Finishing up on the skill position players, we now look at the best tight ends in the NCAA for this season. While there is a clear number one guy in my opinion, after that there can be a lot of discussion. Guys who have put up big numbers definitely do deserve some recognition, but for this group especially, this list is a lot about the potential I see.
As I have said every time now, we are talking about these guys as college players and I tried to rate them based on what I saw on tape from them.
#1 Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Through his first 18 games with Missouri, Okwuegbunam caught 72 passes for 881 yards and 17 touchdowns. He recorded a passer rating of 129.1 when targeted and averaged 4.6 yards after the catch in 2018, while partially playing through a sprained knee last season. In only nine games, he still topped his freshman total by 50 yards. While he plays a lot of traditional Y, wing-man, and H-back, “Albert O” also puts in work detached from the line and split out wide at times, as they target him on goal-line fades.
The big target at 6’5”, 255 pounds has strong hands and won’t let a defender coming over his back bothering him. He has that speed to be a nightmare down the seams or after the catch off drag routes while tracking the ball over his shoulder beautifully. There are not a lot of things in college football that are scarier than that big #81 in Black and Gold having a couple of steps on the linebackers in the middle of the field off play-action.
Okwuegbunam also displays excellent footwork in pass protection and can guide edge rushers around the QB. However, he drops his head too much into blocks and doesn’t really catch and control with his hands the way you want to see.