Dalton Kincaid one day dreams of owning a big piece of real estate and enjoying the land. For now, the 2023 NFL Draft prospect will have to settle for enjoying dominating 100 yards of football field. Following a sensational super senior season, the Utah Utes tight end is the talk of this tight end class. Does Kincaid’s NFL draft scouting report match up to the first-round hype?
Dalton Kincaid NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Tight End
- School: Utah
- Year: Senior
- Height/Weight: 6’4″, 246 pounds
Kincaid’s elevation into the national spotlight couldn’t be further from his humble beginnings in the sport. A former high school basketball player, the Utah tight end played just one year of high school football. Despite an explosive introduction with 745 yards and eight touchdowns, his late exposure led to a mediocre recruiting profile.
Kincaid found a home with the San Diego Toreros, where Kincaid repaid them with 11 touchdowns as a true freshman. Following that campaign with an FCS TE-leading 18.98 yards as a sophomore, the young tight end began to attract FBS attention as he reeled in 835 yards in what was only his third full season playing the game.
MORE: 100% Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!
A transition to Utah during the most disrupted college football season in recent history stalled Kincaid’s rapid ascent, but he wouldn’t be curtailed for long. As part of a Pac-12-winning tight end duo in 2021, he tallied 510 yards and eight touchdowns while finding the end zone in three consecutive games to close the season — and taking momentum into 2022.
If 2021 was his breakout year, 2022 was Kincaid’s standout season. Emerging as the go-to guy for QB Cameron Rising, the Utah TE snagged 70 receptions for 890 yards and matched his eight scores from the previous campaign. Kincaid’s performances earned him first-team Pac-12 honors and catapulted him into the upper echelons of the 2023 NFL Draft conversation.
Dalton Kincaid Scouting Report
As the NFL demands more from tight ends, evaluating the position requires a deeper understanding of what it takes to succeed at the next level. From pass catching to pass protection, blocking to being an end-zone threat, excelling in all areas is a surefire sign that college potential will translate to NFL production.
It’s also wise to be cognizant that an elite pass-catching threat like Kyle Pitts can be an exceptional NFL player despite some blocking concerns. As he’s become a heralded tight end prospect with first-round aspirations, how does Kincaid’s scouting report measure up to the TE standards of the NFL?
Is there a better pass catcher at the tight end position in the 2023 NFL Draft than Kincaid? If there is, I’m yet to study them in this cycle, and we’ve been working on scouting reports since the Monday after last year’s draft. There are wide receivers in this class, in college football, and in the NFL that could learn a thing or two about corralling a catch from the Utah tight end.
Starting his scouting report anywhere other than what Kincaid brings to the table as a receiver would be malpractice, an injustice, and a waste of an opportunity to study greatness. If the ball is even marginally in the vicinity of the Utah tight end, there’s a legitimate chance that he’s going to be the one coming down with it.
Kincaid boasts pure pass-catching paws, with a strong grip that ensures that he doesn’t drop or fumble the ball when it’s in his control. That vice-like grip exists at the end of decently long arms that ensure Kincaid can extend and pluck the ball away from his frame with devastating regularity.
The Utah TE is more than happy to compete at the catch point, safe in the knowledge that his combination of pass-catching technique and strong hands means 50:50 balls aren’t really that. Impressive body control that allows him to contort to the ball at any level also assists Kincaid in that ability. From the highest catch point to the lowest turf ball, you can trust him to reel it in.
Kincaid’s performance at the catch point isn’t the only alluring element of an enticing scouting report. The Utah TE is an impressive athlete who explodes out of his stance and has the straight-line speed to prove a threat up the seam.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
He isn’t just a straight-line mover, however, with the twitchiness and agility to leave defenses in a bind at all levels of the field. Buoyed by his athletic prowess, Kincaid is an impressive route runner for someone who only has six seasons of competitive, organized football on their résumé. His body control and twitch can shake a defender into a different zip code.
Meanwhile, there are examples of Kincaid creating separation by varying route tempo and using head fakes, freezing defenses with stutter steps, and using advanced understanding of route-timing to give himself maximum after-the-catch efficiency. His ability to make a man miss in the open field to add value after the catch is another alluring aspect of Kincaid’s scouting report.
Although Kincaid’s pass-catching prowess as a tight end powers his appeal, there is additional value to his game. He’s a willing blocker who has positive reps in that element of the game. While the physical element of that area falls under the areas of improvement, the Utah TE does showcase an understanding of angles and timing as it pertains to being a blocker.
Finally, Kincaid has been a versatile piece for the Utes, and there’s reason to believe that can translate to the NFL level. He’s had his hand in the dirt as an inline tight end, while also seeing usage as a boundary receiver. Meanwhile, he ticks the box from a competitive toughness standpoint.
Areas of Improvement
Kincaid has received high acclaim as a top-10 player in the class, and with the strengths of his scouting report, it’s easy to see why. He’ll challenge long-time TE1 favorite Michael Mayer to be the first tight end off the board later this month. However, there are areas of improvement for the Utah TE that could halt that ascent.
There’s no doubting the Utah tight end’s ability as a pass catcher. However, from an all-encompassing evaluation perspective, there are some deficiencies as a blocker on Kincaid’s scouting report.
He doesn’t have the same physicality as a blocker that some of his contemporaries in this class do. Furthermore, his frame and overall play strength sometimes lead to him being overpowered by bigger, stronger, front seven players.
Additionally, the lack of physicality can be apparent when pressured during his route running. Physical DBs can disrupt Kincaid’s route, whereas a more muscularly substantial tight end might not be so easily influenced.
From a technical perspective, Kincaid could seek to improve his hand placement and timing when blocking. Other times, when blocking in motion, he completely misses his assignment and finds himself eating turf rather than helping Utah’s ground game eat up yardage.
Current Draft Projection for Utah TE Dalton Kincaid
The 2023 NFL Draft tight end class has come in for some serious praise, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a pick-your-poison appeal where you can find someone to match your scheme and requirements of the position, and the depth will stretch all the way through to the seventh round.
MORE: Top 10 Tight Ends in the 2023 NFL Draft
There’s no doubt that Kincaid sits right at the summit of this mountainous class of tight ends. His pure pass-catching ability could earn him a first-round selection, especially for teams that utilize a large amount of 12 personnel. Kincaid has the potential to be a multi-year starter with impressive production at the NFL level.
Dalton Kincaid Combine Measurements and Results
After suffering a small back fracture in Utah’s final regular-season game, Kincaid didn’t test at the 2023 NFL Combine.
- Wingspan: 78 3/8″
- Arm: 32 5/8″
- Hand: 10 1/4″
- Bench Press: N/A
- 40-Yard Dash: N/A