Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota
Matt Waletzko looks like he was built in a lab by some mad scientist. He stands at an astounding 6’8, 312 pounds with >36 inch arm length and his 30 inch vertical jump landed him within the top-five at the position. The 5.03 40-yard dash is impressive considering his size, as well. Every athletic box, he checks with flying colors.
The biggest hang up for most scouts is the sheer lack of tape versus top tier talent. Waletzko did well to calm some of those concerns by showing out at the Senior Bowl in front of the entire draft community. He gives the Indianapolis Colts a long-term option at left tackle, if they allow him to develop at his own rate. He’s not the type to step in and start immediately, but this is a pick that could look brilliant 12 months from now.
Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
Daniel Bellinger is nearly a carbon copy of Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert. They both stand at 6’5, are only three pounds apart in weight, and have essentially the same arm length and hand size. Furthermore, both guys stand alone at tight end in terms of blocking ability. Like Ruckert, Bellinger didn’t get a chance to fully showcase his ability as a pass catcher, never topping 31 catches during any of his collegiate campaigns. So why is Ruckert projected to go well before Bellinger? The easiest answer is the amount of exposure Ohio State gets compared to San Diego State, as well as the talent gap between the Big Ten and the Mountain West Conference.
Those arguments lose a lot of weight when you take a peek at what Bellinger was able to do at the NFL Combine. He finished top-five for a tight end in the following workouts: 40-yard dash (4.63 seconds), bench press (22 reps), vertical jump (34.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 5 inches), and three-cone drill (7.5 seconds). Bellinger can step in as an elite blocker immediately, and with that package of athleticism, he should be able to routinely take advantage of slower-footed linebackers. He fills the void left by Jack Doyle and is a great foil to youngster Kylen Granson going forward. This one almost makes too much sense not to happen.
Kevin Austin Jr., WR, Notre Dame
Kevin Austin Jr. is someone that jumped onto my radar as I watched him workout at the Combine. After putting up respectable numbers (48 receptions, 888 yards, 7 touchdowns) in his lone season as a starter at Notre Dame, Austin kept pace with the loaded wide receiver class by posting a 4.43 official 40-yard dash. His three-come time of 6.71 seconds was good enough for second at the position, falling behind only Calvin Austin lll, who is a literal track star.
With this explosiveness, and an increased shiftiness from what was shown on tape, Austin has a real chance to be drafted on day-three and contribute immediately for whomever takes the chance on him. Once thought to be a “one-trick pony”, the former Notre Dame wide receiver now profiles as more of a complete package. He is exactly what the Indianapolis Colts should be looking for this late in the draft. At 6’2, 200 pounds, Frank Reich could have a lot of fun scheming up plays for the explosive pass catcher.