Neil Dutton

Lead Writer, soft spot for the tight end position. Will never stop loving Duke Johnson.

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In-Season Articles

In-Season Articles

Is Harrison Bryant the Next Jonnu Smith? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article was published on January 30. We now have measurements from the combine to add to our assessment. How does Harrison Bryant’s combine performance change his NFL outlook? The winner of the award for the best tight end in college football is draft-eligible in 2020. Yet some ranking services seem to be less than impressed with him. This is a grave injustice, and I will not rest until everyone knows the name of Harrison Bryant. BACKGROUND A native of Georgia, Bryant played baseball and basketball in addition to football at John Milledge Academy. He was

Could Hunter Bryant Be the First Tight End Off the Board? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article published on January 6. We now have combine numbers. Did Hunter Bryant’s athletic measurements do enough to cement his place as one of the top tight ends in the draft? Hunter Bryant is one of the best young TEs in the nation. His 2019 success in concert with his athletic gifts no doubt played a part in his deciding to enter the draft in 2020. Bryant’s skills and pedigree will make him one of the top prospects at his position. BACKGROUND Bryant was born in Issaquah, Washington and attended Eastside Catholic High School in

Can Colby Parkinson Overcome a Disappointing Combine? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article published on January 23. We now have physical and athletic measurements from the combine. Was Colby Parkinson’s combine performance enough to move him up draft boards? Since 2010 there have been seven tight ends out of Stanford drafting by NFL teams. This includes players like Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Austin Hooper. 2020 should see this number rise to eight. Colby Parkinson is heading for the NFL. BACKGROUND Parkinson attended Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California. In a revelation that will come as no shock to anyone, he dabbled in basketball as well

Brycen Hopkins Is Old, But Can His Combine Make Up For It? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article published on December 30, 2019. Since that time, we have combine numbers. How does Hopkins showing at the combine change his NFL outlook? Read on to find out? If Brycen Hopkins needs any help in how to deal with the pressures of being a top draft prospect, he only needs to turn to his family for advice. Hopkins’s father, Brad Hopkins, was a first-round selection by the Houston Oilers in the 1993 NFL Draft. Hopkins Sr. played 13 seasons in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowl nods as well as an All-Pro berth in

Brandon Aiyuk Could Be the Next Deebo Samuel: A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

People keep telling me that this is a deep wide receiver class. People keep telling me to watch the movie Elf too. Yep, people tell me a lot of things. But for now, I am inclined to listen to the people telling me about the WRs. While this class doesn’t seem to have a Julio Jones or an Amari Cooper, there does seem to be no end of playmakers. One of these is a player I am very high on. He’s someone that coaches should look to find ways to get the ball to, whether it’s from a pass, a rush

Is Irv Smith the Next Ian Thomas?

Irv Smith Jr is the next player to attract our attention as we look back on the 2019 NFL rookies. Smith was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings out of Alabama, where he caught 58 passes for 838 yards and 18 touchdowns between 2017 and 2018. He profiled as a “move” tight end in the NFL, a fact made all the more obvious by his combine measurables bearing closer similarities to wide receivers than TEs. From a production standpoint, his receiving numbers were comparable to other TEs of note. Smith appeared to be a player who was not exactly primed to

Dawson Knox Has One Incredible Comp, But Is It Enough for a Year 2 Breakout?

So it’s another rookie season you want to look back on, is it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This time around, the object of our attention is Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox. Knox came into the NFL without too much fanfare. He’d hardly been a mega-producer in college. In his defense, Knox was competing for targets with D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown. So his apparent lack of production can be partially explained away. He was a decent athletic prospect. But it would be a stretch to say his combine measurables were enough to knock anyone off their

Is T.J. Hockenson the Second Coming of Eric Ebron?

