There are unfavorable scouting reports, and then there’s the one tight end Eric Saubert received in 2017.
Saubert’s pre-draft profile on NFL.com featured some seriously harsh criticism from NFL Media draft expert Lance Zierlein and an unnamed AFC scout, both of whom essentially said Saubert, who joined the New England Patriots via trade on Monday, is physically incapable of catching the football with any consistency.
Here’s a portion of said report, as shared by Kevin Patra of NFL Media:
Elsewhere, in the “weaknesses” section, Zierlein wrote that Saubert’s “tape is littered with drops for days.”
“Open catches became drops and contested catches became drops,” he continued. “Hand-eye coordination simply isn’t where it needs to be. Doesn’t always play to his size. Allows smaller defenders to crowd him in space. Inconsistent finishing routes. Run blocking isn’t important enough to him. Gives half-efforts on secure blocks and doesn’t look for work when uncovered.”
Yeesh. At least he’s got the whole “body beautiful” thing going for him.
The Atlanta Falcons wound up drafting Saubert in the fifth round but barely allowed him to touch the ball over his two seasons with the team. He played just 30 offensive snaps as a rookie and was not targeted in the passing game, then received a mere nine targets on 178 offensive snaps in 2018. He caught five of those passes for 48 yards and no touchdowns.
Saubert did post solid receiving numbers in college, however. As a redshirt senior at Drake in the Football Championship Subdivision, he caught 56 passes for 776 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Patriots brought Saubert aboard after tight end Matt LaCosse suffered a reported ankle sprain in their preseason opener against the Detroit Lions last Thursday. The 25-year-old will compete with LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Lance Kendricks, Ryan Izzo and Andrew Beck for a spot on the initial 53-man roster.