While people come in all different shapes and sizes, specific football positions have ideal traits. Each position has a range of size and specific tools evaluators key on. However, nothing is set in stone and different systems require different type of players. This series of articles is going to focus on what we look for in an ideal prospect while trying to remain as generic as possible. We always love feedback so be sure to include some things that are important to you.
Position: Tight End/ H-Back
Weight: 235lbs- 245lbs
Blocking: The H-Back is not going to be a dominant blocker but needs to be willing to be physical. He needs to be a good enough blocker to remain on the field and contribute in run blocking. If he is unable to contribute, it will tip off potential plays.
Routes/Release: Getting off the ball and cleanly releasing is key to the timing of a route. A tight end is often going to face contact with linebackers and lineman attempting to knock them off their route. It is important for the tight end to be able to cleanly release while remaining on his route. This is tied to athletic ability and coordination. He needs to be balanced enough to get off the line and quickly back on his route.
The H-Back has a major role in the passing game and needs to be able to run good routes. He needs to have good quickness and a short area burst that facilitates separation. The ability to adjust to the football is key as tight ends often are faced with tough catches. Finding the open zones in the defense is something every tight end needs to be able to do. You also want the H-Back to have the quickness to stretch the field and threaten the seam.
Hands: The tight end is often described as a security blanket which means he needs to have good reliable hands. It also means that he needs to be able to make the tough catch. The ability to drop his pad level and catch the ball at its highest point is very important. He should be a natural pass catcher and pluck the ball out of the air.
Run after catch: Again the H-Back position is considered a playmaking position which means he needs to have the ability to pick up yards after the catch. He should be able to break a tackle and create in space.