I’ve been talking about Crockett Gillmore a lot on Twitter and on Podcasts, but I thought it was time to put all of my thoughts about him down in one place. You may say I obsessed over Crockett Gillmore a bit in the lead up to the 2014 NFL draft. I’m a draft nut and love to semi-scout the prospects and project where they may end up. I especially pay attention to positions that are a big need to my beloved New York Giants and the tight end position was just begging for some attention this year.
At first my Giants’ tight end hopefuls seemed like they would come from a very shallow pool. The only tight ends I really knew much about were the top five prospects plus some tight ends I had used playing college football DFS. I knew there was a big drop off after the 5th overall tight end, but Gillmore kept intriguing me. I mocked the first three rounds of the draft over and over again and never once did the Giants draft a tight end in the top three rounds, and never once did any of the top five prospects make it to the fourth round.
I kept hoping the Giants had caught a glimpse of Gillmore plying his trade when they were scouting their second round pick Weston Richburg at Colorado State. While it would have been nice to see Gillmore in a Giants’ uniform, his landing spot in Baltimore is almost as good as it gets for a developing tight end. The Ravens had finally given up on Ed Dickson after the 2013 season and signed the oft-injured Owen Daniels in free agency to be their second tight end. Incumbent starter Dennis Pitta is a favorite of many in yearly fantasy football leagues, but has missed time over the years with various injuries and is best suited playing in the slot or as the move tight end.
Besides having a very promising depth chart the Ravens also hired the extremely tight end friendly Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator to replace Jim Caldwell. Kubiak has often been able to make multiple tight ends fantasy relevant in his offenses. If the Ravens do go to more two tight end formations, which would help their sub-par offensive-line, Gillmore could get a lot more playing time then I am expecting. If Kubiak has a nice long tenure as an offensive coordinator Gillmore could become redraft relevant in a few short years.
Now a little bit more about Gillmore:
Crockett Gillmore is a big tight end. He doesn’t look that big on tape because he wore the number 10, but don’t be fooled.
He’s a bit raw as a tight end prospect because he’s only recently converted from playing defensive end. Some of the attributes that made him a defensive end give him a huge advantage as a tight end. His long arms and huge hands show up in his game tapes as well as his high lights as he plucks the ball easily away from defenders. When you watch his game tape he shows well, but he didn’t dominate the competition. He’s a little slow, but moves smoothly though his routes and looks to have decent hips that allow him to make adjustments on the ball. He shows great concentration making catches in traffic without a problem and was even used out wide and in the slot to create some mismatches for Colorado State. When he was used in those spots his lack of quickness and agility showed as he didn’t have any shake in his game.
I was almost embarrassed that I thought Gillmore would be available in the fourth and fifth round of the draft after he was taken by the Ravens in the third. Imagine the embarrassment of the coaches who didn’t select him to the Senior Bowl when he got the battle field promotion for shining at the East West Shrine game and then blew it up at the Senior Bowl. I really can’t blame the coaches that much because Gillmore’s stats paled in comparison to some of the top tight ends in college football, but he was part of a unit that blocked for the leading rusher in the Mountain West Conference. For a list of all of his accomplishments at CSU visit here.
The best part of Crockett Gillmore in dynasty fantasy circles is he’s still a bit of a secret. He’s not talked about in the same breath as Troy Niklas and C.J. Fiedorowicz, but he has a very similar upside and may even have a better fit than Niklas. While Niklas and Fiedorwicz are going in the first four rounds of rookie drafts in dynasty fantasy football leagues, Gillmore is going undrafted more than not. In one rookie draft that I was a part of three Packer tight ends went before Gillmore even got a sniff.
In dynasty start ups he gets no love as well. The whole point of dynasty teams is to have a sustainable franchise that will perform well year after year. Gillmore could be a key piece to that as a bottom layer to your tight end roster. You can build your tight end corps around some tight ends at the top of their game like, Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis and take Crockett Gillmore and C.J. Fiedorwicz late and hope one of the two hits it big as an every down tight end that ends up as a huge part of a red zone offense.
In redraft leagues he can be ignored for now. Of course you have to keep him in the back of your mind in case Daniels and Pitta get injured, but don’t expect any breakout games like Jordan Reed had in 2013. He’s going to get better and better as he gets used to playing the position, but don’t get him confused with an ex-basketball player that’s going to be a glorified wide receiver masquerading as a tight end. His absolute upside is a very good impression of Heath Miller. I’ll take Heath Miller in his prime any day of the week on my roster.