Tight end is more than the numbers, and that thought supplied Tyler Kroft with the confidence to take the next step. Kroft declared for the NFL Draft Tuesday, and spoke confidently about his skill set after the decision.
With fewer than 1,000 yards to his name, Kroft points to his junior game film as a strong selling point for his services.
“I just evaluated how I played this year and how far I’ve come in all facets of the game,” Kroft said. “I know a lot of people get caught up with numbers, but I’m confident in my tape. I just feel like it’s the right time for me.”
Kroft led Rutgers in receiving in 2013, but production dropped significantly as a junior in a different offensive scheme.
“There’s obviously a risk, but I don’t think I would not get drafted,” Krof said. “If you’re going to play this game, you have to be very confident in what you can do. I’m very confident in what I can do. …
“Obviously the production isn’t what it was last year, but we played in the Big Ten. Coach Flood always makes the comment about tight ends, if you’re not willing to block then they’re just a big, slow receiver. I took that to heart this year, and I played against some of the best competition in the NCAA which is Joey Bosa, [Randy] Gergory, Shilique Calhoun,, and I think I held my own.”
“It always helps building relationships with coaches that are in the next level. Everyone gets kind of caught up in numbers, but those coaches know how I am off the field with hard work and my work ethic during practice,” Kroft said. “There’s a lot of intangibles that go along with it. That’s something I’ve been told is a big bonus for me. There are a lot of benefits to having relationships with coaches that are at the next level, and they can be an advocate also.”
Kroft plans to complete his bachelor’s degree from the School of Arts and Sciences in the spring of 2016. Kroft expects to sign Mike McCartney as his agent and train at IMG in Florida.
“It’s extremely important to me to get a degree,” Kroft said. “That’s something I put a premium on when I was choosing a school. I loved the fact that Rutgers pushed academics along with athletics.”
Not an easy decision, Kroft said he is happy to have it behind him.
“It’s been kind of a rollercoaster,” Kroft said. “It’s a lot of excitement, but definitely relieved. I’m excited for the next part of my life, the next chapter. I’m very relieved. This has not been an easy decision. It’s been a lot of long nights staying up thinking about every possibility. I’m starting to realize that if you do that, you start driving yourself crazy.”