College: South Dakota State
Position: Tight end
College Stats: 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016, 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2017. Two-time FCS First Team All-American; Three-time First Team All-MVFC
It would be a major surprise if anyone other than Dallas Goedert was the first FCS player taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. Goedert was unstoppable during his time at South Dakota State. Despite playing in the toughest conference in the FCS, he was able to dominate as a junior and senior, putting up huge numbers on his way to becoming one of the top receivers in Jackrabbits history.
Tight ends don’t have the kind of numbers that Goedert put up at the collegiate level. He finished with almost 300 receiving yards more than the next closest FCS tight end and would have been the top FBS tight end in the country in terms of yardage too.
Unlike some of the other non-FBS players that will get drafted, Goedert has shown what he can do against good competition. He was fantastic against TCU in 2016, catching five passes for 96 yards and a score, and he has put up big numbers against the top defenses in the FCS.
Goedert has almost everything you want in a tight end. He has the size to go over the middle and not be punished by linebackers and the hands to hold on to balls in traffic. Goedert was able to outleap defenders for balls that were overthrown and even came up with some beautiful one-hand grabs.
S. Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert. Splash play here. Rare 2-way player at TE these days. Impact NFL starter... Might be worth 1st rd pick. pic.twitter.com/kibvbosflw— Todd McShay (@McShay13) January 26, 2018
Although he was mainly used as a receiving option at South Dakota State, he also showed that he could block too. He’s not the type to bull over a defensive end, but he was fine at chipping down and helping or picking up a linebacker. He is the most well-rounded tight end prospect we have seen out of the FCS in some time.
According to Lance Zierlein, one of Goedert’s main issues is his habit of tipping his routes. Goedert had the skillset to get open at the collegiate level regardless of this, but it is something that he will need to work on in the NFL. If he gives away his routes easily, that could help a defender run him off his route or jump a pass.
Most NFL draft pundits have Goedert as either the first or second tight end off the board, and both Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. are pegging him as a First Round selection. Goedert should not have to wait too long to hear his name announced, and some lucky team will be happy to have a tight end that isn’t afraid to go over the middle.