With the 85th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft.
This addresses a need at tight end with Tyler Eifert recovering from shoulder surgery, and Jermaine Gresham still unsigned. This pick obviously hurts Gresham's chances of re-joining the Bengals.
As for Kroft, the Scarlet Knights pass-catcher notched 67 passes for 842 yards for four scores over the past two seasons. He then opted to declare for the draft this offseason, forgoing his senior season.
The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Kroft broad jumped 10 feet, leaped 34" in the vertical jump and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds at the Pro Day. This, after he suffered a high ankle sprain in the Quick Lane Bowl; he was unable to do every workout at the NFL Scouting combine.
Tenacious blocker. Handled Michigan State DE Shilique Calhoun as run blocker. Blocks with good base and sustains blocks with strong hands. Not content to stalemate -- wants to win the play as blocker. Able to handle himself in pass protection using adequate footwork and technique.
NFL COMPARISON Travis Kelce
BOTTOM LINE: Tall, athletic tight end with the frame to add more muscle and the athleticism to get open in space. Kroft is an aggressive blocker who can help the running game win on the edges, but he also possesses the quickness to get open in space and make a play after the catch. Kroft's size, athleticism and competitiveness as a blocker make him a scheme fit for most offenses and he could be one of the top tight ends to come from this draft class.
Kroft says he's good friends with Mohamed Sanu, they crossed paths at Rutgers.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) May 2, 2015
Tyler Kroft said he's looking forward to playing with former college teammate Mohamed Sanu (forgot to include him earlier, too) #CINpick— Coley Harvey (@ColeyHarvey) May 2, 2015
Focus of the tight end needed to be a tough run blocker opposite Eifert. Kroft fits that. After two luxury picks this fills big '15 need.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) May 2, 2015
For first time since 2003, Bengals have taken offense with first three picks— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) May 2, 2015