The Cincinnati Bengals have selected Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft with the No. 85 overall pick 2015 NFL Draft. The former Big East All-Academic honoree has the size, skill set and athleticism to be a sound tight end in all phases as he begins his NFL career.
First of all, he is an exceptional run blocker who can set the edge in the run game. At 6'5, 246 pounds, Kroft also has a large frame that allows him to win in the middle. One issue, however, is that he has not demonstrated enough of that ability given his size. His catch radius has come into question, and he has the tendency to run lackluster routes.
But those shortcomings can be overlooked considering his athleticism and versatility. He can line up in the slot or on the outside and be effective from either position. He was a wide receiver in his senior year of high school, and has the skills to be a capable pass catcher at the next level.
An ankle injury forced him to sit out the combine, but Kroft was able to show off his talents at Rutgers' Pro Day. He ran a 4.75 40-yard dash, which would have ranked him third among tight ends at the combine. Kroft added a vertical jump of 34 inches and a 10-foot broad jump that further cemented his status as one of the position's best athletes.
Kroft's issues are fixable, and he's got the look of a player who can come in and make an impact at some point. He was well-coached in college and has NFL speed. With the right fit, he should make a difference with his new squad.