2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Michigan TE Luke Schoonmaker

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft takes place, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I will be profiling Michigan tight end, Luke Schoonmaker.

#86 Luke Schoonmaker, TE, Michigan (rSR) — 6052, 251 lbs.

Combine/Pro Day


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Luke Schoonmaker 6’5 1/4”/251 9 32 7/8 79 6/8
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.63 1.59 4.27 7.25
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
10’7” 33.5 N/A

The Good

— Prototypical size and good length
— Aligns inline, slot, on the wing and in the backfield
— Used on all passing levels
— Solid hands and good burst off the line of scrimmage
— Solid route runner and understanding of voids versus zone coverage
— Uses his hands well within the route to keep defenders off him
— Very good base, balance and hand refitting as a blocker
— Understands correct positioning to execute and sustain blocks
— Good blocker on the move outside or on second level inside
— Used as a lead blocker from fullback position or folding inside from the wing

The Bad

— Doesn’t consistently create space vs man coverage
— Needs to be more physical at the top of routes
— Countering jams to not be slowed within the route
— Fights the ball on low throws
— Needs to add play strength
— After the catch he doesn’t create extra yards
— Slow at the snap the farther he gets from center with a hand in the dirt
— Pad level is high as a lead blocker


— 2022: 35 receptions, 418 yards, 11.9 YPR, 3 TD
— Career: 54 receptions, 637 yards, 11.8 YPR, 7 TD, 1 2 point conversion
— 43 games, 21 starts
— 2022 third team All-Big Ten
— 5-year letterman
— Played quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, cornerback during his high school career
— 3-star recruit out of high school
— Also played baseball in high school
— Birthday 09/28/98 (age 24)

Tape Breakdown

Luke Schoonmaker is versatile player. He was used inline, on the wing, in the slot and in the backfield. Michigan used a rotation of tight ends and often had multiple on the field at the same time. He has the prototypical size and good athleticism and is part of deep tight end class in this draft.

As a receiver, Schoonmaker’s route tree is as diverse as how he was aligned. He was used on all levels and just about every type of route. Off the line of scrimmage, he has good burst and active hands to try to avoid jams and keep defenders off him within the route. He is a solid route runner and is good against zone coverage, finding the open areas and giving the quarterback a good target. He has solid hands and adjusts well to the ball in front, behind and above his frame while stationary or on the move. After the catch he is solid and gets the yards that are available to him. In the scramble drill, he has a good understanding of where to get open and shows good effort to help the QB. He wasn’t used a lot in pass protection but from what I saw was solid.

Schoonmaker (86) can make plays down the field.

Working the middle of the field vs Zone and on the shallow cross.

A quick clip of pass protection. He mirrors well and uses his hands well to keep the defender at bay.

As a run blocker, Schoonmaker is rather good. He has a very good understanding of position and puts himself between the ball and his defender. Using a wide base, balance, and active hands he had a lot of success. On the edge, he shows good aggressiveness, leg drive and the correct aiming point to block down and push the defender inside. Conversely, he uses good footwork to get inside and turn edge players outward to create a lane in the C gap. His hands are very active working to refit and control the defender. He sustains very well on the first and second levels, executes well outside on the move and blocks to the whistle. As a lead blocker, he gets after it. I saw several big collisions which he won, leading from the backfield or folding inside from the wing.

Against Maryland, here are a couple examples of him fighting with his hands while positioning his body to the outside of the defender to provide a lane behind him. In both clips, he is on the left side of the screen.

A few clips of him blocking in space, on the move, and sustaining the blocks. All from the right side of the video. First blocking the safety (12) creeping up, then looping outside to get the safety (30), followed by climbing to take on the middle linebacker (31).

In the playoffs, the lead blocker from the fullback position on a big run. Then as the tight end on the right side he blows the defensive end three yards back.

Against man coverage, he doesn’t consistently create a lot of space and isn’t going to run away from defenders. Learning how to use physicality to create space at the break point could go a long way. Physical defenders can knock him off his routes at the line of scrimmage. On low throws, he looks uncomfortable and fights the ball. He also had a couple bobbles in the games I watched. After the catch, he doesn’t create a lot of extra yards or break a lot of tackles. I don’t have a good feel on his sideline awareness, not having seen a lot of those chances in the games watched.

Just a quick out route here at the bottom of the clip and the low throw is mishandled.

While blocking on the end of the line, he is often slow at the snap and will allow defenders in the C gap due to his tardiness. His pad level can get high when lead blocking. Adding play strength will only help him.

A couple clips where the defender was quicker and got into the C gap. First on the right side getting pushed into the backfield. Then across from #44 getting beat to the inside.


Schoonmaker has good size and length and looks the part. He has good athleticism and the versatility to line up all around the formation. While being used on all levels in the passing game he shows solid hands, adjusts to the ball well and is solid after the catch. He is a technician as a blocker and understands positioning well. He is good inline and as a lead blocker.

Areas to improve include adding play strength and being quicker at the snap as a blocker. In the passing game, cleaning up his route running, improving on creating space and working on getting better after the catch are all achievable.

The Steelers’ need for a tight end is not necessarily there if they re-sign Zach Gentry. However, if he signs elsewhere there will be an opening. Connor Heyward played well but doesn’t fit the blocking/#2 tight end role in two-tight end sets. Schoonmaker could replace Gentry and would be a more athletic version. He understands what it takes to be a blocker and I feel he’ll be a better receiver going forward. Put him with a QB that can anticipate better than a college signal caller and I think it’ll show off his receiving ability.

For my comp, I am going with Dalton Schultz. When he came out of Stanford, Schultz was also a tenacious blocker, attacked zones well and had the ability to become a reliable target over the middle.

Projection: Late Day Two-Early Day Three

Depot Draft Grade:  7.7 Potential Starter/Good Backup (3rd Round)

Games Watched: 2022 – Vs Maryland, At Iowa, Vs Penn State, At Ohio State, Vs TCU

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