Eyeing the Redskins' draft: Jace Amaro

May, 9, 2014
May 9
1:30
PM ET
Even though the draft is finally underway, there are still players who will be available for the Redskins on Friday that are worth analyzing. I won't get to them all, but I'll get to a few. The reports are based on watching multiple games on draftbreakdown.com; I'll let you know when there is an opinion other than my own. I'm not a fan of having to only watch them off a TV feed -- you don't always get the best angle, or see all the players -- but it's the best I can do now and it helps provide a snapshot. The draft analysts -- especially those from ESPN.com, NFL.com and CBSSports.com -- help fill in the gaps, especially in terms of where they are projected.

Player: Jace Amaro

School: Texas Tech

Position: Tight end

College production: Last season, caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns. Set an FBS record for receiving yards by a tight end.

Amaro
How he'd fit: The Redskins could use more depth at tight end and, in particular, a second pass-catcher. I think they would like to add another weapon offensively, whether as a pass-catching back or another tight end. Jordan Reed is outstanding, but with durability concerns, and they don't have a strong pass-catching backup. Niles Paul is good on special teams, but not the same receiving threat. Logan Paulsen is more of a blocker.

What I liked: Does a good job running away from linebackers after the catch. Understands where to sit against zone coverage and versatile enough to run routes from all over. Pretty good in and out of breaks. Saw him run from a three-point stance; saw him aligned in the slot and out wide. Loved his blocking ability in space, particularly on bubble screens (or anything else for that matter). Good use of footwork and patience, reacting to the defender and then locking onto him. Good size (6-foot-5, 265 pounds). Blocked with a bit of an attitude in space at times, not wanting to let go and go to the whistle. Presence opened up opportunities for others as teams would often have two defenders working against him. Saw him wall off defenders once in a while, using his size. Could not tell if he was just a patient route-runner or if he didn't come off the line with burst. But seemed to be in synch with the quarterback, so I'll opt for the former. Works well underneath; most of his catches came on crosses or short outs with an occasional seam pass.

What I didn't: Inconsistent hands, whether leading to drops or fumbles. Sometimes the fumbles stemmed from fighting for extra yards. Though I saw him wall off a defender on occasion, he probably could have taken better advantage of his size. Did not see a lot from him as a blocker along the line (did not see anything from Reed in this regard last year, but improved). Thought there were times he could have made a stronger effort as a blocker when trying to get to his man over the middle. Led to the back getting hit by the man he should have blocked -- and with a better effort would have. A good athlete, but did not see defenders fooled by his route running. But he did typically catch the ball well in tight quarters. Intangibles: ejected for throwing a punch in a 2012 game; arrested for credit card fraud, though charges later were dropped. However, have read that he has a good work ethic.

Projection: Second-third round. It would be real tough to see the Redskins take Amaro at 34, but in the third round -- if he lasts that long? It wouldn't stun me. He would provide insurance for Reed.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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