Scouting Report: Ben Utecht

Former Gophers tight end Ben Utecht struggled through injuries the past two years, but his pass-catching ability could make him an NFL draft pick this weekend. Find out how TFY Draft Preview rates Utecht as a pro prospect.

Name: Ben Utecht School: Minnesota Year: 4Sr
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 249 40: 4.82 Pos: TE

Bio: Converted wide receiver that moved into the starting lineup as a red-shirt freshman. Played in 10 games as a senior and awarded All Conference honors after catching 18/289/2. Junior totals were 37/480/6, after 20/314/5 as a sophomore. Battled injuries the past two seasons, including a stress fracture in his left foot which flared up at the start of the 2002 campaign and a hernia last year.

Pos: Pass-catching tight end that plays with terrific football intelligence. Quick releasing off the line of scrimmage, solid route runner and gets separation from defenders. Shields opponents from the action, extends and snatches the ball from the air. Always works to make himself an available target. Occasionally lined up in the slot and has displayed the skills to make plays into the defensive secondary.

Neg: Does not explode into blocks and, though he gives effort, lacks strength at the point and has difficulty moving linebackers from the play. Toughed it out the past two seasons, but injuries really hampered his play.

Analysis: Utecht has been a productive collegiate tight end and uses all his assets to the best of his abilities. May slip through the cracks based on the durability issue that arose in 2002 but a solid second tight end prospect for an offense looking to get him involved in the passing game.

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