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Is Adam Trautman the Redskins’ answer at TE?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2020 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Trautman, TE
School: Dayton | Conference: Pioneer League (FCS)
College Experience: RS-Senior | Age: 22(?)
Height / Weight: 6’5” / 255 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Round 2 or 3
NFL Comparison: Zach Miller

College Statistics

Career Rushing/Receiving Stats

Year Team G Rush Yds Yd/Rush TDs Rec Yds Yd/Rec TDs
Year Team G Rush Yds Yd/Rush TDs Rec Yds Yd/Rec TDs
2016 Dayton 11 1 3 3 0 24 238 9.9 3
2017 Dayton 11 0 0 - 0 43 537 12.5 5
2018 Dayton 11 0 0 - 0 41 604 14.7 9
2019 Dayton 11 0 0 - 0 70 916 13.1 14
Career 44 1 3 3 0 178 2295 12.9 31

Player Overview

Trautman originally arrived at Dayton as a QB prospect, but shifted to TE during his redshirt freshman year in 2016. That season he played TE, slot, WR, and wildcat QB, collecting 24 receptions for 238 yards. This was also the first of four seasons where he was a member of the PFL Academic Honor Roll. During his sophomore season, he started all 11 games for the Flyers, and led the team in total yards (537). In 2018, he led the team in receptions (41), receiving yards (604), and receiving TDs (9).

In 2019, he was named team captain, an attribute that we have seen the Redskins’ scouting team prioritize in the past. He again led the team in receptions (70) and receiving yards (916), and TDs (14), breaking several school records. He was also named a first team All American and Offensive Player of Year in the Pioneer League.

Strengths

  • Has great size and physical measurables for a TE.
  • Strong at boxing out defenders (has a basketball background).
  • Able to stretch defenders vertically.
  • Versatile offensive weapon: Can line up as a TE, in the slot, or in some wildcat.
  • Still working on learning the TE position.

Weaknesses

  • Played against weaker competition in the FCS.
  • Needs to work on becoming a better in-line blocker.
  • Will need to work on refining his route running against better competition.
  • Still working on learning the TE position.

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit

The Redskins have added some TE depth during free agency (Thomas and Rodgers), and have an intriguing young prospect in Hale Hentges, but Jeremy Sprinkle looks to have maxxed out at “below mediocre” and may not even make the team this year. Even with these modest improvements, the TE group is probably still the weakest unit on the team, and there is no question it has to be added to in the draft.

TE is an interesting position for a couple of reasons: 1) Most of the best TEs in the league are not first, or even second round, draft picks. George Kittle (5th), Travis Kelce (3rd), Zach Ertz (2nd), and Austin Hooper (3rd) were all taken after Day 1. 2) Virtually all TEs, even the best, take at least a year or two of seasoning in the league to really step up. Even the highly ranked TEs taken in the 2019 draft, Fant, Hockenson, and Irv Smith had, at best, middle of the road numbers in their rookie seasons. In that sense, Trautman is a bit of a gamble, or perhaps a project, given that he hadn’t played TE at all until college.

If the Redskins think a player like Logan Thomas could step into a TE1 role for the course of the next two seasons, giving a player like Trautman time to work on his fundamentals, he could be a critical addition to an area of dire need, likely available in the late second or early third round.