Matt Spaeth   TE/OT   Minnesota

 

STRENGTHS 

Matt is a big, strong kid who has excellent mental toughness.  He doesn’t stop playing until he hears the whistle and shows leadership qualities through his effort and play on the field.  He has decent hands to catch the ball and solid quickness in the box.  On film, Matt looks to be a quality kid that has not yet reached his potential and his frame looks like he can get bigger and stronger.  Matt has good developmental potential to be a core player for the team that drafts him for the NFL, but not as a tight end. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Matt will be a solid blocking TE at the next level because he will do everything to be a good in-line blocker; however, he does not have the athleticism in the passing game to be a downfield threat or quick enough feet for the positional blocking required of a TE in the NFL.  He does have the athletic potential to be a good OT and his frame looks like it could handle another forty pounds without a problem.  He will make a lot more money as an OT than he would as a blocking TE! 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 5

Let’s be honest…Matt is a good TE that is always giving his best, but just does not have enough quickness and is locked in his hips.  These issues affect his change of direction abilities to block in space.  At first, I thought he might make a good H-Back, but the more I looked at him, the more I realized that he would make a hell of an OT at the next level.  In fact, he just might make himself a hell of an LT at the next level.  He has long arms and excellent O-linemen athleticism to go along with mental toughness and a “never give up” attitude.  Remember, just because Matt doesn’t have all the athletic skills that you like to see in a TE for the next level does not mean he won’t be successful.  However, in my opinion, if he stays at the TE position, I feel he will continue to have a lot of injuries because his feet are not quick enough to put himself in the correct position to make a block.  His mindset will be to make the block anyway and boom, he gets injured.   He looks like a perfect fit for the tackle position; either way, on the second day of the draft, if you pick Matt, I have no doubt that he will help your team and become an asset to your program.  Look for the NFL teams at the combine to work Matt out on the linemen drills and feel him out to see if he would like to change positions.  If Matt gives them a positive answer, you just might see Matt picked closer to the first day than anyone has him listed currently.  I think that, in the future, you will see more and more college TE’s drafted for the next level being asked to change to the tackle position because of the quickness and athleticism of the NFL Defensive End’s.  Those big, old boys are not making it on the outside anymore.  

Drew Boylhart

January/2007