The top tight end in the 2018 NFL Draft, Dallas Goedert put the finishing touches on his case at South Dakota State’s pro day, where the former Jackrabbit tested terrifically in the vertical jump, broad jump, short shuttle and three cone drill. Goedert didn’t test at the Scouting Combine after suffering an injury at the Senior Bowl, but should have done enough to keep himself in the conversation to be the first tight end taken, competing with Penn State’s Mike Gesicki.
Goedert is set to workout for the Seattle Seahawks and would immediately fill the void left by Jimmy Graham’s departure. Although Goedert isn’t a traditional in-line tight end, he’s a more complete tight end than Graham and could be the hybrid player Seattle has sought at the position.
Goedert’s athletic ability is displayed during every part of his route. He comes off the line with tremendous burst, displays great speed on downfield routes, and after the catch he is fluid in turning up field and moving in space.
Despite beginning to run just two weeks before his pro day, Goedert posted a vertical jump that would’ve been fourth among tight ends at the combine, a broad that would’ve ranked third, a three cone that would’ve been second and a short shuttle that would’ve been first.
Going out into pass patterns from the slot, in-line, flexed out wide and from the H-back position, Goedert displayed a proficiency in route running at South Dakota State. He gets in and out of his breaks fluidly and with explosiveness. On deep routes up the seam, Goedert sets up breaks a little like Rob Gronkowski, giving the defender a false step one way before breaking in the other direction. He was used on one-on-ones on the perimeter in the red zone and consistently released off the line with ease.
After the catch, Goedert bounces off tacklers like Gronkowski, too:
Goedert has extremely reliable hands with a large catch radius. He’s able to adjust to passes thrown high and behind:
Low to the ground:
And he has strong hands capable of reaching out and plucking the ball in front of his body:
Finally, he’s capable of the incredible:
The area where he is the least refined, Goedert struggles to keep defenders engaged for more than one or two seconds. He has a tendency to look a little lost blocking on the edge.
However there are a few encouraging signs for Goedert as a blocker as he heads into the NFL. He was used at the point of attack and showed fine functional strength.
Importantly, he repeatedly displayed the kind of want-to and tenacity that comes with a good blocker at the position.
Overall, Goedert stands out as the most well-rounded prospect among the top tight ends in this year’s draft. Gesicki is an outstanding jump-ball specialist who is utterly useless as a blocker; Hayden Hurst doesn’t excel in any particular area and will be a 25-year old rookie. Goedert has the body and athleticism of Travis Kelce, as well as the toughness and downfield ability of Gronkowski. If the Seahawks are going to address the tight end position at the top of this year’s draft, Goedert, who resembles the future of the position, could offer them the best of Graham and Zach Miller.