Notre Dame Football Best NFL Draft Fit: Durham Smythe

SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Durham Smythe
SAN ANTONIO, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Durham Smythe /

Former Notre Dame football tight end Durham Smythe has what is quickly becoming a rare skill-set for his position.

When it comes to tight ends in the modern NFL, most teams have gone they way of converting them into glorified, oversized wide receivers. Former Notre Dame football tight end Durham Smythe simply does not fit that mold.

Smythe is a bit of a throwback at the position. He is an elite blocking tight end who brings added valued to a running game as essentially a sixth lineman. He also excelled as a pass-blocker when called upon in those situations.

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As far as his pass-catching ability goes, he absolutely is a threat on intermediate routes in the middle of the field. He has great hands and concentration, rarely losing site or control of the ball in traffic or due to contact. He’s not going to stretch the field, but he’s a sneaky target and a safety net for a quarterback looking to dump off a short pass and make something out of nothing.

In the NFL, Smythe will bring value in short-yardage and goal line sets. As teams focus on his presence in the game as a blocker, they’ll also be challenged to account for him in the event that he sneaks off the line of scrimmage on screens and play action passes. He would be a perfect complement to a team with one of the elite pass-catching tight ends in the league.

Best Fit: Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have explosive weapons all over the field — including at tight end. What they also have is a young quarterback who will need extra protection and security at times as he grows. There will also be times when Kansas City needs to preserve a win and run out the clock with their talented young ball carrier. This would be where Smythe would have the biggest impact as a blocker. Near the goal line and in short yardage, a double tight end set would draw a lot of attention to tight end Travis Kelce, likely making it easier for Smythe to sneak away into a soft spot for an easy score or big gain.

Next: NFL Draft Mock Watch: Durham Smythe

Bottom line: Smythe will be drafted and should have along and productive career in the NFL.