Summary: The NFL advance scouts did a good job of identifying and noticing Trautman at a smaller school, as they had him on their 2019 preseason watch list for the 2020 NFL Draft. Trautman was a productive receiver for Dayton in 2018 and 2017 to earn that listing. He caught 41 passes for 604 yards with nine touchdowns in 2018 after hauling in 43 catches for 537 yards and five scores during the previous season. As a senior, Trautman had his best season, catching 70 passes for 916 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Trautman earned an invitation to the Senior Bowl and put together a solid week in Mobile. He looked good as a receiver in practice, showing no issues with getting the better of the improved competition. On top of playing well, Trautman interviewed well with teams in Mobile. That combination had some serious buzz building for Trautman, but then he ran slowly at the combine, putting up a 4.80-second time in the 40-yard dash. Teams also felt he looked herky-jerky in the field work and did not look as smooth as he did at the Senior Bowl. Still, Trautman's good tape helped him in the weeks after the combine.
Trautman has the potential to be a dangerous receiving tight end who contributes well to a NFL passing attack. He has a well-rounded set of tools as a receiver to beat defenses in a variety of ways. Trautman has mismatch size and is very adept at going up to make contested catches over defenders. He high points the ball well and has strong hands to control the ball while getting hit. Trautman displays a nose for the end zone and should be an asset in the red zone, as he was very good at producing touchdowns in college. On top of good hands, Trautman has good feel as a route runner and knows how to separate. He gets open running down the seam, on crossing routes and underneath. While Trautman does not have elite speed or athleticism, he is effective and a pure football player.
As a blocker, Trautman has room for improvement for the NFL. He has the size to be effective, but he needs to get more physical and seems to lack the desire to make blocks. NFL coaching could help him to get better with his technique and definitely could employ the motivational tools for Trautman to acquire a more aggressive demeanor.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, Trautman could go as high as the second round and probably won't go lower than the third round. He has the ability to develop into a good three-down starter at the next level.
Player Comparison: Austin Hooper. Team sources say that Trautman is similar to Hooper. They are similar size with receiving ability and the potential to be effective as a run blocker. Hooper was a second-day pick, and Trautman should go on Day 2 this year. In the NFL, I could see Trautman being a quality tight end like Hooper.