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 North Dakota State TE Noah Gindorff.
#87 Noah Gindorff/TE North Dakota State – 6060, 263 lbs. (Senior)
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Noah Gindorff||6060, 263 lbs.||10||33 1/8||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Rare size and bulk for the position, thick body and looks like an offensive lineman with great length
— Tons of experience as an in-line, Y blocker, his primary position in a run-heavy and physical offense
— Easily washes defenders on his down blocks when he takes the right angle
— Capable to base block and hold point of attack while generating movement at first level
— Does well when asked to combo block with tight end, can be core part of run scheme
— Shows soft hands and adjusts to passes well, consistently catches away from his body
— Makes tough catches in traffic, good body control and finish
— Has size to break a tackle and create a bit of YAC
— Team-first player who embraces the dirty work
— Leader and captain, tough player who fought through pain
— Lacks foot speed to be consistent weapon in passing game, won’t be a #1 at the position
— Missed most of 2022 season with a knee injury that’s plagued him throughout the pre-draft process
— Below-average burst off the ball, can be late out of his stance
— Schematically limited in pass game aside from 2019, used on boots and play-action almost exclusively and rarely targeted downfield
— Won’t run away from anyone in open field
— Must work harder to extend plays and get open in scramble drills
— Needs to improve angles on down blocks, can miss and fall off
— Has to do a better job of finding target at second level
— Plays a bit over his toes as a run blocker and won’t always sustain
— Doesn’t have makeup to be an every-down starter, ceiling is maxed
— Scant overall career production
— Serious medical concerns
— 24 years old
— Appeared in 53 career games for the Bison, spent six years in college (redshirted 2018 season)
— Career: 44 receptions for 522 yards (11.9 YPC) and 12 TDs
— 2022: Six receptions for 74 yards and 1 TD in three games before missing rest of season
— Averaged 17 yards per reception in 2019 on 10 receptions
— Suffered broken ankle in December 2021
— Has had two surgeries on his ankle since December 2021, had initial surgery, still felt pain in 2022 and needed second surgery in September 2022
— Set to have own Pro Day April 13th
— Two-time team captain in college and in high school
— Two-star recruit from Crosby, Minnesota, chose NDSU over North Dakota, Northern Iowa and South Dakota among others
— Turned down scholarship to Minnesota after P.J Fleck was hired, wanted to keep commitment to NDSU
— Listed at 225 pounds coming out of high school
— Multi-position star in HS who played QB, TE, DL, LB, S, K, and holder
— Rushed for 43 TDs and passed for 28 more throughout HS career
— 1,000-point scorer on basketball team who averaged 16.8/12.6 per game senior season (here he is dunking), also captain on baseball team, hit .500 with 11 RBIs in 26 PAs in 2017
— Father, Michael, was his high school coach, played DL at Concordia, spent time with Tampa Bay and Minnesota, inducted into Cobber Athletic HOF in 2014
— Consistently on honor roll in high school and college
— Enjoys fishing to clear his mind, also likes musky fishing
Gindorff gets lost in the shuffle of an excellent tight end class but when it comes to blocking, few are better than he is. Playing in North Dakota State’s smashmouth offense, where you don’t get on the field unless you strain and succeed in the run game, Gindorff showed his blocking chops when healthy.
He can win at the first level against defensive ends with the size and length to match those guys, especially at the FCS level. Some examples of what he can do in the run game.
And watch this down block here. Fourth-down play to wash the end, #5.
While he’ll be billed as a blocker, the dude can catch the ball. You have to hunt longer for it on tape, but he displayed soft hands and ability to make catches from all angles, reaching outside his body and over his head. He didn’t run a full route tree, especially late in his career, but the dude can catch. Just disappointing the vertical stuff wasn’t on his tape; I had to go back to 2019 to find it. His time with Trey Lance when the offense pushed the ball downfield.
Gindorff has the skill set to block but needs some refinement, working on sticking, keeping balance, and improving his down-block angles. Examples of him being top-heavy and falling off blocks.
Over his last two seasons, he was used quite often off play-action, often open in the flat off a boot. It’s hard to evaluate him as a route runner or actual receiver. Still, the tape shows he’s a build-up runner without great speed. He won’t make anyone miss in open grass though his size and bulk allowed him to break a tackle.
But the elephant in the room is his health. Broken ankle in 2021, needed surgery, didn’t fix it, needed another surgery in September of 2022. It still showcased his toughness with Gindorff asking doctors if he could play against Arizona even though he knew he needed surgery. Doctors allowed him, he caught three passes, and the Bison nearly upset the Wildcats. Gindorff then went under the knife and concluded his career. The injury didn’t allow him to work in any All-Star games (he would’ve had a Senior Bowl invite), work out at the Combine or his Pro Day besides the bench press. He’ll hold a workout on the 13th. Where he’s at medically will determine how teams view him and there is the looming concern of another flare-up. He’s not getting any younger either.
Noah Gindorff is a classic big-bodied blocker who can function as an in-line tight end. His work in the pass game will come off play-action and he needs to fit in a run-heavy system that uses play-pass concepts to build off it. His frame and background is similar to Zach Gentry, but Gindorff is a far more refined and better blocker than Gentry was coming out. But the ankle could have him off draft boards and his Pro Day workout is actually going to be an important one.
My NFL comp is longtime tight end Lee Smith.
Projection: Late Day Three-Undrafted
Depot Draft Grade: 6.8MED – Backup/Special Teamer (5th Round)
Games Watched: vs North Dakota (2021), vs Drake (2022), at Arizona (2022), Big-Play Cutup