Defensive end who also played basketball as a California prep. Signed in 2008 and grayshirted. Arrived with a broken right leg and redshirted in '09. Was listed as a defensive lineman in '10 when he appeared in two games. At tight end in '11, played 10 games (one start) and recorded two catches for 16 yards (8-yard average) and a touchdown. Added three blocked kicks. Did not play against North Dakota (left knee sprain) and missed games against San Jose State and San Diego State (left calf). Started 8 of 13 games in '12 and caught 20-339-4 (17.0). Started 9-of-13 games in '13 and tallied 26-353-3 (13.6). Strained his groin during Senior Bowl practice.
Passes the eyeball test with outstanding size, including vines for arms. Big target. Smooth off the line for his size. Surprising speed to stretch the field. Can use physicality and his frame to outmuscle smaller DBs. Can adjust to throws and has good hands. Turns upfield with a head of steam. Gets after it in the run game -- engages with leverage and works to position, sustain and finish. Lines up in-line and flexed. Smart and coachable. Arrow pointing up. Has a 35-inch vertical jump.
Shows some hip tightness in his route running. Is more advanced with linear routes than sharp-breaking patterns. Ordinary creativity and elusiveness. Relatively raw -- still honing technique and developing positional instincts and nuances. At times looks like he's processing too much. Average production. Will be a 24-year-old rookie. Recorded a pedestrian 20-yard shuttle (4.69 seconds), slowest among all tight ends at the combine.
Athletic, long-armed, ascending talent who did not play a starring role in a run-and-gun, receiver-dominated spread offense, but has raw physical tools to develop into a balanced "Y" tight end. Should only get better and has potential to become an asset in the running game and a mismatch in the passing game.