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2023 NFL Draft prospect profile - Cameron Latu, TE, Alabama

Just how much can Latu help an NFL offense?

NCAA Football: UL Monroe at Alabama Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL Draft is stacked at several positions, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. What isn’t getting quite as much talk is just how impressive this year’s tight end class is. This tight end class is so deep that somewhere between a third and half of the NFL teams could find themselves with new starting caliber tight ends by the time all is said and done.

The top names are well-known by now, but there are several very good tight ends flying just below the radar.

Alabama’s Cameron Latu isn’t the biggest, strongest, or most athletic, tight end in this class. He isn’t the best blocker, nor is he the best receiver. However, he is an exceptionally well-rounded and versatile tight end who can help a team in a variety of ways.

The New York Giants obviously need more receivers and improved blocking up front. Could Latu be a mid-round gem who helps both sides of the offense?

Games Watched: vs. Texas (2022), vs. Tennessee (2022), vs. Ole Miss (2022), vs. Kansas State (2022)


Kent Lee Platte (@Mathbomb) | RAS.Football

Career Stats

Games Played: 28

Receptions: 56
Yards (YPC): 787 (14.1 per catch)
Touchdowns: 12

2022 Stats

Games Played: 12

Receptions: 30
Yards (YPC): 377 (12.6 per catch)
Touchdowns: 4

Quick Summary

Best: Blocking, competitive toughness, linear athleticism, football IQ, versatility
Worst: Agility, route running
Projection: A good number 2 tight end in a 12-personnel package with starting potential.

Game Tape

Full Report

Alabama’s Cameron Latu is a tough, versatile, and smart tight end prospect.

Latu played several different roles in Alabama’s offense, and played out of a variety of alignments. He was used as an in-line and detached tight end, split out as a receiver, out of the backfield as an H-back, and even put into motion pre-snap. He has solid linear athleticism and very good play strength as a blocker.

Latu is mostly known as a blocking tight end, and that was indeed his primary job for Alabama’s offense. He blocked all over the field, and was particularly impressive as an in-line blocker. Alabama used him on both the play-side and back-side of plays to seal off pursuit. He was particularly impressive crashing inside with a down block, and would often collapse the edge of the defense, creating plenty of running room. Latu is also a capable pull blocker, and was frequently used as such from a detached alignment.

He is a solid pass protector as well. Latu does a good job of identifying pressure, positioning himself in pass protection, and playing with good technique. He typically plays with good leverage and either sustains his blocks or loses slowly enough to give his quarterback time in the pocket. Latu is a very tough player who looks for work throughout the play and is unafraid of taking on bigger defenders.

Latu was quietly integral to Alabama’s passing game, and not just as a blocker. He was frequently used as a part of Alabama’s route concepts, using his size and linear athleticism to force respect from coverage players in the middle of the field. That allowed Alabama to create space and separation for their other receivers. Latu is a smart football player who understands his role in the offense and consistently plays hard without the ball. He is very quick out of his stance and does a great job of selling his routes even when he knows he isn’t getting the ball. He quickly transitions from receiver to blocker down the field once the ball is thrown.

He is also a capable receiver in his own right. Latu is a hands catcher who is able to make solid adjustments to the ball down the field and is typically reliable at the catch point. He has solid contact balance and he has enough play strength to break poor tackle attempts.

Latu is a good, but also limited, athlete. In particular, he has solid speed and initial quickness, but also lacks agility. He can struggle to get into position against more athletic defenders in space, allowing them to easily slip his blocks and make plays. It can also compromise his ability to block with good technique, and his hands can occasionally drift wide when he has to block after quickly getting into position.

Likewise, he needs to chop his feet and throttle down before breaking sharply as a route runner. That can either lead to telegraphed routes or rounded breaks, either of which allow defenders to stay tight to him.

Overall Grade: 7.2


Cameron Latu projects as a good secondary tight end in a 12-personnel package, with the potential to start relatively early in his career for a team that primarily runs 11-personnel packages.

Latu is a “complete” tight end with the ability to contribute as a blocker and as a receiver, and do so from a variety of alignments. He will probably be a better blocker than receiver at the NFL level and may never be considered a “weapon” for his offense. That said, he’s a very smart player who is also selfless enough to do what’s necessary to put his teammates in position to succeed. From that perspective, Latu is the type of player whose presence makes your offense better – even if he isn’t the one making game-changing plays.

Latu’s relative lack of agility could be a slight problem for offensive coordinators. They might need to account for it with the blocks they ask Latu to execute, as well as the routes they ask him to run.

Cameron Latu may never be a star tight end in the NFL. However, his football IQ and versatile skill set should allow him to be a great value after the first round and an immediate contributor for his future offense.