News & Analysis

Dallas Goedert is the NFL’s next mismatch weapon

By Jordan Plocher
Feb 8, 2018

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Sep 3, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; South Dakota State Jackrabbits tight end Dallas Goedert (86) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Jake Wieneke (19) during the second half on an NCAA football game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU won 59-41. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles just won the Super Bowl and one of the determining factors behind their offensive success was Zach Ertz, a versatile tight end that can be moved around and lined up in multiple places in order to find advantageous matchups. NFL teams looking to the draft to find mismatch weapons in the pass game in an effort to replicate the way that the Philadelphia Eagles use Ertz should turn their attention to South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert.

The Eagles showed in the Super Bowl and all season long that the ability to line Ertz up at multiple locations and still get top-end production was an important part of their offensive success. During the 2017 season, Ertz lined up at tight end on 562 snaps, in the slot on 259 snaps and out at wide receiver on 106 snaps. Goedert has shown that he can be used quite similarly to Ertz, as the Jackrabbits lined him up in-line, in the slot and out wide in order to take advantage of different coverage defenders. Goedert was so versatile that he was used in the Jackrabbits’ screen game and even given some carries.

 

There are obvious concerns about a player coming from the FCS level into the NFL, but Goedert showed he could dominate his level of competition during his career. Goedert is coming off back-to-back 1,000-plus yard receiving seasons, which is a truly impressive feat for a college tight end. Goedert caught 92 passes for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016 and 72 passes for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. Goedert has also performed well against FBS competition when given the opportunity. He played an FBS opponent three times during his four-year career at South Dakota State and graded positively as a receiver in all three of those contests, hauling in eight passes for 154 yards and one touchdown combined (1 catch, 9 yards vs Missouri 2014; 2 catches, 49 yards vs Kansas 2015; 5 catches, 96 yards, 1 TD vs TCU 2016).

Goedert stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 260-pounds and boasts a 79″ 5/8′ wingspan with massive 10″ 1/8′ hands, which automatically gives him an advantage as he is essentially larger than any NFL coverage defender. If a team puts a smaller quicker coverage player like a cornerback on Goedert, then he can use his basketball background to box out the smaller man and come down with the ball and quite often also break a tackle with his strength or powerful stiff arm.

 

Safeties have also been known to have trouble bringing down Goedert as in the GIF below where he defeats the tackle attempts of both TCU safeties on one play.

 

If a team puts a bigger-bodied coverage defender such as a linebacker on Goedert, they then run the risk of him out-running and out-jumping the less athletic linebacker. As a whole, linebackers have generally had a very difficult time staying with Goedert in space as evidenced by his Senior Bowl practice 1-on-1 reps. Goedert beats South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard — who was PFF’s highest-graded coverage defender during the week of Senior Bowl practices — in the 1-on-1 rep shown below.

 

In Goedert’s other 1-on-1 rep, he beat Clemson LB Dorian O’Daniel and displayed an ability to generate separation with a burst after the break in his route.

 

Goedert is also an incredible red-zone threat with his ability to use his frame to box out smaller defenders and his huge catching radius. Goedert also possesses rare ability to pluck the ball out of the air with just one of his massive hands while keeping a defender at bay with the other arm. He also excels at jumping and getting the ball at a higher point than the defender can. His long arms, explosive leaping ability and soft hands present a huge and reliable target area for his quarterback and often result in highlight-reel catches.

 

In Summary

While we are still in the process of grading his full body of work for the 2017 season, we believe that Dallas Goedert is one of the premier offensive mismatch weapons in the class, as he is too fast for linebackers to cover and too powerful for defensive backs to handle alone. Goedert’s size and unique ability make it possible for quarterbacks to just throw it up to him in the red zone with great success. He should be an immediate starter at tight end in the NFL and can be highly productive if paired with a creative offensive coordinator who will use him in a myriad of ways.

P.S. Goedert can also run block for you tight end purists out there.

 

 

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