Getting noticed in the Pac-12 isn’t easy, with half the nation sleeping while the games play on the west coast. It’s ironic that Utah’s Brant Kuithe, a sleeper tight end in the 2022 NFL Draft class, resides in the conference. As his scouting report reveals, Kuithe is worth keeping your eyes open for this fall.
Brant Kuithe NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Tight End
- School: Utah
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 230 pounds
Brant Kuithe Scouting Report
The modern-day tight end is tasked with contributing to the game in multiple ways. They need to be a security blanket in the passing game while also offering a deep-threat ability. Additionally, they need to be proficient as blockers both in the run game and in pass protection.
How does Kuithe measure up to these demands in his scouting report?
As you’d expect from the above description, a vital component of the position is versatility. Having aligned as a traditional fullback, H-back, slot wide receiver, out wide on both the boundary and field side of the line, and as an inline tight end, it’s fair to say that Kuithe ticks this particular box.
Kuithe excels in the pass-catching element of the position. He’s led the team in receptions for consecutive seasons, which isn’t necessarily indicative of pass-catching success, but it’s a good start.
When you turn on the tape, his pass-catching prowess is evident. In the games studied, I didn’t see him drop a single target.
Pass-catching ability, football intelligence, and competitive toughness
His ability to catch the ball, combined with his route-running ability, makes him a threat in the passing game. His track background is apparent in his acceleration and play speed.
Kuithe uses this, in addition to an impressive change-of-direction ability, to create separation. Furthermore, he’s adept at selling route fakes with his head movement.
The Utah tight end also adds after-the-catch value, with his ability to cut in the open field and a level of competitive toughness to fight for extra yardage.
Toughness is an excellent word to summarize Kuithe’s ability as a blocker. He isn’t necessarily strong, which we’ll get to shortly, but he puts everything he has into blocking.
He also demonstrates impressive intelligence as a blocker, looking to seal off running lanes by taking the right angles. Kuithe routinely looks for work, making several crucial blocks to pick up a free pass rusher in the games studied.
Areas for improvement
Although Brant Kuithe has all the tight end skill sets in his arsenal, there are some areas for improvement and small causes for concern from his scouting report.
At 6’2″ and 230 pounds, he’s on the small side for an NFL tight end. Compared to last year’s NFL Draft class, Kuithe is lighter than both Kylen Granson and Noah Gray, who were considered small tight ends in that class.
The issue is apparent when watching his blocking. There’s no doubt he’s willing, but often he doesn’t have the strength to compete on a level playing field with defensive linemen. There’s also room for improvement with technique as he often barrels into blocks shoulder first.
The Utah offense doesn’t routinely use Kuithe as a field-stretching deep threat. Kuithe’s ability as a field-stretcher in the NFL remains unknown.
Brant Kuithe Player Profile
While Kuithe’s college football career has taken him to the west-coast centric Pac-12 conference, his football roots were developed in the south. The Katy, Texas native is the son of a North Texas alumnus and played his high school football for Cinco Ranch High School.
At Cinco, Kuithe was a standout athlete. In addition to football, he starred in the 100m and 200m while competing in both long and triple jump.
The versatility in athletics spread to the football field. During his junior season, the dynamic playmaker amassed 2,784 all-purpose yards. Putting his track speed to good use, Kuithe ran for 1,891 yards, with over 500 total kickoff and punt return yards.
His value was unlimited, adding 199 passing yards and 2 scores as a junior quarterback. Furthermore, he was Cinco’s starting punter during a senior season where he compiled 1,041 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns in just 7 games. Kuithe’s performances earned him District MVP honors to round out his high school career.
The versatility that had made him such an entertaining high school player earned him the “athlete” moniker in the 2018 recruiting class. Despite his production, 247 Sports tabbed him as a three-star prospect and the 173rd-ranked player in Texas.
With a lack of offers from major programs in the state, both Brant and his brother Blake committed to Rice before their junior season.
With their football journeys running parallel, both brothers rescinded their commitment during the season and remained unsigned until they found a home in Utah following a visit in January 2018.
Kuithe’s career at Utah
Kuithe took very little time to settle into the program during his freshman season. On his first reception for the Utes, he rumbled in for a 29-yard touchdown against Weber State.
He also made an impression on special teams, a further example of the versatility that will make Kuithe a coveted NFL Draft prospect.
While playing in 14 games as a true freshman, he snagged 20 catches for 227 yards and that Weber State touchdown. In his first start against USC, Kuithe showcased his pass-catching promise with 68 yards on 4 receptions.
That potential continued during a standout sophomore season. The tight end made nine starts for the Utes and led the team with 34 catches, 602 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns. Kuithe had a career-high day with 132 yards and a 69-yard touchdown against UCLA.
Meanwhile, he added 3 rushing touchdowns to his season, and his 9 total scores lead all tight ends at the FBS level. He compiled 102 rushing yards on just 6 carries, another example of his playmaking ability in any facet of the game.
Earning Pac-12 honors, with national attention set to follow this fall
For his performances as a sophomore, he earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, an accolade he repeated following his junior campaign.
Although the extenuating circumstances of the 2020 college football season limited Kuithe to five games, he led all Pac-12 tight ends with 5 receptions per game.
He once again led the team with 25 receptions and 236 receiving yards. Additionally, he ran for another 50 yards on just 6 carries.
Despite considering the NFL Draft at the end of the year, Kuithe announced his return to the Utes for the 2021 college football season. Like many in the program around him, he wants to help deliver a Pac-12 Championship to Utah.
His return should also help develop his draft stock. Despite his all-around ability to impact a game, Kuithe isn’t frequently mentioned alongside the likes of Jalen Wydermyer, Cade Otton, or Isaiah Likely as the top tight ends in the 2022 NFL Draft class. That should change this fall.