Tight end may turn out to be one of Baltimore’s biggest needs this offseason, so get used to the spotlights on tight ends prospects. With that in mind, our tight end breakdowns continue…
The first thing that jumps out about Amaro is he has a big, well-built frame. Listed at 6-5, 260 pounds, he won’t need much more physical development, as he already has a tough-to-bring-down build.
In Texas Tech’s pass-heavy offense, Amaro was used almost exclusively out of the slot. In the games I watched for this analysis, he spent more than 90% of his time in that role. He’s a prototypical “Joker” tight end, someone who can operate as a slot receiver while being listed as a TE.
Right now, Dennis Pitta has a similar role with the Ravens.
Ideally, if Amaro were to be drafted by the Ravens – assuming Pitta is a Raven in 2014 – he’d have to learn the in-line blocking role, something that would be fairly new to him. He excelled as a blocker in college, however, mainly succeeding in space, where he never whiffs on a defender.
This is the complete opposite of Ebron in the open field.
Amaro is a lengthy, physically imposing player who uses that to his advantage to hold onto to his defenders.
While it may be one of Amaro’s best assets, being able to block as a slot receiver only goes so far in terms of NFL value.
Nonetheless, he handles the role well.
In the rare cases where he was asked to be an in-line blocker, Amaro usually made the most of the opportunity.
He’s fairly underrated in that role, and with more experience lining up next to an offensive tackle, he could become a reliable on-the-line blocker.
Amaro also plays with a mean streak at times, which certainly helps his case (#22 white).
As a pass catcher, Amaro runs hesitant routes and isn’t a threat to defenses with his speed.He isn’t necessarily a fast mover, and can often take himself out of the play and not be an option for his QB due to his slow routes.
When he does get open and make the catch though – that’s where he does his damage.
Amaro’s size gives him the advantage after the catch, as he proved all season that he can make one or more defenders miss tackles en route to large gains after the catch.
His best bet to succeed in the NFL is to catch shorter passes (anything less than 12 yards) and pick up his yards after the catch, as he’s more valuable with the ball in his hands.
He isn’t a novice to making plays on the ball, though.
Amaro can adjust to poorly thrown balls with ease for someone with his size (2:50 mark of below video).
He can also go up and make contested catches down the field, high-pointing the ball.
To fit with the Ravens, Amaro would need to become more experienced as a traditional blocking tight end, where he showed some promise in college. While the Ravens don’t need a full-time in-line blocking tight end, they need someone who can at least spend half of his time in that role, as Pitta will never be that guy.
With speed receivers such as Torrey Smith and possibly Jacoby Jones in 2014, Amaro could bring value with his open field blocking, as new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak could realize Smith can excel on screens and crossing routes, something Cam Cameron and Jim Caldwell failed to realize.
Amaro is also a reliable pass catcher and large target, two things the Ravens offense could benefit from.
He will need to adapt to a more balanced offense in the NFL, but Amaro could be a fit in Baltimore.
So far through three tight ends, Amaro is the best of the bunch, Niklas has the most upside and, in my opinion (yes, I realize it contradicts what many of you may have heard lately) Ebron is the third best of the trio that I’ve profiled thus far.
Screencaps and video c/o DraftBreakdown.com.