Tyler Kroft, TE, Rutgers
Twice this offseason the Raiders attempted to add a dominant receiving tight end in free agency and both times, their efforts failed. First it was Julius Thomas who signed a big contract with the Jaguars. Then they were all set to sign Jermaine Gresham until it was discovered he had a herniated disc in his back that required surgery.
This leaves tight end as still being a major need for the Raiders and in the fifth round, they get their guy in this 6-5, 246-pounder.
If you go by his 2014 stats of 24 catches for 269 yards and you would think Kroft is more of a blocking tight end. After all he gave up just one pressure on 66 blocking snaps last year with no sacks. And considering the Raiders did manage to sign a pretty good blocking tight end this offseason in Lee Smith, what would they need with another one?
Then you look at his 2013 season and it tells a very different story. The story of a player who caught 43 passes for 573 yards (13.3 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns. It earned him first team All American Athletic Conference. He was also a high school receiver.
As far as his athletic skills go, he ran a 4.75 40-yard dash at his Pro Day which is top five in his tight end class. He showed very good leaping abilities with a 34-inch vertical and 10'0" broad jump which also are on par with the top five at the tight end position at the combine. His 17 reps on the bench press were top ten.
That's when you realize this guy is the complete package as a tight end. A starting caliber tight end who has the size and catching abilities along with blocking skills so he never has to come off the field.
He compares favorably to Chiefs standout tight end, Travis Kelce, though all projections I've seen have him lasting until the fourth or fifth round, which is why getting him at 140 overall has a high probability.