Eagles Draft Profiles: TE Dalton Schultz

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The NFL Draft is just around the corner which means it’s that time where everybody is desperately scrapping for information on this year’s class. This series will go deep into the barrel of prospects this season, aiming to find some sleepers and potential Eagles draftees in the process. First up, is Stanford’s Dalton Schultz.

He may not be as electric as a certain Penn State tight end, but he doesn’t have to be. What Schultz brings to the table is true tight end versatility. A prototypical run blocking frame (6’6, 240 lbs) is backed up by supreme in-line blocking and soft hands when asked to ran routes. Schultz was more than capable of handling the rock but his real strength was as a blocker.

A former top-100 recruit from Utah, Schultz became an All-Pack-12 pick in 2016, adding 222 receiving yards and a touchdown to his resume. One year later, he recorded 22 receptions for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns and declared for the NFL Draft.

Schultz very much became the sixth offensive lineman for Stanford last year and he’s easily the best in-line blocker in this class. What is truly stunning is that he’s built in a very similar mold to another former Stanford tight end in Zach Ertz.

As we all know, Ertz has gone on to become one of (if not) the best receiving tight ends in the league and is coming off of a stunning 824 yard, 8 touchdown, Super Bowl winning campaign. For Schultz to be physically built so similarly yet thrive in an area where Ertz has often been criticized is surprising to say the least.

While Schultz does a brilliant job as a blocker, maintaining a wide base and anchoring after contact against some rapid defensive ends, its actually his route-running that impresses.

He wasn’t used much as a receiving option and this probably hurt his development in that area. But the big-bodied target has an eyebrow-easing ability to drop his hips, sink into his route and explode out of it in breaks. His physical nature allows him to push off of opposing linebackers and on underneath routes he truly is a menace. A quick release means he can get the defender chasing, while his nuances in route running mean he can pull that stop-start switch incredibly quick to gain separation.

The tight end class this year is light to say the least. With Brent Celek release and Trey Burton finding new life in Chicago, the Birds are left with developmental UDFA’s alongside their franchise tight end in Zach Ertz. Losing the blocking prowess of Celek stings and the under-the-radar receiving versatility that Burton brought to the table is now also out of the window. Schultz would fill both voids in some capacity and it would be even harder for defenses to key in on him as he wouldn’t even be the third read on the majority of plays.

The Eagles prioritize the run game and balancing the offense and Schultz was an integral part in opening the path for a certain Bryce Love to carve up defenses for over 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns.

Schultz would be available in the heart of the NFL Draft and personifies a ‘low-risk, high-reward’ prospect that could be of extreme value to the tight end needy Eagles.

 

Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

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