The 2018 RotoViz Scouting Index (RSI) tracks NFL draft prospect rankings from a variety of traditional scouting sites, giving you quick insight into how incoming rookies are currently being valued over in “real football” land.
This serves as a counterpoint to our usual stats-and-metrics-based analysis. Discovering where the stats and film crowds agree and disagree is not only fun but often illuminating. We’ll track the rise and fall of player values throughout the draft season and assess the impact on player fantasy valuations. We’ll be aggregating rankings from a number of well-respected sites.
NFL DRAFT TIGHT END PROSPECT RANKINGS
In order to ensure that you understand where our data comes from and how the scores are calculated, I recommend reading the introduction to this series.
The 2018 RotoViz Scouting Index Top Tight End Prospects
For the players at the top of the RSI, it’s very much a case of “As you were.” Dallas Goedert, Hayden Hurst, and Mark Andrews continue to hold their top-three spots. The only change in the top ten comes with Dalton Schultz climbing from eight to seven.
We will look more closely at Schultz, as well as offering brief insights into the other players on the list not previously mentioned.
It would not be accurate to describe Dalton Schultz as a mega-producer at the college level. He caught 55 passes in three seasons for Stanford. His highest in a single season was 23 in 2016. Schultz isn’t exactly a breathtaking athlete either.
Lance Zierlein compares Schultz to Dwayne Allen, noting that he “is a Y-tight end with the ability as a run blocker to help bolster a team’s rushing attack very quickly.” This may make him a more valuable real football player than a fantasy option. But his above-average agility means he could still be a valuable red-zone weapon. Two TE needy teams (the Patriots and Texans), have private workouts scheduled with Schultz.
Ryan Izzo is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 15.9 yards per reception for Florida State. This is an impressive stat but must be tempered with the realization that he only caught 20 passes. Izzo is not a particularly impressive athletic specimen but has shown ability as an in-line blocker. It is this skill that will endear him most to NFL teams. Izzo’s closest comparable is former Eagles TE Brent Celek.
Jordan Akins has only played TE for the last two seasons. He has certainly flashed as a big-time playmaker in that time. His 862 receiving yards for UCF between 2016 and 2017 came at 15.6 yards per reception, along with six touchdowns. A whopping 43.7 percent of his receptions last season went for 20 or more yards. However, his perceived lack of blocking ability and the fact that he’ll be 26 years old when the season starts may make him unattractive to some. But if he lands on a team with a blocker already in place, he makes for an intriguing prospect.
If you look at Ethan Wolf, he looks like an NFL TE. If you watch him play, he looks like a 1970s NFL TE. He’s not fast, as evinced by his 5.03 40-yard dash time. He’s not a player you can throw it up to and know that he’ll come down with the ball, especially not with a 9.85-inch wingspan and 32.5-inch arm length.
But Wolf has attracted attention for his blocking. To be fair, he wasn’t a total liability in the passing game for the Volunteers. He caught at least 22 passes in all four of his college seasons, though never more than 24. Rotoworld probably summed up Wolf best when they wrote, “Every NFL team could use this type of player. Just don’t expect it to ever be drafted high.”
Marcus Baugh has had the pleasure of playing on a team surrounded by NFL caliber talent for the last four seasons. He should always treasure these times, as it is highly likely that he won’t have the same experience for the next four seasons. Baugh is a truly unspectacular athletic prospect, as you can see below.
Nor does Baugh have a track record of college dominance to fall back on. The 28 receptions he had as a senior were the most of his career with Ohio State. His career-high 304 yards came at a pedestrian 10.9 yards per grab. It would be stunning if we see him on an NFL field this autumn.
If I were honest in saying that Ethan Wolf looked like a TE from NFLs recent past, then I have to apply the same level of honesty to Will Dissly. He looks like he’d have been right at home in the “three yards and a cloud of dust” era, and from a fantasy perspective, he’d have been just as valuable then as he is now.
Still, Dissly has only played 16 games as a TE after switching from the defensive line. According to one scout, Dissly is “all-in with his commitment to the team and what he has to do. He won’t blow you away with talent or athleticism, but he does his job.” He’ll be on an NFL roster in 2018, just not any fantasy lineups.