So, if you remember a couple months ago, I penned an article giving an overview of the tight end position with Geoff Collins taking over as the head coach. Now that national signing day is over, Georgia Tech officially has tight ends on its roster now, and we’re going to be talking about them today!
As far as what I’m looking for, I personally am always a fan of blocking highlights which, as a tight end, is very important. The other big job of the tight end is making contested catches, as well as some open field stuff. Just for kicks, I’ll also take a look at how they look with the ball in their hands.
Last season for UConn, Davis was a solid weapon for the offense. Despite an injury he sustained, he hauled in 22 catches for 237 yards and six touchdowns and was widely seen as the Huskies’ best offensive weapon, though that’s not saying too much.
We see Davis’ ability to go up for a contested catch in the very first highlight. Lined up at receiver, Davis catches a fade in the endzone, though to be fair the defender never got his head turned around. Davis did a good job of going up and picking the ball out of the air, though. We get a better look at his ability to pick it out of the air at the end of his highlight film when he goes up and picks the ball out of the air on the Hail Mary pass.
One thing I really like about his highlight film is that we see him line up at a ton of positions other than tight end. He lines up in the backfield, in the slot, outside at receiver, and also takes a double pass. That versatility will benefit him well in Dave Patenaude’s offense.
There’s not many, but Davis does have a couple blocking highlights in his film. Davis does a good job of getting his hands on defenders and keeping them out of the play.
Dylan Deveney was Geoff Collins’ first addition to the tight end position. Originally out of Medford, NJ, Deveney flipped to Georgia Tech from Rutgers in the middle of December.
Watching Deveney’s film, it’s very different from Tyler Davis. Deveney is a bit bigger than Davis and uses his size in a way that Davis can’t. He is a step slower than Davis, but he still does a good job of going up to get catches.
One thing I really like about Deveney’s highlights is that there is a lot more blocking highlights. We don’t see many sustained blocks, but in his highlights, Deveney does a good job of pushing guys out of the way enough for running backs to get through.
I really think Deveney would benefit from a redshirt year, which he likely won’t get this year since he’s one of three confirmed tight ends on the roster next year.
Leonard was Jordan Yates’ tight end over at Milton and will be joining Tech as a preferred walk-on. He’s a little different from the other tight ends coming in, as he marketed himself as a WR/TE, so he’s going to be relied on to catch a little more than he would be to block.
Leonard has a good year as one of Yates’ top targets, bringing in 49 receptions for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also pleasantly surprised me with the number of blocking highlights in his film. He’s not a great blocker, but he does a good job of pushing people out of the way for ball carriers.
As a receiver, Leonard does a good job getting separation lining up at tight end and slot receiver. In the times he can’t get separation, he’s able to go up and beat the defender.
For a team that had zero tight ends last season, Geoff Collins and Georgia Tech have done a good job of getting people in. I think it’s a safe bet that Tyler Davis is going to be the starter. He has starting experience at the FBS level, and in terms of film, his looks the best. After him, I would give Deveney the edge for the sole reason that he’s a better blocker. Their ability to go up and get the ball is pretty comparable, but Leonard is on the smaller side and would benefit from having a full year in Tech’s S&C program to bulk up.
How do you feel about the tight ends this year?