The latest player we shall look at in our rookie review series is another Iowa tight end, this time T.J. Hockenson, who was taken with the eighth overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. There are always great expectations for any player taken that early in the draft. But Hockenson came into the NFL looking ideally suited for the role of the modern dynamic receiving TE. His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine only enhanced these beliefs. It’s fair to say that the Lions were confident they were landing a player who could provide a boost

Will Noah Fant Follow in George Kittle’s Footsteps?

We have kept you waiting for this during our rookie review series. But wait no longer, gentle reader, for our first tight end review is finally here. Denver Broncos rookie Noah Fant is the first of his position to come under our microscope, and reviewing his rookie campaign certainly makes for interesting reading. For those in need of a reminder, Fant was one of the most impressive specimens to come into the NFL at his position in recent history. His measurables from the NFL scouting combine continue to astound. Many eyes were on Fant as he entered the NFL, and

Is Minshew Mania a Long-Term Solution in Jacksonville?

The other quarterbacks I’ve reviewed so far in this series all came into the NFL with a high pedigree. They were first-round draft picks after all. This player went much later in the proceedings. Yet in his way, he was perhaps the most exciting of all the first-year signal-callers. Let’s look back at the rookie year of Gardner Minshew. By The Numbers Minshew started 12 of his 14 games in 2019 after coming off the bench in Week 1. He helped to ensure that the Jaguars offense continued to function despite the loss of marquee free agent Nick Foles. Minshew

Is Harrison Bryant the Next Jonnu Smith? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article was published on January 30. We now have measurements from the combine to add to our assessment. How does Harrison Bryant’s combine performance change his NFL outlook? The winner of the award for the best tight end in college football is draft-eligible in 2020. Yet some ranking services seem to be less than impressed with him. This is a grave injustice, and I will not rest until everyone knows the name of Harrison Bryant. BACKGROUND A native of Georgia, Bryant played baseball and basketball in addition to football at John Milledge Academy. He was

Could Hunter Bryant Be the First Tight End Off the Board? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article published on January 6. We now have combine numbers. Did Hunter Bryant’s athletic measurements do enough to cement his place as one of the top tight ends in the draft? Hunter Bryant is one of the best young TEs in the nation. His 2019 success in concert with his athletic gifts no doubt played a part in his deciding to enter the draft in 2020. Bryant’s skills and pedigree will make him one of the top prospects at his position. BACKGROUND Bryant was born in Issaquah, Washington and attended Eastside Catholic High School in

Can Colby Parkinson Overcome a Disappointing Combine? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article published on January 23. We now have physical and athletic measurements from the combine. Was Colby Parkinson’s combine performance enough to move him up draft boards? Since 2010 there have been seven tight ends out of Stanford drafting by NFL teams. This includes players like Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Austin Hooper. 2020 should see this number rise to eight. Colby Parkinson is heading for the NFL. BACKGROUND Parkinson attended Oaks Christian School in Westlake Village, California. In a revelation that will come as no shock to anyone, he dabbled in basketball as well

Brycen Hopkins Is Old, But Can His Combine Make Up For It? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article published on December 30, 2019. Since that time, we have combine numbers. How does Hopkins showing at the combine change his NFL outlook? Read on to find out? If Brycen Hopkins needs any help in how to deal with the pressures of being a top draft prospect, he only needs to turn to his family for advice. Hopkins’s father, Brad Hopkins, was a first-round selection by the Houston Oilers in the 1993 NFL Draft. Hopkins Sr. played 13 seasons in the NFL, earning two Pro Bowl nods as well as an All-Pro berth in

Brandon Aiyuk Could Be the Next Deebo Samuel: A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

People keep telling me that this is a deep wide receiver class. People keep telling me to watch the movie Elf too. Yep, people tell me a lot of things. But for now, I am inclined to listen to the people telling me about the WRs. While this class doesn’t seem to have a Julio Jones or an Amari Cooper, there does seem to be no end of playmakers. One of these is a player I am very high on. He’s someone that coaches should look to find ways to get the ball to, whether it’s from a pass, a rush

Is Irv Smith the Next Ian Thomas?

