Photo of Zach Ertz
Grade
82.2 ?
  • 4.76 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 24 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 30.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 111.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.08 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.47 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 11.92 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'5" Height
  • 31 3/4" Arm Length
  • 249LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

Overview

Ertz had a strong incentive to leave The Farm after his redshirt sophomore season because high-profile teammates quarterback Andrew Luck, tight end Coby Fleener, and offensive line stars David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin are no longer around to aid his cause. But staying in Palo Alto for another year gave him the chance to be Stanford’s top offensive weapon and Ertz took advantage of the opportunity in 2012.



He was rated the top tight end recruit in the nation coming out of Monte Vista High School, which is located only one hour north of Stanford’s campus. After redshirting in 2009, Ertz became a regular contributor the next season (16-190, 5 TD), catching a touchdown in each of the team’s final three games. He started last season with the same type of streak, scoring once in each of the Cardinal’s three games, and played well throughout the first seven games. Unfortunately, Ertz suffered an injury to his right knee blocking while Stanford received the opening kickoff against USC. He missed the next three games and made a minimal impact against Notre Dame before appearing healthy again in the team’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State (4-38, TD).



Ertz became the feature tight end in 2012 as a junior and started all 14 games, leading the team in just about every receiving category. He finished with a team-high 69 catches for 898 yards and six scores, earning first-team All-Pac 12 and All-American honors.

Analysis

Strengths

Smooth athlete with good route quickness to create some separation and sneaky speed to get behind the defense. Sturdy, well-built frame, adding 30 pounds of bulk and muscle since he arrived in Palo Alto. Tough with the ball in his hands and isn’t afraid to deliver hits, lowering his pads and finishing runs. Not afraid to get physical as a blocker and gives good effort in this area, always looking for someone to block downfield. Tracks the ball well and does a nice job adjusting his frame to make the tough catch, extending and plucking. Looks like he has glue on his hands with some of the catches he is able to make. Does a nice job selling his patterns, getting good depth in his routes and immediately looking for the ball out of his breaks. Nice job deceiving defenders and finding soft spots in coverage to make something happen after the catch, averaging over 13 yards per catch in 2012. Has experience all over the offense for Stanford, lining up in-line, slot and out wide, but looked most comfortable in the slot. In 2012 Ertz doubled Coby Fleener’s production from the year before, earning All-American honors as a Mackey Award finalist. Hard worker on and off the field and plans to graduate in June.

Weaknesses

Missed half of his sophomore year due to injury. Must prove his straight-line speed to scouts. Will not elude NFL defensive backs after the catch with pure quickness. Inconsistent in-line blocker, can get after his man but also loses the leverage battle and gets pushed back too easily. Misses second-level blocks when lunging at targets instead of getting position. Nice job adding bulk to his frame, but needs to continue to develop his strength to sustain blocks at the line of scrimmage. Will round off some routes at times and needs to better control himself in/out of his breaks. Needs to do a better job coming down with contested throws and will drop some easy ones – seems to have at least one drop each game.

NFL Comparison

Jason Witten

Bottom Line

Ertz was part of a crowded TE depth chart over his first few seasons at Stanford, but emerged as the team’s No. 1 offensive weapon in 2012 and led the nation in receiving yards by a TE. He has developed as a blocker and is usually sure-handed, but still needs to improve his consistency in both areas. While he’s No. 2 in the TE rankings for most, it wouldn’t be surprising if some teams grade him higher than Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert as he is a better TE prospect than Fleener a year ago –- projecting as a top-40 prospect, Ertz has a good chance to be the first TE in Stanford history to be drafted in the first round.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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