Mark Andrews was one of my sleeper prospects heading into the 2017 season. At the end of his redshirt sophomore season, he’d contributed a decent amount to Oklahoma’s passing game, both midfield chunk plays and red zone touchdowns. Andrews delivered on my expectations as a junior, doubling his career receiving and yardage values en route to winning the John Mackey Award. Following that season, Andrews declared for the draft. Let’s break down his prospect profile as he moves on to the NFL:
Career: 112 receptions, 1765 yards (15.8 YPC), 22 TDs
2017: 62 receptions, 958 yards (15.5 YPC), 8 TDs
Andrews has type 1 diabetes. He needs to watch his blood sugar levels, but can play without being affected otherwise.
Played through an AC joint sprain in 2016
Accolades and off-field notes
2017 John Mackey Award winner (best TE in college football)
2017 Consensus All-American
6 foot 5.125 inches, 256 pounds, 10.5 inch hands, 33.5 inch arms
4.67 forty yard dash (76th percentile for tight ends)
31″ vertical leap (29th percentile)
113″ broad jump (41st percentile)
7.34 three cone drill (24th percentile)
4.38 short shuttle (48th percentile)
12.39 60 yard shuttle (14th percentile)
17 bench press reps (20th percentile)
In terms of ability to produce extra yardage after the catch, I don’t know if there’s a better tight end in this draft than Andrews. Standing at 256 pounds, he runs with exceptional leg drive and does not go down easily. Andrews loves to use a stiff arm to bat down defenders as he runs, and he can spin out from would-be tacklers or fall forward for a few extra yards.
Andrews played almost exclusively out of the slot for Oklahoma. When he gets to the NFL, he’ll have to adjust to playing from a three point stance or coming out from the backfield. He’ll also be awakened to the challenges of blocking a 270 pound lineman, rather than a 220 pound linebacker. Andrews has solid hand placement and good timing when he approaches a target.
He does well to sink his hips, but he doesn’t drive through contact, mostly turning his opponent to the side. I think the strength he displays as a ball carrier can translate to his blocking if coaches do a good job teaching the technique.
Andrews has nice agility when he runs his routes. In terms of straight line speed, he’s one of the fastest in the class, and he smoothly accelerates in his stem and plants to cut in new directions. Andrews isn’t shy about playing with physicality on his routes – he’ll push off at the top or throw around his weight for separation. He can use a rip move or a swim move to escape jams at the line of scrimmage.
He does a good job of reading zone coverages and naturally moves between defenders to find soft spots for receptions.
At the goal line, he does an acceptable job selling a block so he can escape for a play action touchdown catch. With experience playing with a QB who freelances on occasion, Andrews has experience working to open space when the play breaks down.
Andrews only grew into a full-time role this year, his junior year, but even as a freshman and sophomore he had a penchant for paydirt, scoring seven touchdowns in each season. He didn’t test as an elite athlete like Mike Gesicki, and he doesn’t have four years of blocking tape like Troy Fumagalli, but his trajectory may just shine the brightest out of this group of tight ends. With a 5.02 grade on our scale, I have him sitting near the back of the first round, as a player with future Pro Bowl potential.