He may not be the biggest name in the 2021 NFL Draft class, but Iowa State tight end Dylan Soehner is one of the biggest prospects hoping to hear his name called in the annual selection event. Can his special-teams experience and blocking prowess earn him a spot on an NFL team?
Dylan Soehner NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Tight End
- School: Iowa State
- Current Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’7″
- Weight: 272 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Dylan Soehner Scouting Report
Positives: Part-time starter the past three seasons who also saw action on special teams. Big-bodied tight end who stands out blocking. Displays outstanding vision, shows strength, and turns defenders from the action. Always looks for someone to hit, fires out to the second level, and squares into linebackers or defensive backs, taking them from the action.
Explosive at the point and knocks defenders back with violent hand punch. Quickly releases into pass routes, extends his hands to offer the quarterback a target, and catches the ball away from his frame. Gets up in a crowd and comes down with difficult receptions.
Negatives: Little more than a short-range pass catcher. Shows stiffness in his game. Struggles to adjust and finish blocks.
Analysis: Soehner is not a downfield threat at the tight end position; he’s a short-yardage target who stands out as a blocker. He’ll have a home as a third tight end brought onto the field for third-and-short or goal-line situations.
Dylan Soehner Player Profile
Soehner’s size has helped him create mismatch problems throughout his football career. At Prairie Grove High School in Arkansas, he lined up at tight end, defensive end, threw a pass, and was ranked as an offensive tackle by some recruiting sites. He flashed all-around athletic ability as an All-State honoree in basketball in addition to competing in baseball and track and field.
As a senior, Soehner flashed as a pass catcher. Although he was a three-time All-Conference selection during his career, he received first-team All-State honors from both USA Today and 247 Sports. As Prairie View reached the state title game in 2015, their tight end put up 628 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns off just 38 receptions.
With his position alignment uncertain, Soehner was a three-star recruit who received a small amount of interest. He was ranked as the 145th offensive tackle by 247 Sports despite most college programs viewing him as a tight end. His first offer came from Louisiana Tech, with a Power Five offer from Illinois following soon after. However, he decided to attend Iowa State as he was impressed by new head coach Matt Campbell.
Soehner’s college football career at Iowa State
In his first three seasons in Ames — including a redshirt in 2016 — Soehner’s impact was predominantly limited to special teams. He would secure his first career catch against Iowa in 2018, while also contributing as a blocker in power-run packages.
His contributions in that area would characterize his time at Iowa State. Despite that, he provided more of a pass-catching presence as a redshirt junior. He made the most starts of his career while scoring his first touchdown against Oklahoma. Soehner ended the year with an honorable All-Big 12 mention after racking up 107 receiving yards at 15.3 yards per catch.
During the final year of his Iowa State career, he was a part of a tight end trio that produced at an astounding rate. Between the three tight ends, they amassed 82 receptions and 1,057 receiving yards. Soehner enjoyed career-high starts (7), receptions (18), and receiving yards (205), while once again earning an honorable All-Big 12 mention.
Despite limited opportunities to display his pass-catching acumen, a career-high 5 receptions and 69 yards against Texas demonstrated that he can be a force in the passing game. Following the 2020 college football season, the Iowa tight end declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. He earned Shrine Bowl and NFLPA Bowl invites before impressing at the Iowa State Pro Day.
Dylan Soehner’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
Despite not having the same production as a Kyle Pitts or the blocking hype of a Tommy Tremble, Soehner has an intriguing size and skill set combination that a franchise could take a shot on. Teams that use tight ends predominantly as run blockers will be particularly interested in the Iowa State tight end. Also, those that run multiple tight end sets may make use of Soehner.
Furthermore, his experience on special teams may help him stake a claim to an NFL roster spot.
[su_button url=”https://www.profootballnetwork.com/nfl-draft-prospects-2021-updated-big-board-player-rankings/2/” style=”flat” background=”#540008″ color=”#ffffff” size=”5″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Next Article: 2021 NFL Draft Prospects: Pauline’s updated big board, player rankings[/su_button]
Want more 2021 NFL Draft prospect news? Want to do your own mock draft?
Dive into PFN’s Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator and test your own drafting acumen. Continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter (@PFN365) to stay in the loop on all things college football and the NFL Draft landscape.
Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast
Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.