Toledo's 2016 first-team All-Mac tight end did not have it easy growing up. His father spent time in jail, and he was suspended from elementary school a few times until it was discovered he had a speech impediment and attention deficit disorder. Once that was under control, Roberts did well in high school, though his grades prevented him from receiving a scholarship. He also lost his grandmother to cancer and a younger brother to an accidental shooting. Roberts made his own way as a college student at Toledo, eventually getting eligible to play for the Golden Rockets. He played in five games as a reserve in 2013 (no catches) and nine contests the next year, seeing a bit more playing time (4-65, two TD). Coaches began relying on him in his junior year, starting him once in 12 games (21-234, four TD). As a senior, Roberts became quarterback Logan Woodside's favorite red zone target, scoring 16 times (sixth-most in the FBS) on 45 receptions that covered 533 yards.
When he catches the ball, it matters. Has had over 80 percent of his career catches go for first downs and this season saw 35.5 percent of his catches go for touchdowns (16). Big target with gigantic hands. Quick to open and find the ball on stop routes. Plus body control to adjust and clamp down on throws outside his frame. Will continue to probe and adjust for openings against zone coverage. Very capable run blocker. Operates from strong base and utilizes lengths well. Sinks hips to brace up and neutralize defensive ends with leverage and uses hips and shoulder turn to steer out of the play. Has experience blocking from in-line and from wing spot.
Comes out of a knock-kneed stance from line of scrimmage. Upright short strider into routes. Gradual gear down into his breaks. Tight at the top of his route. Rolls through his cuts to create momentum for his separation. Angles up to linebackers as blocker will need work. Overshoots targets and allows them to make plays underneath his block. Needs blocks to be right in front of him. Too many misses in space.
One season of "wow" production, but has NFL size and length. Roberts' tape shows inconsistent effort from a blocking standpoint, but it also shows the strength and ability to handle those chores on the next level. He should be a functional receiver target as well and could come in as a third tight end with the ability to work his way up the ladder.