Krull 1983 Fantasy

Krull 1983 Fantasy

“Tight ends and backs have to be very sure handed, and their run after the catch has to be equally good, because you may throw the ball short to one of those guys, or intermediate and they still get you a first down.

-Mike Sherman, Former Green Bay Packers Head Coach on the prototypical West Coast Offense Tight End

If you ask any dyed-in-the wool Pittsburgher what was wrong with Pitt’s offense last year, they will immediately go to one of three places: Offensive Line, Fullback or Tight End. In at least two of those places they’d be justified. (Sorry, but I’m just not convinced Whipple’s west cost offense is going to make much use of a fullback – even if he can find a good one. We were spoiled by George Aston’s talent and equally spoiled by Matt Canada’s ability to make use of it, and then we were kind of spoiled by the fact that Shawn Watson didn’t screw it up that badly.) Anyway, as you can tell by the opening quotation of this article, today I’m going to talk to you abut the Tight End position (or lack thereof) at Pitt. I’m sure you are all very excited.

First, the Positives. The Tight End position was targeted 62 times last season. Sixty two! Why that’s just one less targets than the running backs got all season, and a full 13% of the targets all year. It’s 45 more targets than the Tight Ends got in all of 2018! In fact you’d have to go all the way back to 2016 to find a year where the Tight Ends received more targets than last season. (Scott Orndoff and Jaymar Parrish combined for 63).

Sadly though, our two Senior Grad Transfer Tight Ends caught only 61% off those targets – the lowest catch % for any position (Want to guess the highest? It was the running backs, who caught 75% off the passes thrown their way…I guess RBU is kind of alive and well after all, in a weird West-Coast sort of way). And yet despite their poor ball skills, Griffin-Stewart and Gragg were the 5th and 6th most targeted players on the team. Perhaps Whipple was trying to send recruits a message, and that message was “Look, we DO throw to the Tight End, no matter what”.

PlayerTargetsReceptionsCatch PercentDrops
Nakia Griffin-Stewart321959.4%7
Will Gragg301963.3%2
Somehow with only two drops, Will Gragg was nearly as bad a receiver as Nakia Griffin-Stewart, who totaled seven. Route running?

For comparison the average “Catch Percent” for the NCAA is 66.8% (min 20 targets). And the top eight receiving Tight Ends in the ACC all averaged north of 70% last season. Most averaged in the 80’s. A far cry from Pitt’s Tight End platoon.

So yes, we have a long way to go.

But we all knew that, and hope springs eternal.

This year we have a brand new Grad Transfer and He is from Florida where pass catching Tight Ends Grow on trees and second and third string players are good enough to make honorable mention all-ACC.

Enter Lucas Krull, who much like the hero in the 1983 Sci-Fi-meets-Robin-Hood fantasy film that shares his surname, has been transported to a strange and distant land, and against all odds will use his magical catching abilities to save the world from utter destruction (and eventually rule the galaxy).

Heck, he even kind of looks like the film’s protagonist.

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