By: Mark Leipold
- Catching in Traffic
- Strong After Catch
- Game Speed
- Target Separation
Catching in Traffic – Andrews is a man. A big, strong man. And he can catch the ball in traffic without being affected. Andrews is excellent over the middle of the field when catching balls in tight windows, and he rarely drops balls after being hit or spun around by defenders.
Strong After Catch – Andrews isn’t going to juke anyone out of their shoes or break any ankles, but he is a hard man to bring down. At 6’5” and 256 lbs., he can carry defenders for some extra yards, and he often doesn’t go down until the second, third, or fourth defender arrives.
Game Speed – While he didn’t light the combine on fire, he did run a 4.67 40-yard dash (77th percentile for TEs), which is excellent for his size. It shows on tape, as he has the speed in-game to get into the second level and beat defenders over the top or down the sideline. Andrews absolutely has the ability to get down the field and catch deep balls, which is what we want for fantasy.
Target Separation – This isn’t a sexy choice, but Andrews was wide open on many of his receptions at Oklahoma. Part of that may be due to the number of weapons they used, and that Baker Mayfield spread the ball around. Regardless, Andrews simply has a knack for getting open, often wide open. He’s not the fastest or the most agile TE, but he runs good routes and finds seams and holes well. This clip is nothing fancy, but he still ends up separating from the defender.
- Body Catching
Blocking – Andrews is going to have to go to a team that either will use him solely in passing situations or is willing to train him as a blocker because his blocking is atrocious. Often times, he gets beat one-on-one by much smaller defenders, and he had many occasions where he ended up just blocking air. Andrews is not ready to be a two-way TE in the NFL, which may limit his playing time early on. In the first clip here, he gets beat by a smaller defender and costs his team a first down. The second clip is another time that he gets beaten easily, and his RB gets stuffed as a result. In the last two, he just blocks a bunch of air – oops.
Body Catching – Andrews is a body-catcher. Plenty of them make a living in the NFL, but they’re also often the ones plagued by drops. These are two looks at the same touchdown play. He catches the ball, but it’s easy to see that he’s using his chest and rib cage as a third hand.
Drops – Goes hand in hand with body-catching. A GIF is worth 1,000 words.
Andrews reminds me of Rob Gronkowski at times when I watch him play – he’s strong in traffic and is very difficult to bring down. At times, he also reminds me of Eric Ebron (see right above this paragraph). Andrews is far from a polished prospect, especially in terms of his blocking ability. However, he has good route-running ability and solid speed, which should allow him opportunities to be involved in the passing game in his rookie year. Andrews will be a solid NFL tight end if he limits his drops.
Andrews doesn’t have the upside of a Rob Gronkowski or a Travis Kelce because he’s not as good after the catch. He reminds me more of a solid mid-late TE1 like Kyle Rudolph, where he’ll be the type to have some great games (he’ll be a red zone weapon), but he’ll also have some duds. Andrews will never be the featured option on his team the way the elite TEs in the league are, but he can definitely carve out a role as a second or third option.
He’ll be most intriguing if he goes to a team with other weapons (ex: New Orleans or Oakland) that allow him to operate in more space. Andrews will probably top out as a mid-low TE1 in fantasy. I’m much more intrigued by the ceiling offered by Dallas Goedert, and even Mike Gesicki, who just shredded the NFL Combine. Goedert, in particular, is a better bet to produce early.