Tyler is a pass catching tight end who is athletic enough to move around your offense and play multiple receiving positions. He has very good hands and those long strides that make it easy for him to go down field and difficult for a defender to keep up with him stride for stride. He is an excellent open space blocker and, in the red zone, can be used as a wide receiver creating mis-matches against the smaller corners. Because of his long strides, he gets good separation against safeties and linebackers when running his routes inside the hash marks. As a wide out, he is just too tall and his strides are too difficult for the corners to deal with. He adjusts well to the ball in the air and can catch the ball over his shoulder when he goes deep. When he blocks on the move, he has excellent technique and finishes his blocks until he hears the whistle. Tyler reminds me a lot of Eric Decker (see The Huddle Report archives) WR for the Denver Broncos. For us older fellows, he has Art Monk type talent. Look it up...I can't do everything.
The truth is that although Tyler is an excellent blocker (on the move), he lacks the ability to be an inline tight end type of blocker. Most of it is attitude. From a three point stance, he is not very aggressive and his techniques are very poor. He is off balance, lunges, loses his leverage and does not show enough strength. The truth is, I don't think he likes to block from a three point stance. Tyler also lacks the mental toughness catching the ball in the middle of the field that tight ends need to have for the next level. Don't get me wrong -- he will go over the middle, catch the ball and take a hit. However, it looks to me on film that after he catches the ball, he is waiting for the big hit to come instead of just continuing the route and running after the catch at full speed. I just see him as a wide receiver more than I see him as a pure tight end. Tyler is more aggressive when he is running his routes from the outside of the formation than inside the hash marks until he smells the red zone. He loves to catch TD passes. So I say, let him.
I really like Tyler as a possession wide receiver instead of a tight end or, for that matter, a slot receiver. His blocking from that position is excellent and his route running is more aggressive. He is a match-up nightmare as a wide receiver much like former Redskins wide receiver Art Monk was. Although he is big and a long strider, he has decent speed and, inside the red zone, will be very hard to cover. As a pass catching tight end in the middle of the field, he will get too beat up physically and mentally and the truth is, you want this kid on the field catching passes and blocking for sweeps and crack backs. There is a lot of talent here, but he will have to learn to run all the routes on the outside and learn how to double move the corners. When he does, he will become a tremendous weapon. You keep this kid as a pass catching tight end and he will not see the field enough to impact because of nagging injuries. At least that's how I see it.
Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart