(percentile rank among all TEs at Combine since 1999, courtesy of Mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.80 seconds (44th percentile)
Vertical: 34.5 inches (68th)
Broad: 114 inches (47th)
3-cone: 6.78 seconds (96th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.27 seconds (71st)
Trautman spent high school setting school records as a QB, while playing CB as well. He added all-county honors as a basketball player. But that athleticism and production delivered zero FBS scholarship offers.
Trautman had a chance to attend Michigan State as a “preferred walk-on.” But he opted instead for Dayton over Cornell and Harvard -- choosing a destination where he was “wanted.” Trautman held true to that through the end of his college career, passing on opportunities to spend 2019 in more prominent situations as a graduate-transfer.
Those opportunities came available because Trautman made the most of his time as a Flyer. He arrived in 2015 as a QB but asked coaches to move him to TE just a week into his 1st camp. The youngster reportedly believed his athleticism would make him more of an asset there than at QB, and he quickly proved himself right.
While redshirting that 1st season, Trautman won scout-team player of the year. After minimal production in his 1st active campaign, Trautman led Dayton in receiving each of his final 3 seasons. He earned 2nd-team all-conference nods as a sophomore and a junior before rounding out his career with a dominant senior year.
Trautman not only grabbed a 1st-team all-conference spot in 2019. He became the 1st TE to ever win the Pioneer League offensive player of the year award. His 70-916-14 receiving line accounted for 36.3% of the Flyers’ receptions, 33.7% of their receiving yards and 42.4% of their TD catches. Those market shares dominate this year’s TE class, and Trautman also beat every TE from last year’s class in reception and TD share. (His yardage share trailed only UCLA’s Caleb Wilson -- by 0.1 of a percentage point -- among last year’s TEs.)
Pro Football Focus graded Trautman tops among all TEs in the nation last season (94.3) and counted more “explosive plays” -- gains of 15+ yards -- than anyone else at the position. Trautman’s 27 such plays in 2019 were the 2nd most of any TE in all of PFF’s charted college seasons.
(Courtesy of WhatsOnDraftNFL)
Games watched: Drake, Jacksonville, San Diego, San Diego 2018
After seeing Trautman’s numbers and reading some about him, I was wondering if I’d see Dallas Goedert in his tape. I didn’t.
Goedert’s South Dakota State tapes revealed a guy dominating his level of competition. I didn’t quite get that in the 4 games I was able to watch of Trautman. (Of course, that was just 4 games out of 3 full starting seasons.)
Trautman reminded me more of watching Bears TE Adam Shaheen when he played at Division II Ashland University. Like Shaheen, Trautman does stand out as a big guy and a top player at his level.
Dayton lined him up all over the formation throughout his career there, including even running some option plays from the backfield. Trautman regularly worked as both a blocker and receiver from traditional inline TE spots, the slot and out wide.
His blocking should help get him on the field early in his NFL career. Trautman is a willing, aggressive and effective blocker.
He's near the left end of the line here (#84), helping on a lineman before breaking off to block a 2nd defender and help spring a TD run.
This clip again finds Trautman on the left edge of the line, locking on to his assignment and blocking through the run.
Here, Trautman fires out from the right end of the line to get across the face of his defender for a block on the back side of the run play.
And if there's no defensive player immediately in front of Trautman, he'll hunt to the 2nd and even 3rd level to find someone to block.
Where Trautman falls short of Goedert is speed. His 4.8-second 40-yard dash at the Combine ranks a little below average among NFL TEs and well behind Goedert’s last publicly timed 40: a 4.68 following his junior season.
Trautman’s timed speed puts him right in line with Shaheen and some other larger TEs -- such as Scott Chandler and Marcedes Lewis. Each of those 3 weighs more than 270, roughly 17-20 pounds heavier than Trautman.
The former Flyer did run plenty of downfield routes at Dayton, with success ...
Fortunately, Trautman plays a position that doesn’t rely as heavily on speed as many others do. And he makes up for that deficiency with elite agility. Trautman’s top-shelf 3-cone time shows up in his route breaks and could prove even more important in the pros, where he’s not going to outrun anyone down the seam. His overall athletic profile gives Trautman the 3rd-best SPARQ score among this TE class, and a 67th-percentile score vs. NFL TEs.
He also wins with hands, dropping just 2 of 72 catchable targets as a senior (according to PFF) while showing the ability to win contested balls in the end zone.
Trautman ran good routes at Dayton but could stand to consistently get into his routes more quickly. He showed a tendency to start with short, choppy steps too often in the games I watched, like a RB hesitating in the backfield instead of picking the appropriate hole. (Look for him in the left slot here.)
“You watch the kid … adapting to being a tight end, dominating that level,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said in February. “The hands, the fact that he can just overpower people at times in the open field, his aggressiveness. … The second round is not out of the realm of possibility.”
Kiper brought up Shaheen in that conference call -- as a small-school TE who went in Round 2 -- but said he has a higher grade on Trautman. Shaheen hasn’t panned out to date but has dealt with injuries and added competition (Trey Burton) at his position since Chicago drafted him.
Trautman is certainly no shoo-in for NFL production and doesn’t merit an early-draft dynasty selection. But if he lands in Round 2 with a team in some need at TE, there’s enough upside to make Trautman a solid consideration in Round 4 or even late Round 3 of rookie drafts.
Trautman’s blocking should help him get on the field earlier than he might otherwise. His size, hands, route-running and hard-worker mentality have the potential to keep him there and turn him into a valuable receiving asset.