Editor’s Note: To help you dominate your rookie drafts, this series will feature a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of over 40 dynasty rookie draft prospects and run all through the month of May and even into June. We’ll cover all the premier prospects but also give you critical information on some of the lesser known talents. All of these rookie updates will be loaded into our ever-evolving 2018 Rookie Draft Guide – the ultimate resource for dynasty enthusiasts all over the world.
Name: Mark Andrews
Position: Tight End
Pro Team: Baltimore Ravens
College Team: Oklahoma Sooners
Draft Position: Round three, 86th overall
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- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 256 pounds
- Hands: 9 1/2”
- Arm Length: 32 1/2″
- Bench Press: 17 Reps
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.67 Seconds
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.38 Seconds
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.34 Seconds
- Vertical Jump: 31 Inches
- Broad Jump: Broad Jump 113 Inches (9’5”)
Mark Andrews, like many tight ends in this class, landed in a horrible spot to take full advantage of his skill set right away. However, Andrews does so many things well he could end up being the best tight end on the Ravens before we know it.
The Oklahoma Sooners didn’t exactly run a standard pro-style offense, so Andrews wasn’t asked to lie up as an in-line tight end a bunch. But that wouldn’t properly use what he does best anyway. He was essentially used as a 6’5”, 260-pound unstoppable slot receiver. If teams tried to play him tight, he would destroy them with his size, strength, and toughness to hold on to the ball through contact. If they gave him too much cushion he would just beat them underneath or win with his ball skills anyway.
Andrews is likely the best route-running tight end in the 2018 draft class. He’s an incredibly aware player who can settle in zones, recognize mismatches, and even chip block when he recognizes potential threats pre-snap. He uses every tool at his disposal to create separation, and win in tight quarters when he can’t. As far as raw receiving ability goes, there may not be a more balanced tight end in this class. He isn’t perfect by any means, but there’s a reason he led all FBS tight ends in receptions and yards in 2018.
Mark Andrews may be a solid receiver, but he’s going to have to learn a few things and overcome some obstacles to reach his full potential in the NFL.
He wasn’t asked to be a true in-line blocking tight end much at Oklahoma. He wasn’t awful when he was asked to block, but his lack of experience definitely showed against tougher competition. Andrews wasn’t actually terrible at blocking in space, where he was so accustomed to lining up. However, his NFL team may ask him to do far more than play in space.
If his blocking doesn’t cause him problems at the next level his lack of elite athleticism might. It’s not that every tight end needs athletically test at the 99th percentile like Penn State’s Mike Gesicki did this year. But Andrews tested just about average or just below across the board (outside of maybe his straight line speed). His burst, athleticism, and jumping ability are fine by college standards, but it will be interesting to see if he can create separation and win one-on-one matchups in the pros.
The tight ends have seen an average of 142 combined targets in the two seasons that Marty Mornhinweg has been the offensive coordinator for the Ravens. For reference, Delanie Walker had 111 targets sent his way in 2017. 142 targets leaves plenty opportunity for a tight end or two to have some fantasy impact for the Ravens this year and easily beyond. Plus, Joe Flacco has been known to target his tight ends throughout his career, so there seems to be real potential early on.
If the Ravens get creative with Andrews there may be a real opportunity for him to be on the field quite a bit. Since he really mainly played big slot in college, the Ravens could use him in a move tight end role since their wide receiver depth is still questionable at best. This seems like a stretch until you realize that the Baltimore Ravens ran more TE-heavy personnel groupings than any other team in the NFL last season at 34%.
The Ravens ran personnel packages with at least two tight ends on the field a whopping 54% of the time in 2017. For comparison’s sake, most NFL teams have at least three wide receivers (with one or fewer TEs) on the field easily over 60% of the time. There’s definitely a lot more opportunity for Andrews in Baltimore than many likely realize.
While there are definitely some things like about Andrews and his situation in Baltimore, there are probably more to dislike.
First off, the Ravens selected another tight end two rounds ahead of him in Hayden Hurst. If they choose to feature Hurst as their lead receiving tight end (foolishly), then Andrews would definitely struggle to produce fantasy viable numbers very early on in his career at all. Even if they split targets right down the middle, neither would do anything besides buoy themselves with a touchdown here or there.
Another worry to have with Andrews is that Lamar Jackson (heir to the throne at quarterback for Baltimore) has never really targeted his tight ends that much. Yes, things could change in a different pro scheme, but let’s just look at 2017. Jackson only completed 29 passes to his lead tight end in Charles Standberry. That was good for just 10% of the team’s receptions caught with Jackson at the helm. If that same number was extrapolated to the typical Ravens pass volume for a full season, Andrews could see 43 or 44 receptions even if he owned every tight end target. There are definitely some things to worry about for any Baltimore tight end, but that’s part of what makes Andrews so cheap in dynasty right now.
Realistically it is somewhat difficult to expect any massive production from Mark Andrews early on. The good news is that given the Ravens schematic choices, he should see plenty of snaps. However, there may not be enough targets to go his direction unless Hayden Hurst misses time for some reason. Season one expectations should be somewhere around 32 receptions on about 50 targets for 350 yards and a couple touchdowns. He could grow into a larger role, but there’s not a perfect path to that end in sight.
In the end, Mark Andrews will likely prove his worth as the best receiving tight end for the Ravens. Hayden Hurst is a balanced prospect who does many things well, but is better fit staying into block (where he excels over Andrews). Andrews’ ceiling with Lamar Jackson at the helm is still definitely uncertain, but he could possibly work his way into a back-end TE1 for fantasy football purposes one day.
NFL Player Comparison
Don’t freak out. But there’s an easy comparison that fits the bill, physically. Travis Kelce is the exact same height, weight, and ran a nearly identical adjusted forty time as Andrews. Both Andrews and Kelce run a lot of routes detached from the offensive line. They both are physically imposing tight ends who run a decent route tree. And they both don’t look to have elite leaping ability but use strategic positioning to win in contested situations. In a perfect world, Andrews could play somewhat similarly to Kelce.
Projected Rookie Draft Range
Andrews looks to be incredibly affordable in rookie drafts this year. According to May 2018 ADP, he can be had in the late third or even early fourth round of many rookie drafts. That’s a solid value considering there are skill position players in the sixth and seventh rounds going ahead of him in many cases.
As always, find me on Twitter @FF_TravisM. Look for videos from me using the hashtag #TouchdownTime. And yes, I love to chat about these players. I want to learn from you! Thanks for reading, and keeping living that Dynasty Life!
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