Caleb Wilson | All Around Tight End

As NFL offenses continue to evolve finding versatile tight ends continues as teams want these players that can be move around the formation and be a weapon. But with all these oversized receivers we’ve seen lately the traditional tight end has slowly gone away, so finding players who can be an inline blocker and still make plays in the passing game are hard to find. Today we take a look at UCLA tight end Caleb Wilson and how his skill set will be attractive to NFL teams.

 

Get to Know Caleb Wilson

It was a bit of a long road for Caleb Wilson to get to UCLA as he originally committed to Old Dominion as a quarterback but walked on at USC as a tight end where his dad was a coach, but then transferred to UCLA after his dad was let go by the Trojans. After seeing limited duty as a redshirt freshman, Caleb Wilson was in the middle of a breakout sophomore season accumulating 490 yards receiving before a foot injury ended his season five games in.

What Caleb Wilson Does Well

Lining up primarily inline Wilson is used quite as a blocker in the run game. Wilson plays with good leverage using his hands well to engage with defenders and lock them down with strong hands. Wilson is able to push and steer defenders into a position to seal them off and help open running lanes. As a receiver Wilson is a smooth runner who uses quickness at the stem to create separation. This is no more evident than over the middle of the field where Wilson will use a body lean before making that quick cut to leave linebackers and safeties in the dust. From there he has soft hands and the ability to pluck the ball out of the air.

 

Concerns about Caleb Wilson

While Wilson is able to make some quick moves to get open moving downfield he can struggle to make big changes of direction on out, hooks and comeback style routes. Instead Wilson tends to round off his routes and get out there with more speed. In college he can get away with that, but in the NFL he’ll need to improve that ability. And while Wilson is not a bad athlete by any stretch he lacks good explosiveness or speed which can cause some separation issues or limit his yards after the catch ability.

 

Outlook

With his traits Caleb Wilson has the potential to be a starting caliber tight end in the NFL. At a minimum with his blocking skills he’ll be used inline or even as an H-Back move around as a lead blocker to to set the edge. Wilson can also be used to work the middle of the field as a big weapon for his quarterback. Wilson may never turn into one of the elite tight ends in the NFL, but there is no reason he doesn’t have the potential to be a quality starter. With Chip Kelly taking over the Bruins it should be fun to see how Wilson integrates into that offense and fully get to see how he is as a pass catcher.

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