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2014 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals Select Troy Niklas in Second Round

May 9th, 2014 at 8:28 PM
By Steve Smith

'' photo (c) 2008, Seth Page - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
The Arizona Cardinals selected tight end Troy Niklas of the University of Notre Dame in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall tonight in New York City. He was the 52nd overall player selected.

Niklas is 6-foot-6 and weighs 270 pounds. He can only help as a target for quarterback Carson Palmer in the red zone.

Let's take a look at the scouting profile for Niklas via our friends at nfl.com:

Strengths Outstanding size with a well-proportioned, muscular build. Big target over the middle and in the red zone. Athletic with flexible hips and knees to run the full tight end route tree. Bursts into routes and stretches the seam. Good hands. Has playmaking ability. Lined up flexed and in-line. Good potential as a blocker. Bends his knees, shuffles and fans rushers wide. Works well in tandem and can combo block effectively. Takes care of his body and maintains low body fat. Has NFL bloodlines.

Weaknesses Work in progress as an in-line blocker — lacks ideal base strength, grip strength and overall body power. Bends at the waist and falls off some blocks. Route running needs refinement. Is still learning to use his frame advantageously — inconsistent traffic player. Lacks elite top-end speed. Average elusiveness and creativity after the catch. Could stand to play with more physicality and become a better finisher. 

Bottom Line A converted DE/OLB who emerged from the shadow of Bengals 2013 first-rounder Tyler Eifert, Niklas is the latest in a strong line of NFL tight ends produced by Notre Dame. He boasts an intriguing combination of size, athleticism, receiving ability and blocking ability to develop into a bona fide, balanced, No. 1 tight end. Has played tight end for just two years and is clearly ascending.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Carson Palmer, Football, NFL, Troy Niklas

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