David Morgan II, UTSA's first-ever All-American and first-ever NFL Scouting Combine invitee, showed the rest of the football world that he is among the best tight ends in the draft with a combine performance for the ages. Making virtually no mistakes he showcased his ability to catch and block as well as his superior strength. Arguably the most complete tight end in the country, Morgan undoubtedly improved his draft stock by showing the experts that his talent can translate to the next level.
Earning the title of Top Performer in four of the seven categories certainly raised some eyebrows and garnered a lot of acclaim from scouts and analysts alike (Bench Press, 3-Cone Drill, 20-Yard Shuttle, and 60-Yard Shuttle). According to NFL.com, Morgan ranked 10th overall among tight ends with a grade of 5.17. This means he has a "Better-than-average chance to make an NFL roster."
Though his overall grade probably should've been higher after a performance like that, the grade isn't exactly based off of how an athlete performs at the combine but is rather an assessment of the player's career. Morgan accumulated a few petty penalties during his senior season, and he's not exactly the quickest tight end in the draft though he had the fastest shuttle times. Fast and quick are two different things. Here's NFL.com's full assessment of his weaknesses, per Lance Zierlein:
"Flagged seven times including two holding penalties and four false starts. Half-strider whose feet look like they barely leave the ground when he runs. Gets into his routes with heavy feet. Tight hips prevent him from stemming routes sharply to create separation. Pronounced movement gives route progression away early. Doesn't have the deep speed to back defenders off of him and is forced to make a living with contested catches."
I know, you're thinking, "Dang, that's rough." Well it's their job to be extremely critical and blunt with their criticisms. And in contested catches, I'm taking Morgan every time. But not to fret as his strengths were highly commended:
"Go-to target for his team and handled the workload and responsibilities with confidence. Very sure hands. If he has space, he's going to secure the catch regardless of hits coming. Plays bigger than listed size. Has instincts and determination to block. Centers his target and works his feet through contact to secure blocks. Former high school basketball player with leaping ability and plus body control. Used in jump-ball situations and was often the winner. Moved around the field and has the blocking ability and intelligence to be a fullback or H-back candidate as a pro."
Now that's what I'm talking about. He listed at 6'4" and weighed in at 262 pounds, with 10 1/2" hands. Note that it says he "plays bigger than listed size." He would be a force coming out of the backfield at the next level, too. Here's their bottom line:
"Lunch-pail tight end whose versatility, consistency and production landed him a second-team All-American nod. Morgan's lack of quickness will hurt his ability to get open as a receiver, but his willingness to block and potential to become a move tight end who can handle fullback responsibilities should help his cause on the third day of the draft."
For the record, lunch-pail means a guy who does the kind of dirty work that doesn't make the stat-sheet and is overlooked by most people.
There's no doubt that Morgan can develop into one of the league's best tight ends in a few years. Whoever invests in him is surely going to get their money's worth; he's a home-run pick for any team. Let's hope he'll end up in staying in Texas.
Now, some highlight clips from his Combine drills:
Curl-route drill. All hands.
David Morgan running a curl route drill at the NFL Combine pic.twitter.com/1sbE5IxOKH— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) February 27, 2016
In-route drill. Look at that man-bun go.
David Morgan running an in route drill at the NFL Combine pic.twitter.com/tEVkwbQfkP— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) February 27, 2016
Pass-Catching gauntlet. Those hands, man, hands.
David Morgan in the pass-catching gauntlet at the NFL Combine pic.twitter.com/vETnjuHkvi— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) February 27, 2016
Bench press, ranked number one among tight ends with an official score of 29.
David Morgan with the top amount of bench press reps among Tight Ends at the NFL Combine pic.twitter.com/gD2v8yR0OW— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) February 27, 2016
Blocking drill. You don't want to be that bag, brother.
Former UTSA Tight End David Morgan drawing praise for his blocking technique pic.twitter.com/gWOt06mCOv— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) February 27, 2016
Sideline-catch drill. Excellent sideline grab.
Over-the-shoulder drill. Flawless.
David Morgan with an over the shoulder catch at the NFL Combine pic.twitter.com/L3GP8zPIA0— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) February 27, 2016