After spending four collegiate seasons with the Texas Longhorns as a quarterback, Tyrone Swoopes revealed Saturday that he will enter the 2017 NFL draft as a tight end.
According to Alex Dunlap of OrangeBloods, Swoopes explained the rationale behind his decision: "After the season, I spoke with some agents. They all said that [moving to tight end] was the right move based on everything they were hearing [from scouts and league sources]."
Swoopes served as a backup signal-caller behind freshman Shane Buechele in 2016.
Due to his 6'4", 249-pound frame, Swoopes was deployed primarily as a short-yardage runner this season, and he delivered to the tune of 174 yards and seven touchdowns.
His most extensive action as a pure quarterback came in 2014, as he attempted 384 passes in throwing for 2,409 yards, 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Swoopes was unable to keep the starting job because of his inaccuracy and poor decision-making, but he remained an asset thanks to his athletic ability.
While the Whitewright, Texas, native had no hope of making it in the NFL as a quarterback, the league is lacking in terms of elite-level tight ends.
Swoopes, who will learn the ins and outs of the position at the Michael Johnson Performance in Dallas, believes he has what it takes to make the switch, per Dunlap:
It will help a lot that I was a quarterback. A quarterback can do things on the fly; he can call [an audible] out to me once he sees the coverage and I'll see the same coverage. You won't have to explain it to me; just give [me] the short-and-sweet version. I'll know what he wants, if it's to adjust in this way or that way, to sit in this zone - I still process the information the defense gives you like a quarterback [does].
A quarterback successfully switching to tight end in the NFL isn't common, but former Virginia Tech signal-caller Logan Thomas recently made the move, landing him a roster spot with the Buffalo Bills.
Also, former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor switched to wide receiver, and he is enjoying an excellent year with the Cleveland Browns, which suggests Swoopes could potentially become a quality pass-catcher in his own right.
Since Swoopes has size, athleticism and explosiveness in spades, simply learning the nuances of the tight end position could make him one of the 2017 draft's biggest steals.
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