Bruce Arians said at the Scouting combine he wants his tight ends to block first, catch second. And it the second round of the draft, the Cardinals took a tight end who is big enough to fulfill that role. Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas, at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, had 32 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns this season, but that probably won’t be his priority in Arizona.
“He should become the best blocking tight end in football, if he decides he wants to,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said.
The Cardinals now have newcomer John Carlson, Jake Ballard and Rob Housler as the top tight ends. There is no question Niklas will get his time in the two-tight end sets the Cards use. He’s got room for growth. He was recruited to Notre Dame as a defensive end and moved to linebacker before getting chance at tight end. He played both offensive line and defensive line in high school. He was used almost exclusively as a blocker in 2012, so his receiving skills should only improve.
His nickname is Hercules, so he’s got that going for him.
Tags: Bruce Arians, Jake Ballard, John Carlson, Mike Mayock, Rob Housler, Troy Niklas
Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »