As we continue our 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile series, let's take a look at a player I see as 'Travis Beckum 2.0,' a designation I am handing Lance Kendricks for a bunch of reasons.
First, because Kendricks is the player who replaced Beckum at Wisconsin as the team's tight end/H-back. Second, because he basically is Beckum. An H-back type who is about the same size as Beckum and comes with virtually the same scouting report. A matchup nightmare in the slot, out of the backfield or as a motion guy. Not much of a blocker. Probably not a traditional in-line tight end.
So, if you want to blow up the Travis Beckum experiment and start over Kendricks sounds like your guy. Me? I don't want a guy like this. If the Giants add a tight end I want a mauling blocker on the edge to help in short yardage and goal line.
Scouting reports after the jump.
6-foot-4, 241 pounds
Projection: Round 2 or 3
From National Football Post:
Lacks ideal size for the position, but is an impressive motion man who can be moved around the offense and routinely create mismatches in the pass game. Exhibits a good initial burst off the line with his hand in the ground. Takes a positive first step into his routes, cleanly is able to slip defenders and accelerates quickly down the field. Runs well vertically, has the ability to consistently threaten the seam and looks natural adjusting to throws and plucking the football away from his frame. Is an above-average route runner at this stage who exhibits the balance and body control to quickly get out of his breaks and accelerate away from man coverage.
Exhibits a willingness to block as a motion man, takes good angles into contact and can consistently kick out defenders on contact on the move. Now, isn't going to drive anyone off the football in the run game and is rarely run behind, but is athletic and long enough to quickly get around reach blocks and seal off the edge.
Impression: Looks like the next talented Wisconsin tight end to come out of the program. Lacks ideal size, but can be a tough cover in the pass game and knows how to get around blocks and seal in the run game. I don't think if he will ever be a legit starting "on the line Y" in the NFL, but he certainly has the ability to make his way onto the field and create plays in the pass game at a variety of positions.
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Athletic... Average size... Good speed... Gets off the LOS quickly... Good short area quickness... Reaches top speed quickly... Can get separation... Good flexibility, body control and balance... Good receiver... Finds holes in zone coverage... Adjusts to the ball well... Good but inconsistent hands... Can stretch the field... Good receiver... Physical... Runs hard... Does not go down easy... Strong stiff arm... Will break some tackles... Breaks down reasonably well and can generally hit a moving target... Takes good angles... Plays with reasonably good leverage... Coming from a run-first program that has produced many quality tight ends in recent memory... Well-rounded player... Could also be considered as an H-Back, fullback and slot receiver... Selected All-Big Ten first team for the 2010 season.
Negatives: Does not look like a natural route runner and will tip his breaks... Makes some catches with his body... Inconsistent concentration... Adequate in-line blocker... Not very strong... Doesn't generate much power... Can be pushed back and can be driven off the ball.
From Draft Countdown:
- Outstanding athleticism, speed, quickness and agility
- Soft hands and will pluck the ball away from frame
- Fantastic body control, leaping ability and ball skills
- Runs good routes and simply knows how to get open
- Able to get separation from defenders and has a burst
- Shows the ability to get vertical and threaten seam
- Good vision and will pick up yardage after the catch
- A well above average blocker and gives terrific effort
- Aggressive with decent strength and nice toughness
- Is real versatile and can be lined up all over the field
- An undersized 'tweener with average height and bulk
- Will drop catchable balls due to lack of concentration
- Not necessarily a physically dominant, mauling blocker
- Must learn to take a little better care of the football
Overshadowed by Beckum and Graham early in career and didn't get a chance to be featured until senior season --- An H-Back prospect who has drawn comparisons to Dustin Keller but not nearly as one-dimensional --- Potential dynamic weapon in the passing game who is a mismatch waiting to happen but has also proven to be a very effective blocker -- Profiles as a starting-caliber talent at the next level.