The Ravens selected tight end Crockett Gillmore in the third round of the 2014 NFL draft despite already having Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels under contract. Many viewed this as a luxury pick, taking what will most certainly be a third stringer this high when there are other needs on the roster. So what exactly is Crockett Gillmore’s future with the Ravens?
When you look beneath the surface, it is evident that this is a smart pick with an eye towards both the present and the future. Pitta is coming off a major injury and is just getting back to his normal dominant self. Daniels only signed a one year deal, conceivably with the hopes of performing well and landing a multi year contract next offseason. Not to mention he has a history of injury himself.
Gary Kubiak’s offense heavily features the position and he often uses two tight end sets. For this offense to succeed, it is necessary to have depth at the position. So when you look at it that way, perhaps that pick wasn’t simply a luxury after all.
Gillmore is an imposing physical specimen at 6’5″, 260 pounds and only played tight end his last three years of college. Prior to that, he was a defensive lineman. Gillmore posted a 4.89 40 time at the combine, a 10 foot broad jump, and a 33 1/2″ vertical. All are impressive numbers considering his size.
Perhaps the best thing about Gillmore is he is already a pro-ready blocker and can step into that role immediately. Daniels and Pitta are more polished in the passing game whereas Gillmore needs a bit of work. He did post some decent numbers in college, however, including 11.8 yards per reception across 111 catches with 8 touchdowns.
If Pitta and Daniels stay healthy in 2014, Gillmore will have time to develop as a pass catcher and contribute as a blocker. Rookie tight ends often take time to adjust to the NFL, so this is a great scenario for him. Ideally Gillmore will learn a lot this year, get comfortable in the system, and come in to 2015 as a major contributor. He certainly has the physical tools to do so. Not to mention one of the best names in the league.
What kind of role do you think Crockett Gilmore will play in 2014?