Goedert didn’t attend a prolific college football program, but that won’t stop him from making an impact in the NFL.
The Sports Quotient’s annual Draft Preview series returns! Over the course of the eight weeks leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft, we will take a look at the top NFL prospects at each position. This week, we dive into the tight end position. Today, we look at Dallas Goedert from South Dakota State.
After failing to receive any FBS scholarship offers, Goedert decided to walk on at South Dakota State. He made the team as a walk-on but redshirted the 2013 season. As a redshirt freshman and sophomore in 2014 and 2015, his impact was minimal. Across the two seasons, he finished with a combined 34 receptions for 584 yards and three touchdowns.
It wasn’t until his junior and senior seasons that he really took off, however. He finished both years with over 70 catches for over 1,100 yards and at least seven touchdowns. His best season at South Dakota State was his junior campaign when he totaled 92 catches for nearly 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns. With back-to-back impressive seasons, Goedert became a very intriguing NFL prospect.
Goedert’s size and speed are the biggest traits working in his favor. He is listed at 6‘5, 255 pounds, which for a receiving threat will create a lot of mismatches. However, he did not run the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which he will run at his Pro Day. This will likely have a huge impact on how high he will ultimately be selected, as his speed is considered one of his strengths.
PFF) March 5, 2018
During the 2017 college football season, Pro Football Focus had Goedert as their highest graded tight end with a 96.8. This was largely in part due to his ability to make defenders miss once he got the ball in his hands. Goedert led all of college football with 12 missed tackles forced. Additionally, he averaged an amazing 8.2 yards after the catch, which is what has people calling him the next great NFL tight end mismatch.
One of the biggest criticisms Goedert will face during the pre-draft process is the level of competition he played against. He dominated at the FCS level, but there are going to be questions of how he will fare against NFL athletes at the next level, especially if he doesn’t put up a good 40-yard dash time.
He played three FBS opponents while at South Dakota State. The first was in 2014 when Goedert finished the game with only one catch for nine yards in their game against Missouri. In 2015 against Kansas, he had just two catches for 49 yards. He did explode in their game against TCU in 2016 when he had five catches, 96 yards, and a touchdown. This is such a small sample size against major conference competition, but it doesn’t fare amazingly in Goedert’s favor.
Goedert also doesn’t have the most refined route running skills of the tight ends in this draft class. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com detailed this when acknowledging Geodert’s weaknesses. He said Goedert struggled selling his routes in college and that he relied too much on his head fakes when attempting to create separation from defenders. He will need to improve in that area in order to be successful in the NFL.
Goedert might not be the first tight end off the board in this years draft, but he has as good of a chance as any to make the biggest impact. He won’t break tackles as often in the NFL as he did at South Dakota State, but his size and ability to be both a blocker and receiver will make him a highly coveted player.
There will be a lot of teams that will look at Goedert and envision the next Travis Kelce or Zach Ertz. He has that type of potential, which gives him a chance to go late in the first round to the Jacksonville Jaguars or in the second round to the Denver Broncos or Cincinnati Bengals. There will be a long list of suitors for Goedert as the draft gets closer.
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