2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Troy Niklas
To prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft InsidetheFilmRoom is breaking down the best 5 prospects from every position. This week we are examining the top tight end prospects and we are focusing our attention on Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas today.
Troy Niklas clearly ate his Wheaties growing up. A massive 6’6 270 tight end Niklas lingered behind Cinnicanti Bengal Tyler Eifert for two seasons at Norte Dame before bursting onto the scene in 2013. With his impressive frame and mean demeanor — Niklas was a high school star at offensive line, defensive line as well as tight end — Niklas is a well rounded tight end that has the potential to create mismatches at the NFL level due to his combination of size, speed and power.
Size: Big well built, long arms, big hands, carries his 270 pounds well, huge catch radius makes him a real red zone threat, can box out smaller defenders and has the potential to be a mismatch outside.
Bull in a China Shop: Lowers the boom against smaller defenders, wins the physical battle, hard to bring down, fights for extra yardage and more or less a DBs worst nightmare with the ball.
Powerful Blocker: Uses big frame and long arms to keep defenders off him, good leg drive, can crash down and seal the edge on power or slip out and gain outside leverage on tosses and dominates DBs on bubble screens.
Lack of Speed/Agility: Possess average speed, cant burn teams down the seam, lacks any sort of agility in the open field, can struggle to match speed rushers on the outside and has a limited big play potential.
Production: Only caught 37 passes in college, single season as primary tight end and lots of potential but not very much tape to go off of.
Overall: Despite only seeing real playing time in one season at Notre Dame, Troy Niklas’ size, strength and general athleticism scream potential. He is a true meat and potatoes tight end — old school blocker with average speed and soft hands– that won’t be a great fit with many of the new spread offenses. That said he did split out wide in the red in South Bend and has the potential to grow into a diverse passing weapon. There are parts of his game that remind scouts of Rob Gronkowski — mainly his size and power making him a mismatch nightmare– and some team will gladly spend a 2nd round pick hoping Niklas can learn to utilize his massive frame/potential.
Prediction: 2nd Round
Other 2014 Tight Ends: