Why the Slide?: Adam Trautman

Why the Slide?: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
By Charlie Campbell, @draftcampbell

Six years ago, we started a series of articles on why certain prospects went undrafted. In that series, I reach out to sources with NFL teams to find out why their organizations passed on drafting a given player, and/or, what were the reasons for other teams to pass on that prospect. We got a lot of positive reader feedback about the series, so we decided to expand in the genre to investigate why some prospects slid in the draft. Four years ago, we started the Why the Slide? series, and this year it is back. Feel free to email me requests for Why the Slide? and Why Undrafted? at [email protected]. I can’t promise to get to all of them, but I will do my best and definitely will respond to the email.

The 2020 NFL Draft was known to be a weak year at the tight end position, but one prospect who had a nice buzz in the scouting community was Dayton’s Adam Trautman. He had good film from his early time in college to land on the pre-draft watch list entering the 2019 season. After an excellent senior year, he had a quality performance at the Senior Bowl before a disappointing combine. Still, some teams had him graded as the top tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft, so it was surprising that he slipped to late in the third round.

In speaking to team sources, some had Trautman graded as the top tight end, but others had him as third-rounder, so they felt he went in the right range. Some teams lowered him after a slow combine 40. There just weren’t enough teams that had him graded as a late second- or early third-round pick that had a need at tight end to draft him. Thus, Trautman slid slightly lower mostly because the 2020 NFL Draft just unfolded that way for him.

The New Orleans Saints ended Trautman’s fall bu trading up to take him, and that was an excellent landing spot for Trautman. Veteran Jared Cook is a talented receiver, but he is a journeyman because of being unreliable and inconsistent. Aside from Cook, New Orleans does not have much at the position, so Trautman could see the field early in his career. If he can learn the playbook well enough, Trautman could be the second tight end in two-tight end sets as soon as his rookie season. While Trautman is not a workout warrior, he is a dangerous receiver with the potential to become a serviceable blocker. I think he is a pure football player who could be an overachiever and surprise at the next level. Trautman is a great fit for the New Orleans offense and could have a very good career with the Saints.

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