Yesterday, in Round seven, the Miami Dolphins decided to use an pick on a athletic tight end, Thomas Duarte, who played his collegiate career at UCLA. He played as a wide receiver in the Y-spot, but as he is a bit slower to play the wide out position, he realizes that he could have a better career as a tight end in the NFL, especially how they are used in today’s game.
In addition to Duarte switching position, he added at least 15 to 20 pounds to play the tight end position. He will creates mismatches and leave the opposition in tears. The 21-year-old’s long arms, height, and speed will help him beat linebackers and safeties to the ball. He has a big catch radius that makes quarterbacks comfortable and especially over the middle or near the end zone as the security blanket. Duarte can be a big part in the receiving game, but do not expect him to be vital in the run game.
Next, the California native is considered a one trick pony, but the team had changed over his first two seasons, where this year he broke out and rose his stock to becoming a fourth round projection, but he ended up in the seventh most likely due to his rawness. He still got drafted though. Now, over his three seasons that he played at UCLA, he caught 97 passes for 1,626 yards (16.8 yards per catch) that resulted in 17 touchdowns, but in his junior season, he broke out by catching 53 passes for 872 yards (16.5 yards per catch) with 10 touchdowns.
Finally, drafting Duarte makes sense as he is a raw prospect that possesses great potential, but he will not contribute day one or at all this season unless someone goes down with an injury. Now, notice that Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims are free agents after this year and that will leave Duarte as the only tight end on the roster. Lastly, build his strength and knowledge up, then he will be a fun player to watch down in Miami with Ryan Tannehill throwing the ball to him.