From now until the 2020 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#84/Adam Trautman/TE/Dayton/6’5”, 251 Lbs
-Tall, well-proportioned frame and carries it well; smooth athlete
-Versatile TE that lined up all over formation at Dayton
-Consistent, clean releases off the ball when lined up in-line; rarely knocked off his route early on
-Huge catch radius that allowed him to dominate the competition
-Knows how to work himself open and show his numbers against a variety of coverages
-Possesses impressive explosion and speed at the top of his routes, allowing him to create easy, consistent separation
-Struggles with pad level as a blocker and is still trying to find leg drive and strength in-line
-Strike point is a mess on the move, which causes lack of power; needs to develop proper technique when asked to pull or down-block
-Limited route tree for the position; lots of seam/verticals, shallow crosses, delayed leak, etc.
-Not a big YAC guy after the catch; doesn’t have the strength to really barrel through tackles
-Competition is a slight concern, but balled out at the Senior Bowl against top competition
-Switched from quarterback to TE after freshman year at Dayton
-High school basketball standout, which shows up on the field
-Played in 44 career games at Dayton, starting 37 total after redshirting in 2015
-During redshirt season, named Scout Team Player of the Year for Flyers
-2019 team captain
-Finished career with 178 receptions for 2,295 yards 31 touchdowns
-Competed in the 2020 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
-2020 NFL Combine invitee
No player in the 2020 NFL Draft has benefitted more from the pre-draft buildup than Dayton tight end Adam Trautman.
Diehards knew the name Trautman the last two years, but the tape just wasn’t really available until the big-name guys started buzzing around him. Now, Trautman is in the discussion for TE1 in this draft class, and rightfully so.
Trautman is as close to the complete package at TE in this class as there is.
While he’s not a great blocker overall, he’s flashed some really good plays as an in-line guy when asked to work along the end of the line of scrimmage.
He has a clear want-to, which is a major positive for him in the blocking department. The problem is, his pad level is elevated a lot. That will happen with his size, but if he can refine his technique just a bit, look out.
The play above is one of the few plays I saw him really drive with his legs. He man-handled this defender, driving him well off the ball. The thing I love about this play the most is that even though the ball is run away from him, he’s still trying to assert his dominance.
As a receiver, he moves so darn well for his size. He looks like a receiver at times. He is a nuanced route runner that gets in and out of his cuts quickly, sells breaks well with is head fakes, and decelerates quickly to break off routes. He’s a ton of fun to watch.
Just look at the top of his stem right here against Jacksonville in 2019. Trautman scored four touchdowns in this game and had Jacksonville throwing cone coverages with two and three defenders at him. He still went off.
Look at the burst and short-area agility there at the top of his route. That’s receiver-like. With a better thrown ball who knows what happens. Still, he nearly makes a spectacular catch before taking a big shot.
Seam routes are an area Trautman flat-out dominates. No linebacker can really run with him, and he really stepped on some toes against safeties, allowing him to separate. Even through contact at the catch-point he was nearly unstoppable.
Through nearly four full games I really didn’t see much YAC from Trautman. I’m comfortable saying overall that he won’t give you much in that department throughout his career, but this catch-and-run against Drake really had me come out of my seat.
I love the contact balance here to remain upright, and the wherewithal to keep rumbling down the sideline. If you get a chance, pop on Trautman tape. It’s a ton of fun.
As I mentioned in my “bad” section on Trautman, his strike zone, strike power and technique as a blocker on the move are a mess. He’s unsure of himself, especially when asked to work across the formation, and that can lead to no power in his blocks.
Here against San Diego in 2018, he takes a poor route to the unblocked defensive tackle, forcing him to try and block the defender’s outside shoulder. There’s no power behind the contact from Trautman, and he leaves a clear path to the running back on the inside. No bueno.
Final thoughts on Trautman – I know the small school stuff can really scare some people, but this guy can really play football. He can be a legitimate offensive weapon that lines up all over, and could really develop as an in-line guy later in his career. He’s relatively new to TE after switching from QB to TE during his redshirt year. To me, he has the look of an early Day 2 guy and an immediate contributor in the NFL.
Remember the name.
Projection: Early Day 2
Games Watched: San Diego (2018), San Diego (2019), Jacksonville (2020), Drake (2019)