2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Old Dominion TE Zack Kuntz

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, 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’ll be profiling Old Dominion TE Zack Kuntz.

#80 Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion (R-Junior) – 6073, 255lb

Combine Invite


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Zack Kuntz 6’7 3/8”, 255lb 10 1/2 34 N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
4.55 1.57 4.12 6.87
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
10’8” 40.0 23

The Good

— Has great height and length for the position with frame to add more mass
— Impressive athlete when it comes to play speed and explosiveness
— Can work down the seam and along the sideline as a downfield passing threat
— Deceptively shifty coming out of his breaks as a route runner
— Capable route runner that can stem at the top of his breaks to create separation
— Can use his big body to shield off defenders from contesting passes
— Reliable target over the middle of the field, giving QBs a big security blanket
— Can create after the catch thanks to his size and athleticism
— Pure height and leaping ability allow him to win plenty of jump-ball catches
— Optimal red zone target to win in combative catch situations
— Has played all over the formation, lining up in-line, in the slot, at H-Back, and out wide
— Shows effort and willingness as a blocker from various alignments
— Will use his size and body to overwhelm smaller defenders as a blocker
— Runs his feet on contact and will block to and through the whistle
— Has special teams background to contribute right away

The Bad

— Should add more mass to his frame to complement his height
— Only one year of notable production at the college level
— Had to leave Penn State to get onto the field at a smaller school
— Has had injuries pop up during his college career
— Will be a 24-year-old rookie
— Can stand to add more functional strength to his game as a blocker
— Tends to drop his shoulder into blocks rather than consistently punching and sustaining


— Redshirt Junior Prospect from Camp Hill, PA
— Born June 6, 1999 (age 23)
— Athletic family as father, Francis, played football at Maryland, brother, Christian, played football at Penn State, and sister, Anna, played basketball at West Chester
— First team All-State as a senior in high school, helping team to back-to-back Class A Championships in PA
— Rated a four-star prospect and top five TE by ESPN, Rivals, and 24/7Sports
— Multi-sport athlete that lettered in basketball and track & field three times
— Won the State Class AA Championship in the 110-meter hurdles in 2017
— Committed to Penn State out of high school and appeared in 21 games during his time in Happy Valley, totaling 3 receptions for 26 yards as mainly a reserve/special teamer
— Transferred to Old Dominion in 2021 and had a standout performance in 13 games (ten starts), catching 73 passes for 692 yards (9.5 YPR) and five TDs
— Started the first five games before suffering a season-ending injury; caught 12 passes for 144 yards and two TDs
— First-Team All-Conference USA (2021), Academic All-Big Ten (2019, 2020)

Tape Breakdown

Zack Kuntz took a less traditional route to the NFL after being a four-star recruit and one of the top TE recruits in the country in high school. He signed with the Nittany Lions, who have rolled out TEs to the league the last several years but was unable to get onto the field for more than a reserve/special teams role. This led Kuntz to transfer to Old Dominion, where he broke out in his first season, earning All-Conference USA honors.

When you pop in Kuntz’s tape, you see a big, long, athletic TE that excels as a pass catcher. He has a notable track background dating back to high school and you see that in how he runs as well as in his leaping ability. You see his leaping ability on display on this heave to the end zone against Buffalo with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as the QB puts the ball up for his 6’7 target to go up and get in coverage for the score.

Kuntz’s size and catch radius make him an ideal target on possession downs and in the red zone. Watch this play where Kuntz breaks to the sideline on the corner route from the slot and gets the DB on his backside, high pointing the football in the air while on the move to secure the catch to move the chains.

For being a bigger target, Kuntz has a fair amount of fluidity when it comes to running routes. He can create separation out of his breaks like in this rep against Virginia. He gives the head fake and jab step inside on the safety, giving him separation as he breaks to the outside on the corner route to the end zone for the score.

Kuntz can run the full route tree when split out wide, in the slot, or as a traditional TE. He runs the out route on this rep against Virginia, pressing inside at the start of the rep before breaking outside to get wide open along the sideline. He makes the catch and turns up field to pick up additional yardage.

Here are a couple more examples of Kuntz working over the middle of the field as a receiver in the slot with the first clip showing his ability to generate separation at the top of his route and the second clip showing him working over the middle of the field and reeling in the catch with a defender on his back.

Kuntz is a capable and willing run blocker. He could stand to add more mass and functional strength to his frame, but he has shown that he can hold his own against edge defenders and dig out linebackers and safeties that come down near the LOS.

Kuntz has a tendency to drop his shoulder and throw his body into blocks rather than squaring up and punching consistently. That needs to be cleaned up. However, you see in this clip on the goal-line against the Hokies the effort Kuntz plays with as a blocker, washing the defender down the LOS and clearing the hole for the back to plunge over the goal-line for six.


Zack Kuntz in an athletic TE prospect with the length and size you simply cannot teach. He athletic prowess shows up as a pass catcher, having the leaping ability and movement skills to work all quadrants of the field. His lack of production in five seasons can be concerning as well as the need to add more size and functional strength, but Kuntz has shown willingness and execution as a blocker and has upside as a pass catcher to become one of the better TEs in this area if he continues to refine his skill-set.

When watching Kuntz, I came to the pro comparison of another former Nittany Lions TE Mike Gesicki, who has a near-identical athletic profile. Gesicki came in 6’5 1/2”, 247lb with 34” arms and ran a 4.54 40, 4.10 short shuttle, 6.76 three cone, jumped 41.5” in the vert, and 10’9” in the broad. He had a near-identical stat line to Kuntz’s 2021 season in 2016 and shows his prowess as a receiver split out wide and in the slot much like Kuntz. Gesicki isn’t known for being a good blocker, but Kuntz at least has shown the desire and has room to improve his technique.

Kuntz is good friends with another former PSU TE and current Pittsburgh Steeler Pat Freiermuth and met informally with TE coach Alfredo Roberts at the NFL Combine. Kuntz doesn’t have the same size that TE Zach Gentry has in terms of mass, but he does have a near-identical frame and has far more of a ceiling as a pass catcher. Should Pittsburgh allow Gentry to walk this offseason, it could opt to draft Kuntz in the middle rounds to provide more upside in the passing game at the position while having him develop his frame to become more of a blocking TE in Pittsburgh’s heavy packages.

Projection: Late Day Two/Early Day Three
Depot Draft Grade: 7.9 – Potential Starter/Good Backup (3rd Round)
Games Watched: vs Virginia Tech (2022), at Virginia (2022), at Buffalo (2021)

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