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TE Dalton Kincaid: NFL Draft scouting report

We break down Utah TE Dalton Kincaid with a scouting report heading into the 2023 NFL Draft.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 02 Pac-12 Championship - Utah vs USC Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid was taken by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 25 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bills traded up with the Jacksonville Jaguars to make the selection and he becomes the first tight end to be taken off the board. He joins Dawson Knox as strong, pass-catching tight end threats in the Bills offense.

Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid is going to remind some people of Zach Ertz. He’s an athletic tight end who catches the ball well and runs a polished route tree. It’s the kind of skill set that could translate to hearing his name called before the first round of the draft ends.

Kincaid broke out in a big way during his last year in college. As a fifth-year senior, the John Mackey Award Semifinalist caught 70 passes for 890 yards and eight touchdowns over 12 games last season.

Dalton Kincaid: Scouting Report

Continuing the tradition of a converted basketball player making a standout tight end, Kincaid is a quick athlete who moves with smoothness and balance, wherever he’s lined up on the field. What stands out most for NFL talent evaluators is his natural route-running ability—it’s good enough to line up outside as well as the more traditional tight end spot. He plays fast, able to turn simple catches into big gains. And because of his hands and his large frame, he does well on contested catches in traffic too.

He’ll need some work as a blocker if he’s going to stay on the field for all three downs. But that’s less of a concern in today’s NFL, where good teams find a way to create mismatches.

Mock Draft landing spots

In his most recent mock draft, Mel Kiper had Kincaid going to the Los Angeles Chargers with the 21st pick. Kiper’s last mock, had him landing with the Dallas Cowboys at 26th. In other mock drafts, he’s gone as high as 15th to the Green Bay Packers. The lowest he seems to go in most projections is No. 28, to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fantasy football implications

With that kind of receiving ability, Kincaid could easily make an impact as a rookie, totaling respectable fantasy numbers in yardage, receptions and touchdowns. Of course, his fantasy in 2023 will depend on where he lands.

If he’s still on the board with the Cowboys pick, that might be the best possible scenario after that team let Dalton Schultz walk in free agency. Dallas’ offense has leaned heavily on a pass-catching tight end in the past. He’d be a great fit in Cincy too, but with that receiving corps, he’s not going to see as many targets.