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Mailbag: Biggest Contributors Among The Rookies? Dalton Schultz's Development?



I think this years draft class may have 3-4 starters or major contributors in their first year.  Do you agree or what do you think?

Bryan: I could see Connor Williams, Dalton Schultz and Leighton Vander Esch as starters. Dorance Armstong, Michael Gallup and Chris Covington as rotational players. So to answer your question, I don't disagree with the idea of that happening. When you have holes in your lineup someone has to step up and these players offer the best options to do just that. 

David: Given their draft slot and the need at the position, I am counting on Leighton Vander Esch and Connor Williams to start – or at least play a huge percentage of snaps. After that, I think it depends on training camp. Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz are talented players, but they will be battling against some talented veterans for playing time.



Listening to your evaluation of Shultz and watching highlights, He looks and sounds like a really great fit and prospect TE. He blocks well, has good hands, and runs good routes from what I see. Why was he not drafted sooner? What are his knocks?

Bryan: Very deep draft for tight ends. Reminds me of 2003 when Jason Witten was selected. Witten had a first-round grade but didn't go until the third. Scouts saw these tight ends differently and that's OK. Schultz was one of the more complete ones in this draft. I am not saying that Schultz is Witten, but he has some similar traits so that gives me some hope that he can develop into a reliable replacement.

David:Not trying to knock Schultz, but I would guess part of the reason he fell is projection. The expectation is that Schultz is a better receiver than he gets credit for, but he only caught 55 balls during his college career – and just 22 during his senior season. I am optimistic that he will be able to develop his all-around game as he goes along, but it will be interesting to see how quickly he picks everything up.

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