Thomas Duarte, WR/TE, UCLA – 2016

Dolphins, Round 7. Declared early for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Postseason events: NFL Combine.

Positives: Good size for a wide receiver. Above-average hand size. Above-average track speed for a tight end. Runs adequate routes, and is fairly quick into breaks. Above-average hands and can extend. Tracks passes well over his inside shoulder. Solid downfield run blocker. Adjusts well to passes thrown behind him on the run. Okay body control. Willing to catch over the middle in traffic. Was fairly effective pass protector despite his lack of leverage in college.

Negatives: Very short and slight for a tight end. Slow to get going off the line. Suspect concentration on contested passes. Is a little upright as a pass protector out of the backfield, and is liable to be bowled over by strong NFL defenders. Below-average vertical leap and lower-body explosiveness in Combine drills. Very poor upper-body strength.

Pre-Draft Projection: Round 4. As more of a big wide receiver than a small tight end, I don’t think he’s suited to an H-back role. He will be drafted by someone who really values a receiver who can block down the field.

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