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This year’s draft is a bit weak at tight end and after Maxx Williams, Devin Funchess, and Clive Walford.  After those three get selected, the next on my list is Florida State’s Nick O’Leary.  nickoSome people may be intrigued that he is the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus.  That could mean that he uniquely understands the spotlight and yearns for greatness. I watched three of his games against Notre Dame, Miami, and Oregon to get a better feel of what the young man brings to the next level in regards to skills and talents.  Here is what I saw:

TE Nick O’Leary, Florida State, 6’ 3” 252 lbs.

Cons: The first thing that stands out is his poor 40 yard time of 4.93 in Indianapolis.  This shows that the tight end/ h-back is not very explosive and has almost no wiggle at all.  O’Leary is an avid motorcyclist and suffered two mishaps on his ride that appear to have sapped him of some speed and flexibility.  This shortened his catch radius and makes it difficult for him to create separation against linebackers or safeties.  While O’Leary is a willing blocker, he shows limited strength as a run blocker.  I’m not sure if he can be counted on to be a multi-dimensional threat.

Pros: The receiver is old school, catching the pigskin with his soft hands without the use of gloves.  He plucks it well out of the air and had one of the best gauntlet drills in this year’s combine.  O’Leary runs crisp routes and finds ways to exploit soft zones that leave him open in the flat or a few yards down the field. The tight end/h-back is a good red zone threat while shielding the ball from defenders.  He fights for extra yards, especially around the first down marker or near the goal line.

Overall thoughts:  O’Leary reminds me quite a bit of Ravens Dennis Pitta who was also known for his hands over his athleticism.  Hopefully he will get drafted by a team that can use him in a spread offense, otherwise he could struggle in a conservative offense that will ask him to run block quite a bit.

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