TE2: Dalton Kincaid (Utah)
Height: 6-foot-3 1/2
Weight: 246 pounds
DOB: 11-18-1999 (23 years old)
Dalton Kincaid is the most polished route runner in the 2023 NFL Draft. It is especially impressive because Kincaid only played one season of football in his life before college.
Kincaid grew up playing basketball and was a star for his high school and AAU teams. At the behest of his friends, he decided to play football as a senior and this decision would change his life forever.
Kincaid didn’t receive a single college offer due to his limited experience, but after walking on to the San Diego squad, it was clear he found his calling. The up-and-coming tight end led the team in touchdowns (11) as a freshman and served as the No. 1 option in 2019.
Following success at the FCS level, Kincaid announced his transfer to Utah before the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He did not play much that year, but 2021 saw him command more snaps, as he tallied 36 receptions for 510 yards and eight touchdowns.
As great as he was in 2021, Kincaid saved his best for last. The senior tight end led Utah in catches (70), yards (890), and touchdowns (8). His ability to create space and run such an expansive route tree while being this early in his career is something to marvel at.
Kincaid wins downfield by using his fluid hips and easy change of direction to shake off defenders. He comes out of every route clean and always gives his quarterback a target with his sure hands. Kincaid was only charged with two drops during his entire collegiate career.
In fact, I would argue Kincaid has the best hands in the draft, regardless of position. He rips the ball out of the air and possesses elite body control when working downfield. The Utah star is not scared to catch a pass in traffic, regularly going over the middle and fighting for the ball in the air.
The most glaring issue with Kincaid’s game comes as a blocker. He is always willing to mix it up, but his lack of experience in the sport shows up time and time again. Kincaid can be moved off his spot by bigger defenders, and given his slender frame, he doesn’t profile as a plus-blocker at any point in his career.
Still, in today’s NFL, a pass catcher as talented as Kincaid is vital to spread-out offenses. He will be in contention for Offensive Rookie of the Year and has a chance to lead all 2023 NFL Draft picks in receiving production next year. Kincaid shouldn’t make it out of day one, but if he does, a team will get a steal in round two.
NFL Draft Grade: Early Day 2