Crockett Gillmore has been a productive tight end for Colorado State for the past three seasons. The combination of length and athleticism along with good hands have allowed him to be a playmaker for the Rams and helped them get to and win their bowl game this year against Washington State.
For the NFL, Gillmore is still a developing player, but one that comes in with some production behind him and some confidence that he can do the job as a receiver and blocker. He does need to get stronger, especially in his legs and get better with creating separation with route running, but if he can improve his legs, he could have a nice future down the road in the NFL. Gillmore warrants a third day pick and while he could have some early moments in his career, his potential is more about the long term and he could turn into a nice player with time.
Vitals & Build
Gillmore measured 6’6” 260lbs at the scouting combine with 33 ¾” arms and 10 3/8” hands. From a height and weight standpoint, Gillmore looks great and has tremendous length. Just looking at him, he does not look that thick in terms of his weight.
The main reason is he has really lean legs. He is not weak necessarily in his legs and he shows functional strength, but he has really they could be much better. On one hand, his legs look like an issue because they are so thin. On the other hand, he is already 260lbs and he still has this much potential room to add muscle just in his legs, so there appears to be some potential to add a good amount of weight.
Athletically, Gillmore gets a good first step and is able to show a pretty nice burst, but he does have some trouble when it comes to agility and quick twitch movements. Improving his legs needs to not only include strength but also getting better with his feet. Gillmore has an intriguing amount of upside for a team willing to stick with him as he could put on a substantial amount of weight just in his legs, so he could end up being a huge tight end with length.
Route Running & Technique
Gillmore has experience operating from inline, the slot, or as an H-Back. When uncovered or with a free release, he does a really nice job with his first step and is able to get a good start and show some decent burst. As a result, he can get on top of the second level quickly and attack the seam before the defense can react.
Gillmore has shown he can be a little slippery with how he works around defenders and avoids some contact as he goes up the field. The issue he has is when an opponent is able to get into his body and put a good jam on him, he is going to have some issues.
Gillmore can be effective with some out routes and does a nice job with quick hitters up the field, but he can look clunky when he needs to settle and change directions. A combination of a lack of strength and his overall height can make it difficult to change directions. His feet are not bad, but they can get a lot better with more strength.
He can create some separation but he wins quite a bit on length and his size rather than effective route running. More strength and more reps will help him quite a bit. His size and length make him a natural mismatch, but when he goes to the NFL and has to adapt to more physical defenders, he is going to need to have more to counter and survive.
Gillmore has pretty good hands and is not afraid to catch the ball away from his body with confidence. His size and length make it so he can go up and get the ball and demonstrates a good sized catch radius. Gillmore has a little more difficulty when it comes to twisting and catching passes behind him, but in front of him or high and he does a good job.
He demonstrates pretty good strength and is not someone who loses many passes when he catches the ball and he tends to catch it cleanly the first time. Both in terms of someone who can move the chains and in the red zone, Gillmore is a good place to throw the ball.
Run After Catch
Unless Gillmore is catching a pass while he is going down the field or catching an out route that allows him to turn up field in a hurry, he is really limited in how much he can get after the catch. He catches the ball cleanly, but it is a slow transition from catching the ball to running because of his limited agility. For the most part, Gillmore is not going to get a ton more than how far the ball goes in the air, but he will occasionally be a pleasant surprise with picking up yardage and extending plays.
Gillmore is a better blocker than one might think just looking at him. In spite of his skinny legs, he does demonstrate a solid amount of functional strength and can move guys off of the spot at times.
Gillmore does a good job in terms of breaking down and setting blocks, getting control with his hands whether he is at the line of scrimmage inline or if he is out in space and attacking an opponent at the second or third level. He is not an overpowering blocker but down the field, as long as he shields the ball carrier from the tackle, no one is going to complain.
Inline, Gillmore does enough to hold his own. More strength will obviously make his job easier, but if opponents are working away from him and he has a chance to catch them at the side, Gillmore has a decent amount of pop and will show a little mean streak. Provided he can survive in the NFL initially, if he gets stronger, he has upside as a blocker and just adds more pop to a decent technical base.
Gillmore is pretty versatile in what he could do for a team and really does not look best suited for one particular scheme. The only thing that seems to be destined to be left behind from college is his time as an H-back. It is difficult to imagine too many teams are going to use a 6’6” player with questionable leg strength out of the backfield without announcing it is a pass.
Gillmore may ultimately be better suited to evolve into an inline tight end, especially if he can get up to 270lbs or more, but for the time being, he is an intriguing option both inline and in space. While Gillmore could potentially be a red zone target or be a big body in certain situations, he seems best suited to be a third or fourth tight end and someone that is more looked at from a developmental standpoint than as a plug and play type option right now. There is definitely potential for him to develop into a starter in a year or few with some potential to become a really nice player.
Gillmore has some similarities to Ryan Griffin of the Houston Texans, who was drafted in the sixth round of last year’s draft. Griffin was not quite as big as Gillmore in terms of weight, but he had many of the same characteristics; big, lean build with some receiving ability that needs to get stronger and become a more effective blocker.
Crockett Gillmore is a nice developmental prospect with enough NFL characteristics that make him intriguing, but he is someone that is for a year or few down the road. His size and speed are interesting and he is a decent blocker all things considered, but he does need to get stronger and he does need to get better in his route running. Nevertheless, if a team can stick with him and he can improve on those things, Gillmore could be a player that people are discussing down the road as someone people missed on in the draft. Gillmore warrants a day three pick and could have some moments early in his career, but his best football could be down the road.
Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com