2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Isaiah Likely

  • Isaiah Likely, 6-4/245

  • Tight End

  • Coastal Carolina

  • Isaiah Likely Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Dangerous receiving tight end
  • Smooth route runner
  • Good speed
  • Tracks the ball well
  • Late hands
  • Yards after the catch
  • Good feel
  • Finds the soft spot in zone
  • Able to make leaping grabs
  • Red-zone weapon
  • Adjusts well to the ball
  • Big hands
  • Upside
  • Athletic

  • Weaknesses:
  • Not a good blocker
  • Size limitations
  • Needs more strength

  • Summary: Likely spent the last three years as one of the most consistently productive receiving tight ends in college football. He broke out in 2019 with 32 receptions for 431 yards and five touchdowns. He was even better in the shortened 2020 season, averaging 20 yards per catch on his way to 30 receptions for 601 yards and five touchdowns. Likely then had his best season in 2021, collecting 59 catches for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    Likely is a solid receiving tight end who could be a valuable contributor and a mismatch problem for defense in the NFL. He is a good athlete with speed to generate separation from coverage and is a quality route runner. He shows a nice burst out of his breaks to create space from defenders and get open for his quarterback. Likely has nice twitch and second-gear quickness after the catch. He does a nice job of working the middle seam and slants, plus he is capable along the sideline. With his surprising speed, he can challenge defenses in any part of the field. Likely is a strong, tough runner who could be a nice receiving weapon as a pro.

    As a blocker, Likely has room for improvement for the NFL. He should add strength because he can struggle to sustain blocks, and he could stand to show more willingness to block. While Likely will never be an impactful blocker, he can improve enough to contribute somewhat in the ground game and help protect his quarterback. Likely needs up his intensity and competitiveness to show more fight as a blocker and go through the whistle. Desire alone would make a significant improvement immediately.

    In the NFL, Likely could be a good F – movement – tight end to contribute to a passing attack. Given his size and blocking limitations, however, he will have to work in a platoon with a Y – blocking – tight end. Likely still brings lots of versatility because he has and can line up as H-back and/or wide receiver. Likely is a chess piece who can be moved around to create mismatches for his offense. He will likely go on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Player Comparison: Jordan Reed. Likely kind of reminds me of Reed. Both are smooth route-runners with quickness, good hands, and yards-after-the-catch ability. They also have some blocking limitations because of their size. Reed was a second-day pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Likely could go on Day 2 this year during the 2022 NFL Draft.


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