Chance to Become NFL Starter
How We Grade
Nauta (pronounced NAW-tah) started his career with the Bulldogs with a bang, earning Freshman All-American honors from several media outlets after catching 29 passes for 361 yards (12.4 average) and three scores. This success was not surprising given Nauta's status as the top tight end prospect in the country coming out of Florida's IMG Academy (where he transferred for his senior year after winning three state titles at Buford High School in Georgia). His production dropped in his sophomore year, as he made only nine catches for 114 yards and one score (12.7 average) in 15 games (nine starts). Nauta bounced back as a junior, starting 13 of 14 games played and grabbing a career-high 30 receptions for 430 yards (14.3 average) and three touchdowns.
By Lance Zierlein
OverviewWith his play speed, ability to maintain separation and ready-steady hands, Nauta fits the mold of a "matchup tight end" with the ability to factor in on all three levels. He doesn't need scheme help to uncover against man coverage and has potential to become a solid move blocker to help elevate the perimeter run game. He's on the smaller side which could work against him, but he has enough athletic ability and pass-catching talent to outplay his draft slotting.
- Runs well and plays fast Subtle speed alterations inside his routes Accelerates through the turn to gain space on defender Quick to find coverage gap between linebackers and safeties Has the ability to stress safeties Won’t gear down when locating the football Hands catcher with soft, supportive mitts Catches away from his body Runs away from linebackers when he catches in stride Makes necessary adjustments as blocker in space Hustles to cut-off blocks on second and third levels
- Long, lean legs carry his frame
- Not as natural knee bender at point of attack
- His attack is too upright and lacks proper leverage
- Needs better physicality at the top of the route in the league
- Has to learn to reset his hands for better block sustain
- Tasked with basic routes populated by speed outs
- Won't shake many tackles after the catch.
Pro Bowl-caliber player
Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
Should become instant starter
Chance to become NFL starter
NFL backup or special teams potential
Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
Should be in an NFL training camp
Chance to be in an NFL training camp
Likely needs time in developmental league