Missouri has a long line of players who have excelled at their respective positions and have individual traits that help make them stand out. You know, like Drew Lock’s arm strength or the athletic ability and quick twitch of a guy like Sheldon Richardson.
Which is a good starting point for this question: How would you build your ideal player? We’ll start this week with the wide outs.
The makings of the best tight ends are broken down to these categories:
Athleticism: Albert Okwuegbunam; 2017-2019
From a pure physical standpoint, Albert O is up there with some of the best physical freaks that have come to Columbia. Standing at 6’5 and weighing at 258 pounds, Okwuegbunam could easily be mistaken for a pass rushing defensive end until you saw him play. It was the craziest thing in the world to see a human that big, move the way he did.
After a successful career at Missouri, his pre-draft testing was a big part of what made him attractive to teams. At the combine, Albert ended up running a 4.49 40 which was the fastest among tight ends and was just fractions of a second slower than guys like Antonio Gibson and Chase Claypool. That athleticism would give our hypothetical tight end some real juice.
Blocking: Daniel Parker, Jr; 2018-2021
There may be some weird feelings attached to the recently departed DPJ, but one thing is absolutely certain: He could block his ass off.
Parker, Jr. came into Missouri as a defensive lineman and was switched to tight end in the middle of his freshman season. Even as a true freshman, he was a difference maker in the run game. He was mobile, moved well in space and was a really effective lead blocker on the edge. He also wasn’t at all afraid to finish a play.
It’s also important to note that the past two years, where Missouri ran all over teams with Badie and Rountree, a lot of their concepts heavily utilized him as a lead blocker or a puller.
Hands: Chase Coffman; 2005-2008
Ah, Chase Coffman. Steady as steady can be.
Coffman was a QB’s best friend and had some of the most reliable hands that I can remember. He absorbed a lot of volume, never really dropped passes and always found a way to make the difficult ones too.
It had been a while since I had watched Coffman or any of his highlights, but if you have a second, go and check them out. He was always laying out or diving trying to make a play... and usually he did.
Also, if you didn’t know... Coffman actually “Odell’d” before Odell.