Greg Dulcich is an athletic tight end prospect out of UCLA. He was a zero star recruit out of the state of California as a hybrid WR/TE at only 215 pounds.
He walked on at UCLA and played some as a freshman in 2019. He earned a scholarship the following season and went on to lead the team in receiving yards.
Dulcich caught 42 passes for 725 yards and five touchdowns in 2021 and was named first-team all-conference. His athleticism and ability as a receiver undoubtedly shows up in the stat column, but does it show up on tape?
Let’s dive into Dulcich’s film.
What He Does Well
- This makes sense for a former wide receiver, but Dulcich is a very athletic player. He ended up with an 8.24 Relative Athletic Score with “great” explosion and speed scores. Not only did he test like an elite athlete, but he looks the part on the field. His ability to play up to his tested athleticism is a critical part of his evaluation. He looks like possibly the most athletic tight end in the draft on film. This works well in conjunction with his ability to release away from reroutes at the second level and stay on his track. He is an extraordinary threat down the seam and should be a credible second and third level threat at the NFL level.
- Another reason he is such a threat in the passing game is his ability to run after the catch. He has great contact balance and elusiveness after the catch making him a very tough player to bring down in the open field.
- Dulcich has a nuanced understanding of how to get open on routes. He can play physical when he needs to without extending his arms to push off, he tempos his routes well to change speed and keep defenders on their heels. He uses stems and jab steps prior to the break point to get defenders to bite, he can make difficult cuts on routes, and typically will not drift away from his quarterback. His only issue in this area seems to be that he will round some of his routes when he should cut harder.
- He has fairly good body control. This creates a pretty good catch radius to bring down errant throws and will make a big target for his quarterback to throw the ball up to. He can catch the ball well outside of his frame and on the move.
- Dulcich does a pretty good job to hold onto the ball through contact. He consistently secures the ball tightly after catching the ball in traffic allowing him to hold on through defenders hitting him or swiping at the ball.
Areas of Concern
- He can lose focus and drop passes on occasion. I don’t see this as a hands issue because he has good technique when catching the ball and looks natural doing it. He doesn’t body catch all that much either. The issue seems to just be concentration.
- He plays too high when trying to block. This is an issue because he’s already a smaller player, but now he’s giving up his leverage as well. This puts him at a severe disadvantage when blocking defensive lineman.
- He regularly has bad hand placement and gives up his chest too often while blocking. All of these issues he has when blocking makes sense when you consider he was a wide receiver in high school, but as of now he’s almost unusable as an in-line tight end. Hopefully with time and weight he can become a more versatile player.
Dulcich has all of the abilities and traits that you look for in a modern move tight end while having some potential to grow as a blocker.
It’s easy to see how his receiving ability will translate to the NFL. He has a lot of portable skills and traits while having some nuance and technical ability as well. For a college player, Dulcich has a good release at both the first and second level.
He has shown the ability to keep his body clean from reroutes at the second level while at the first level he has shown a variety of releases from a quick speed release with a rip to a split release with a swat and swim. He can use physicality while running his routes to create extra space while not extending his arm when he pushes off. He also has the ability to get separation by using his feet and making good cuts while running routes. The ability to read the coverage and sit in the voids of zones is a bit mixed right now. There were times when he had a miscommunication with the quarterback and it seemed as if he should have sat down in the zone instead of continuing a route. His athleticism makes him a dangerous threat at the second and third levels of the field while his ability to run after the catch makes him a threat to break open any play. He needs to keep working on his release because it’s not perfect, especially at the first level and he needs to continue to get better as a route runner because of how he rounds some of his routes, but overall it’s easy to see how Dulcich could become a mismatch nightmare at the NFL level.
When it comes to blocking, Dulcich’s transition is a bit murkier. I think he could become at least a solid run blocking tight end, but it requires some imagination and will not be done immediately. He’s a willing blocker, but his smaller frame makes it so that his lack of technique really shows. Dulcich consistently plays too high when trying to block which hurts him from a leverage perspective. He also gives up his chest and has wide hand placement. This has allowed defenders to control him at the line of scrimmage.
His willingness to block allows him to “die slowly” more often than not so that he is not blowing up plays, but overall he’s a net negative when he attempts to block currently. I think you can see the potential when he stalk blocks defensive backs because he will put himself in good body position and fight through the whistle. He has added about 40 pounds of muscle since walking onto the UCLA football team and will need to continue gaining good weight at the NFL level if he wants to become an all around tight end.
He should begin his career as essentially a pseudo wide receiver/big slot. He can effectively work any block required out of a slot WR (stalk block, digging out a safety on duo) but will not be able to play in-line until he fixes his technique and adds about 10-15 pounds of mass. As a receiver he can do everything required and could be a positive contributor in year one.
Late 2nd Round
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