We come to the final draft pick of the Buccaneers today as we examine Northwestern TE Drake Dunsmore.
A unique athlete who lines-up as a lead back, an H-back, a traditional TE and but mostly in the slot. Isn't a real powerfully put together kid. Possesses a solid frame, but not the kind of natural girth/explosion into contact needed to be an effective lead blocker. Takes good angles and understands how to get around blocks and seal. But looks a bit tight and has a tough time keeping his pad level down on contact. Is at his best lining-up off the edge in space where he can reach defenders at the second level and seal. Not a guy who has the power/pop to create holes inside on contact.
Is a coordinated receiver however. Showcases some savvy to his game selling the run fake and using his hands to get off blocks into routes. However, is tighter hipped and not real sharp out of his breaks. Has a tendency to roll into his breaks as a route runner and lacks the type of explosion to simply run away and separate from linebackers. Really seems to rumble once he gets into the open field and isn't the type of athlete who will consistently be able to create on his own vs. man coverage. However has a solid set of hands and a natural feel for the game working his way back to the quarterback and finding soft spots underneath.
Impression: Does a lot of things well at the college level, but I can't say he grades out at even an average level at ay spot as a potential pro.
Dunsmore posted remarkably consistent receiving numbers in his final three seasons at Northwestern, catching between 40 and 47 passes each year, averaging between 9.5 and 11.1 yards per catch, and hauling in between three and six touchdowns each season. That steady production came after a knee injury sidelined him for all of what would have been his sophomore season in 2008. Shoulder problems also limited Dunsmore during his career with the Wildcats, making him a potential injury risk for whichever NFL team takes a chance on him. Dunsmore enjoyed the best game of his career Oct. 29, when he caught seven passes for 112 yards and a Northwestern-record four touchdowns in a 59-38 victory at Indiana to earn Big Ten offensive player of the week honors. Not widely considered to be among the elite tight end prospects, Dunsmore surprised at the combine. He led everyone at his position with a 4.03 time in the 20-yard shuttle and a 6.73 in the 3-cone drill, while placing fifth among tight ends with a 40-yard dash time of 4.64. Those efforts may be enough to boost Dunsmore from a player who wouldn't have been drafted to a more intriguing late-round prospect. He is the son of Pat Dunsmore, a tight end who played for the Chicago Bears in 1983 and '84.
What he brings: He's an undersized H-back prospect who catches the ball well, but isn't a big play threat and offers little as a blocker.
College "superback" with receiving skills to serve as a functional H-back, though injuries have affected his career and he will have to prove he can stay healthy.
Positives -- Terrific receiving threat, played more tight end in college than fullback; can be a weapon running routes out of the backfield, has enough speed to be a mismatch against linebackers... Looks like an oversized wide
receiver, can make the acrobatic catch... Very strong build, has a large upper body... Led the Big Ten in receiving amongst tight ends and was a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award... Good athlete, ran a 4.64-40 at the combine and had a 35.5" vertical. Negatives -- Too small to play tight end at the NFL level, is more of an H-Back type who can run routes out of the backfield... Below average blocker for someone who will earn time in the backfield in the NFL, isn't a lead blocking type... Lacks lower body strength and doesn't appear to have the necessary strength to anchor against larger linebackers... Comes with injury concerns; was hurt a lot in college, had a season ending knee injury in 2008.