Jace Amaro   TE   Texas Tech

TALENT BOARD ROUND 2

STRENGTHS
Jace might be one of the best “in space” blockers I have seen at this position in a very long time and when used as an “in line” blocker in the passing game, he is excellent as well. He has very good overall athleticism and size to become a complete (blocking and receiving) tight end at the next level. He has the strong hands needed to be a good blocker and pass catcher. His run after the catch ability, although not elusive, is impressive inside the red zone. Jace wants to be in the mix and an important part of the passing offense, and, in the offensive system he plays in at Tech, there is no doubt that he is. His production is strong, but so is his blocking and I think that ability might be getting overlooked.

CONCERNS
Jace runs very lazy and inconsistent routes right now, which will not work at the next level. He seems to have a problem separating and does not explode off the line and get into his routes quickly enough right now. He has the ability, but in not doing it consistently suggests there are other issues with maturity and coachability for the next level. There is arrogance to this kid’s overall game that might get in the way of him becoming a complete tight end. He has solid speed, but not great speed, and most of his routes are short or crossing routes -- not really true down the field routes that you would expect from a pass catching tight end which sends a signal to me that Jace might not play as fast as his production suggests.

BOTTOM LINE
When I turned on the film of Jace, I thought I would see a pass catching Tight End/Receiver who ran tight routes and was not much of a blocker. Instead I saw a player who ran lazy five yard crossing routes, ten to twelve times during a game with a ten yard crossing route thrown in on occasion. I saw a lot of ten route curls and an occasional ten yard out route. I also observed an inconsistency in how Jace seemed to catch the ball very well when running certain routes, but struggled to catch the ball consistently on other routes. However, that could be on the quarterback and not really a problem for Jace. I also saw a kid who is tough and will go across the middle to make the catch with strong hands. What really surprised me was how well he blocked. When I watch receivers I count the seconds to see when they get into their breaks. If a receiver is not into their break at two one thousand, I want to know why. It doesn’t matter how fast or what the route the receiver is running -- they should be into their break at two one thousand so the ball can come out. Now this is just a starting point and not the only thing I look for because coaches coach routes differently. Some want the five yard crossing route to drag across, some coaches want it to be run more explosively. So how do you tell if a player has the ability to separate? When the ball comes to a receiver on rhythm, I run that play over and over again to see the blocking, the play call, the defense and the timing of the route along with if the route was a stop route or a route that the quarterback had to hit the player in stride. There are not many of those types of routes to evaluate Jace and his ability to separate from a defender. So, in a case like this, his combine numbers will be a good indicator or what his agility and 10 yard split numbers are. Personally I suspect Jace will have some very good numbers but nothing that knocks anyone’s socks off. I think Jace could be an excellent complete tight end with value to his team like Jason Whitten has for the Dallas Cowboys; but ,Jace has to want to be more than a pass catching tight end if he doesn’t run in the 4.5, 4.6 range and accept coaching that will make him a complete tight end.

Drew Boylhart
DEC/2013