Irv Smith Jr is the next player to attract our attention as we look back on the 2019 NFL rookies. Smith was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings out of Alabama, where he caught 58 passes for 838 yards and 18 touchdowns between 2017 and 2018. He profiled as a “move” tight end in the NFL, a fact made all the more obvious by his combine measurables bearing closer similarities to wide receivers than TEs. From a production standpoint, his receiving numbers were comparable to other TEs of note. Smith appeared to be a player who was not exactly primed to

Dawson Knox Has One Incredible Comp, But Is It Enough for a Year 2 Breakout?

So it’s another rookie season you want to look back on, is it? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This time around, the object of our attention is Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox. Knox came into the NFL without too much fanfare. He’d hardly been a mega-producer in college. In his defense, Knox was competing for targets with D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown. So his apparent lack of production can be partially explained away. He was a decent athletic prospect. But it would be a stretch to say his combine measurables were enough to knock anyone off their

Is T.J. Hockenson the Second Coming of Eric Ebron?

The latest player we shall look at in our rookie review series is another Iowa tight end, this time T.J. Hockenson, who was taken with the eighth overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. There are always great expectations for any player taken that early in the draft. But Hockenson came into the NFL looking ideally suited for the role of the modern dynamic receiving TE. His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine only enhanced these beliefs. It’s fair to say that the Lions were confident they were landing a player who could provide a boost

Will Noah Fant Follow in George Kittle’s Footsteps?

We have kept you waiting for this during our rookie review series. But wait no longer, gentle reader, for our first tight end review is finally here. Denver Broncos rookie Noah Fant is the first of his position to come under our microscope, and reviewing his rookie campaign certainly makes for interesting reading. For those in need of a reminder, Fant was one of the most impressive specimens to come into the NFL at his position in recent history. His measurables from the NFL scouting combine continue to astound. Many eyes were on Fant as he entered the NFL, and

Is Minshew Mania a Long-Term Solution in Jacksonville?

The other quarterbacks I’ve reviewed so far in this series all came into the NFL with a high pedigree. They were first-round draft picks after all. This player went much later in the proceedings. Yet in his way, he was perhaps the most exciting of all the first-year signal-callers. Let’s look back at the rookie year of Gardner Minshew. By The Numbers Minshew started 12 of his 14 games in 2019 after coming off the bench in Week 1. He helped to ensure that the Jaguars offense continued to function despite the loss of marquee free agent Nick Foles. Minshew

Is Harrison Bryant the Next Jonnu Smith? A 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile

The original version of this article was published on January 30. We now have measurements from the combine to add to our assessment. How does Harrison Bryant’s combine performance change his NFL outlook? The winner of the award for the best tight end in college football is draft-eligible in 2020.

Is Irv Smith the Next Ian Thomas?

Irv Smith Jr is the next player to attract our attention as we look back on the 2019 NFL rookies. Smith was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings out of Alabama, where he caught 58 passes for 838 yards and 18 touchdowns between 2017 and 2018. He profiled as a “move”

Is T.J. Hockenson the Second Coming of Eric Ebron?

The latest player we shall look at in our rookie review series is another Iowa tight end, this time T.J. Hockenson, who was taken with the eighth overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. There are always great expectations for any player taken that early in

Will Noah Fant Follow in George Kittle’s Footsteps?

We have kept you waiting for this during our rookie review series. But wait no longer, gentle reader, for our first tight end review is finally here. Denver Broncos rookie Noah Fant is the first of his position to come under our microscope, and reviewing his rookie campaign certainly makes

Is Minshew Mania a Long-Term Solution in Jacksonville?

The other quarterbacks I’ve reviewed so far in this series all came into the NFL with a high pedigree. They were first-round draft picks after all. This player went much later in the proceedings. Yet in his way, he was perhaps the most exciting of all the first-year signal-callers. Let’s

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