Tyler Luatua, a 4-star tight end from California, could develop into one of the most complete players from this 2014 class. At 6'4" and 230 pounds, he can impact the game as a receiver and blocker.
Luatua has soft hands, plus he shows great concentration in crowds. He is also tough at the point of attack, evidenced by his ability to challenge defensive ends and linebackers as a blocker on running plays.
Luatua displays impressive skills on his highlight tape, which warrants a more in-depth look.
Luatua slips behind the line of scrimmage out into the flat, where he is quickly found by his quarterback. The big tight end shows a good surge upfield after the catch to reach the end zone.
This is the same type of play as the opening highlight on Luatua's tape. The goal is to get him the ball in space, as he appears to have impressive explosiveness when transferring upfield after the catch.
Luatua also displays solid long-speed on this play, as he gains more yards than an average tight end would.
Using a "move" tight end on this play, Luatua shows off his impressive blocking ability.
He sets the edge with strength, as he plays tough and powerful at the point of attack. Luatua strikes with adequate hand placement, then he uses his strength to steer his opponent away from the hole.
Luatua then uses his power and leg drive to notch a pancake block.
Luatua is flexed to the perimeter on this play, as he runs a quick hitch. He does an adequate job of looking the ball into his hands, but Luatua impresses by displaying some elusiveness after the catch.
Watch how he escapes the first wave of defenders coming at him by using a subtle move to weave around them.
Then, the talented tight end shows off solid balance and strength by staying on his feet.
Back in the traditional in-line position, watch how Luatua shoots out of his stance at the snap. He exhibits excellent release quickness to get downfield in a hurry. Although he doesn't get the ball thrown to him, Luatua proves he is an unselfish player.
He throws a vicious peel-back block to help his teammate gain extra yards.
On this play, Luatua runs a shallow drag across the second level of the field. He does a good job of attacking the ball with his mitts, plus he shows good concentration and ball skills by hauling in the pass on his second attempt.
Luatua displays solid strength after the catch by making it a chore for the defender to bring him down.
For some reason, on this play the quarterback opts to not hit Luatua in the flat. However, instead of sulking, the physical tight end chooses to help his teammate as a blocker downfield.
Look at how Luatua identifies his target, surges downfield and attacks with force. This play illustrates why he could play some H-back and fullback in college.
Aligned in the slot, Luatua runs a flat (or speed-out depending on the terminology of his offense).
He looks comfortable getting off the line, as he smoothly gets out of his break. Luatua does a solid job of looking the ball into his hands on this grab before transferring upfield quickly for a tight end.
He then shows off good toughness and determination as a runner after the catch.