PFF scouting report: Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
Below is the PFF draft profile for Western Kentucky’s Tyler Higbee, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.
Tight end that can be moved around.
Stats to know:
Third-highest graded tight end in the draft class, despite playing only 487 snaps. Two drops on 55 opportunities over the last two years.
What he does best:
• Freakish athlete. Runs better than any tight end in the class. Few linebackers can stay with him up the seam.
• Wide-receiver-type ability after the catch. Broke 10 tackles on only 38 catches in 2015.
• Already has a feel for where and when to sit down in zones. Made a living on spot-routes over the middle.
• Three of his five highest-graded games came against WKU’s only Power-5 opponents.
• Ran pro-style concepts with 65 percent of his snaps coming in-line.
• Limited experience at the position. Started off as a receiver at WKU before switching to tight end.
• Frame to grow into the position, but looks undersized at the moment. Listed at 234 pounds in college and weighed in at 249 at the NFL combine.
• Not a polished blocker by any means, although he is willing and graded out positively in that regard the last two seasons. Weight and strength concerns don’t help in this area.
• Only 803 snaps over the past two seasons due to injury—wasn’t even a starting tight end for WKU until his redshirt-senior season.
Pro style comparison:
Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers. The comparisons here run deep, all the way to Green and Higbee’s limited playing time up until this point in their careers. Both are extremely gifted athletes that possess natural receiving ability, with ideal builds that are/were in need of muscle coming out college.
As a pure receiver, there may not be a better option in the class. Higbee has abilities that you can’t teach a 6-foo-6-inch player. His inexperience, low level of competition, and size may make it hard for teams to justify drafting him early on, but his traits right now have future-starter written all over them.