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Marino | Ethan Wolf has foundational skill set of Sunday tight end

SEP 06 Arkansas State at Tennessee
Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

Marino | Ethan Wolf has foundational skill set of Sunday tight end

Tennessee’s first ever true freshman tight end to start a season opener, Ethan Wolf is entering his fourth season as a starter for the Volunteers. While he isn’t spectacular in any one area, he has the makeup of an NFL tight end as he looks to take the next step as a senior. His veteran leadership will be relied upon heavily this season given all the new pieces the Volunteers offense will feature in 2017.

All of these clips are brought to you by Krossover, NDT Scouting’s film partner for the 2018 NFL Draft season.

Wolf is one of the 99 seniors that Jon Ledyard, Kyle Crabbs and I are showcasing this summer as part of our NDT Scouting Premium services.

Wolf’s full assessment is available but as with all of our works at NDT Scouting, we hope to continue to be transparent in our process.

Let’s examine how Wolf wins and some of the flashes that indicate he could take a step forward this season. The following clips/scouting notes highlight those areas.

Wolf’s bread and butter is being able to run routes with timing and find space in zones. He does well to adjust his routes, sit down between zones and provide a reliable target for his quarterback. While it’s a simple concept, this ability keeps the chains moving.

Sunday tight ends must be able to work the middle of the field and the seam. Wolf does just that on this rep where he pushes the seam and settles between zones in the middle of the field to execute the pitch and catch for a 25-yard gain. His ability to compete after the catch and utilize his off-hand are also on display.

Wolf generally features soft, reliable hands and secures the football away from his body with arms extended. This rep illustrates his ability to do so and handle a ball with some tempo that leads him into space.

Wolf runs his routes with good pace and spatial awareness which can be seen on this rep. At 6-foot-6, Wolf offers a massive catch radius that enables his quarterback to throw it into his vicinity and play the ball.  While he hasn’t been tasked with many contested catch opportunities, Wolf does well to adjust his frame, shield the defender and haul in the touchdown. This play is a flash of how Wolf can become more of a factor in 2017.

This rep is another showcase of a flash I hope to see more of this season. On this play, Wolf showcases good physicality at the top of his route to break through 2017 first-round pick Jarrad Davis’ contact and track the ball over his shoulder to haul in a touchdown.

Wolf’s best success as a blocker comes when he is able to lead block into space which offers some h-back upside. He knows how to take good angles, square up and initiate contact with proper timing.

Wolf also has success blocking when leading into the boundary as evidenced on this rep. Wolf takes a great angle to cut off pursuit, initiates contact with timing/leverage and accelerates his feet through contact to spring his running back for a first down.

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Joe Marino

Joe Marino is the Assistant Director of NDT Scouting and co-host of the Draft Dudes Podcast. Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011.

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