Lance is a smart Tight End who has the athletic ability to be moved around an offense and used also as a slot receiver in certain situations. He has quick feet, good hands and can catch a ball in the middle of an earthquake. Lance does a nice job in space blocking linebackers, safeties and wide receivers at the college level. I have seen him go in motion, lead a tailback into the hole and make a block, all with good effort and agility. Lance is your typical receiving tight end that all the teams are looking for to convert on those all-important third downs. You can use him in the backfield, on the line or in the slot to release off the line on third down against a cover two defense. Lance has great speed and that, along with his excellent hands and football intelligence, should make him an impact player for the team that drafts him.
Lance has to get stronger if he wants to stay on the field all the time. He gives good effort when blocking, but I'm not sure that he will ever be a strong in-line blocker because of his size and lack of technique. Right now, for college play, he plays too high and loses leverage. He's just not very strong. He also doesn't show the aggressiveness and interest to be an in-line blocker. For a kid who has quick feet and speed, he does not use his feet to stay balanced very well when blocking. He lunges a lot and does not stay with his blocks long enough. Once he engages, he does not move his feet with his body. This is a technique issue that can be rectified if Lance is serious about staying on the field for all three downs. Believe it or not, this is typical for most pass catching tight ends -- and, unfortunately, is the reason the good ones in college do not become the good ones at the pro level.
You won't be drafting Lance for in-line blocking duties -- you will be drafting him to catch the ball. That being said, Lance still has to improve his open space blocking and on the move blocking or he will not see the field enough to impact as a pass catching tight end. To be successful in the NFL, wide receivers and pass catching tight ends/H-Backs have to block to stay on the field. It's just that simple. I think Lance is smart enough to know that and will work very hard to improve this area of his game. In college, you can get away with bad blocking techniques and still think you're a decent blocker. You can also be considered a good blocker in college and not pass muster in the NFL. Lance is a solid blocker at the college level. Most everyone will tell you that; however, he does not use his athletic abilities when blocking like he does when he is running routes. He doesn't look lazy, but he does seem to be thinking too much and is not quick into his assignments. In the pros, the lack of those techniques will get you sitting on the bench faster than you can say "follow the yellow brick road right to the New UFL". I like this kid; I think he will be a very good TE/H-Back and a core player for the offense of the team that drafts him. He could be as good as Dallas Clark (TE/H-Back Colts).
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Nov/10