Ali Villanueva, TE, Army

Scouting reports of tight ends in the 2010 draft.
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Ali Villanueva, TE, Army

Postby Pudge » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:20 am

Ali Villanueva
Army Senior

PROS: Has excellent size and looks like he could be an NBA power forward. Is a capable blocker that uses his size well when he's out in space.
CONS: Not as dominant a blocker as his size should merit. Has questionable hands and drops a lot of passes. An unnatural receiver that doesn't make a play on the ball consistently.
OVERVIEW: Villanueva is intriguing becuase of his size. He moved to wide receiver as a senior after being the team's starting left tackle as a junior. Also played defensive end as a freshman and sophomore. He managed to lead the team in receptions with 34.
NFL FORECAST: Villanueva won't be able to cut it at receiver. And his size makes an intriguing redzone option as a tight end. But his potential impact in the NFL will be as a blocker. He could bulk up and move back to tackle. But I say why bother. With his height, he'd have to put on at least another 40 pounds to be effective there. You can get immediate value out of him by using him as a tight end that is effectively a third tackle. Play him in the redzone to create matchup issues. He'll never be a great receiver, and despite his size, teams shouldn't expect him to be a regular contributor on offense. He's just not reliable there. But if he can improve his blocking ability, he could be a nice No. 2 tight end. Essentially the ideal role for him is basically the same that Eric Beverly used to have with the Falcons. I'd also try to use him on special teams as a field goal blocker.
ATL FORECAST: He'd be a nice developmental player. I'm not sure he'd be able to come in right away and contribute as a blocker on a similar level that Peelle and Zinger do. But I think he could work as an extra blocker that works in the redzone on occasion, as well as being valuable as a FG blocker for the Falcons. He could potentially prove his entire worth in that role alone. He'll never be a featured option in the redzone, but a nice fallback option that can create matchup nightmares for defenses.
VALUE: For the coach that envisions him as a field goal blocker, he's worth a late round pick.
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