Michael Roberts, TE
School: Toledo | Conference: Mid-American
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 259 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Late Rounds
NFL Comparison: Scott Chandler
Michael Roberts is a big guy. The Cleveland native is built more like a lean lineman than he is your modern-day tight end. In what is one of the richest tight end classes in years Roberts still stands out amongst the group of athletes at the position. While he is far removed from being the athlete that fellow tight end prospects Davis Njoku, O.J. Howard, or Jordan Leggett are, Roberts is a legitimate red zone threat and a true Y (aka inline) tight end. While at Toledo Roberts was also used on the outside, in the slot, and as an H-back. Roberts plays every bit to his size while run blocking and is a massive target for short to intermediate yardage. Roberts led all tight ends in the NCAA this year with 16 touchdowns. You can see him this weekend at the East-West Shrine Game and he was just added to the Senior Bowl roster yesterday.
- Despite not being a great athlete Roberts has soft hands as a receiver and is supremely reliable as a receiving option. His bread and butter is short yardage and red zone situations.
- Talented in the run blocking game. Roberts is almost a 6th offensive lineman showing a good base and great strength and can actually move and control opponents. He contributed to the success teammate Kareem Hunt had this year.
- Plays smart and gets to his spot on time and with decent precision (route running). Has great concentration when trying to haul in contested or tough to catch passes.
- Excellent and imposing size for the position.
- Not an elite athlete (or probably even a good one). Lacks initial quickness and quickness getting out of breaks. A good coordinator will find the best way to use his versatility with his given physical talents but he most likely won't be the next Travis Kelce.
- Won’t be a huge or consistent YAC guy.
- Out of four years playing he only has one of stellar production.
Let’s see his work:
Toledo TE Michael Roberts has been invited to the NFL Combine. Congrats @Mikeey___ !— RocketNation (@RocketNation_) January 9, 2017
Toledo senior tight end Michael Roberts named first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America. @ToledoFB— Brian Buckey (@BrianBuckey) December 12, 2016
Michael Roberts one of my favorite draft sleepers. Toledo has several decent prospect, I wrote them up here https://t.co/aJF1ZCRXUW— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) November 25, 2016
Toledo TE Michael Roberts almost brings in a really nice catch. Couldn't quite hang on. Athletic effort, though. pic.twitter.com/gzIZD8v3GH— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) January 16, 2017
Y'all know I love Toledo TE Michael Roberts but he has the suddenness of a refrigerator— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) January 16, 2017
Toledo TE Michael Roberts faring well blocking in line in this 7s drill. Creating movement, good leg drive & hip sink— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) January 17, 2017
Michael Roberts/TE/Toledo looks like a big, strong offensive tackle in blocking drills.— Draft Analyst (@DraftAnalyst1) January 17, 2017
Speaking of TE blocking drills, really liked what I saw from Toledo TE Michael Roberts in both pass pro and run blocking #shrinegame— Mike Margittai NFL (@DraftMaverick) January 18, 2017
Toledo TE Michael Roberts cont'd: weighed in 6'4 1/8" 259 w/ 33 5/8" arms & #shrinegame best 11 5/8" (!!!) hands? more like baseball gloves!— Mike Margittai NFL (@DraftMaverick) January 18, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
The Redskins have needed a legitimate Y tight end for a long time. If it costs a late round selection to get Michael Roberts in the building I wouldn't be opposed. All four (Reed, Davis, Paul, Carrier) Washington Redskins tight ends struggle to run block with veteran Vernon Davis being the best of the bunch. If it’s time for the Redskins to plan for the future (post Vernon Davis or Niles Paul) Roberts would be a good prospect to take a look at. While he is not going to juke folks out of their cleats like Jordan Reed he could be a real and legitimate red zone or short yardage threat for the Redskins just running a short post or out route.
I’m most impressed with Roberts’ versatility despite his lack of athleticism. Even if the red zone targets continue to go to Jordan Reed and others you have a legit Y tight end improving the run game by actually being able to sustain a block and set an edge. It's amazing. It’s about time the Redskins added a true Y to their collection of U TE’s