Jake Stoneburner   TE/WR   Ohio St   

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

Jake has the size, speed and quickness to play more than one position for the team that drafts him.  He has the athletic ability to adjust to the ball in the air and make the catch.  He is clutch on third downs and his route running is more mature, precise and consistent than most receivers coming out in the draft.  He shows on film to possess terrific quickness in and out of his breaks and intelligence in how to set up his opponent to get the most out of his ability to free himself up on critical downs.  Because of his quickness and explosiveness off the line, Jake gets open more than the average receiver or tight end in the red zone and end zone.  He understands zone coverages and is a match-up nightmare when he plays on the outside or in the slot.  Because of Jake's size, people want to make him play a position that stunts his athletic talent.  Jake is not a tight end.  Jake is not an H-back either.  Jake’s impact position at the NFL level is as a wide receiver -- that is where he is the most comfortable, mentally and physically.  He has the same talent to run routes and catch the ball as Eric Decker, WR Broncos.

 

CONCERNS

Because of his size, Jake has been forced to play too many different positions.  The truth is, all this kid wants to do is run routes and catch the ball.  He really doesn't want to block and, if you use him all over the place in different positions, he thinks too much which slows him down and lessens his ability to impact.  He wants to catch the ball and run routes; he is not Aaron Hernandez.  Moving him around and using him as a tight end has not allowed him to show off his true receiver skills, but if you look at the tape closely, you will see outstanding receiver ability.  Don't bother looking at his blocking -- even though he gives the effort, he lacks the passion for this skill.

 

BOTTOM LINE

I understand how teams and coaches can look at Jake and think automatically that he would be an excellent tight end because of his size and athletic ability, but when you see him run just one route and catch the ball, you will appreciate his fluidity, quickness and soft hands.  When you see that type of talent, you want the ball to be thrown to this kid more than two or three times in a game.  You want at least ten passes thrown his way, which means no 3-point stance for this kid.  Free him up to run routes and catch the ball because that's what he does the best. This kid has #2 wide receiver skills and, with the right quarterback, could be a #1 wide receiver.  As far as drafting Jake to be your tight end or even your pass catching tight end, I think that's being short-sighted.  His pass catching and route running skills are too valuable to not have him on the field on every down.  He will be excellent with his hand off the ground against smaller cornerbacks or as your motion receiver and a focal point of your passing game plan. At least that's what I see.  I know Jake will not be drafted until the later rounds of this draft.  No Senior Bowl, no Shrine game and a combine that was just ok, but you turn on the film and watch him catch just one ball and run just one route and you see the obvious talent oozing off the screen just waiting to show everyone what he really can do on the football field.  All Jake wants to do is run routes and catch the ball.  So I say let him, and stop making him play all these different positions that force him to think, block and wait for his shot as the 3rd or 4th option in the passing game plan.  Let him play the position that makes him the 1st or 2nd option in your passing game plan.  Let him be a receiver because if you do, he will be outstanding.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Apr/2013