s a finesse player in the receiving game, doesn’t play tough and it translates to his blocking. Doesn’t have the aggression to be a good blocker. In fact, he’s bad at it. There are tight ends who show the desire to block, even if they aren’t the greatest at it, but Andrews struggles to find someone to block in the run-game a majority of the time. There are times where he’ll be asked to block a cornerback on a screen and he’s unable to keep them in front of him. You don’t have to have perfect technique when blocking as a tight end, but you have to at least be willing to show some aggression. This is easily the worst part of Andrews’ game.

Potential Landing Spot
Wherever Andrews lands, he’s not going to be the primary in-line tight end. It’s questionable as to whether or not he can develop into at least a serviceable blocker, but going to play behind Jason Witten would likely be a good thing for him. Witten was one of the best blocking tight ends for quite some time and the Cowboys need to start looking for his replacement at some point. They have an offensive line that wouldn’t need him to block as much as others and he adds another threat to the arsenal for Dak Prescott. Another potential landing spot would be Seahawks, who are used to not getting much blocking from Jimmy Graham over the last few years.

NFL Comparison
It’s tough to say Jason Witten because of how bad Andrews is at blocking, but while he’s running routes, he looks like a younger Witten. As I mentioned in his route-running, they both excel at finding holes in a zone-defense and are able to gain enough separation to give their quarterback a decent window. Both players have rock-solid hands and use their body to shield the defender better than most. Andrews is more of a red zone threat than Witten, but he’s also not even half the blocker that Witten is/was. It’s the only thing that I see holding him back.

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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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