Zach Ertz – Stanford University
Age when drafted: 22
Hometown: Orange, CA
Collegiate Number: 86
Combine notables: 4.76 40, 30.5” vertical, 9’3” vertical, 24 bench reps
Games Viewed: 2012 – Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon, USC 2011 – Oklahoma St.
Zach Ertz was a standout football and basketball player at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California.
Ertz redshirted in 2009 but came on strong in 2010 as a redshirt freshman. Ertz would play in all 13 games that season and finish with 16 receptions for 160 yards and 5 TD’s. In 2011, Ertz played second fiddle to Coby Fleener but managed to finish the season with 27 receptions, 343 yards, and 4 TD’s. Ertz missed three games that season due to a knee injury. Ertz came on strong in his junior season with 69 catches for 898 yards and 6 TD’s.
Ertz’s father played for Lehigh from 1981-1984.
At 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds, Ertz possesses ideal height for today’s tight end position. I believe Ertz would be best served to add some weight/bulk to his frame to help him as an inline blocker at the next level.
Ertz is a better athlete on tape than what he showed at the Combine. Ertz ran poorly in many minds and has some talking about him as overrated. I see a solid athlete with enough speed to create matchup problems flexed out or inline in the NFL. Timed in the high 4.7 range at the Combine but pegged him as a high 4.6 guy. Don’t see enough speed to flex him out in a joker role on a full time basis but could be an interchangeable piece with improved strength. Average burst and takes some time to build up to full speed. General lack of explosive qualities probably keep him out of the first round of April’s draft.
Ertz pushed up an impressive 24 reps at the Combine but may be wise to add some bulk and strength as he’s probably not a great flex TE option with only marginal speed.
Good hands but occasionally will have a concentration drop, usually caused by trying to get his eyes up field. At his best when he can use his length and leaping ability (improved Combine vertical at the pro day to 35.5”). Strong hands that snags the ball out of the air and rarely allows it into his body. Natural pass catcher with long arms and huge catching radius. Ertz has exceptional body control and can adjust to poorly thrown balls.
Played three seasons in a pro-style offense at Stanford. He’s a fluid mover that can get in and out of breaks with ease. Advanced route runner that excels in the red zone. Would like to see him toughen up a bit over the middle of the field. See him clinch up before contact on occasion. That said, he’s effective in all areas of the field, which gives him some much needed versatility.
YARDS AFTER CATCH:
Ertz lacks the burst and blazing speed to be a really effective TE after the catch. That said, there were several occasions that it took several defenders to bring Ertz down in the open field. While he won’t strike much fear in the hearts of opponents as a gamebreaker, he’s got enough wiggle and power to cause problems in 1 on 1 situations.
As I said, I think Ertz would be best served by adding 10 more pounds and honing his skills as an inline blocker. Despite playing in a pro-style offense, Ertz was rarely used as an inline blocker. They used Levine Toilolo to block in their power game. When Ertz was in for blocking purposes he struggled to maintain drive blocks. He was knocked off blocks with relative ease and could stand to add a little more leg strength and bulk to his lower body.
None. Good student and leader on and off the field. Will be positive addition to the locker room.
Zach Ertz is a low risk prospect. The question is how high is the reward? His ceiling may be somewhat limited as he lacks great speed and burst that is sought in today’s tight ends.
Ertz wasn’t an accomplished blocker at Stanford but may be called on to become one at the next level. With average speed, it will be tough to use Ertz flexed out in an offense and he’s likely to spend most of his time inline. Ertz would be wise to add some more weight and bulk to his frame before Training Camp begins and work blocking technique.
I have a high second round grade on Ertz but it’s easy to see why some teams may elect to take one of the higher ceiling TE’s (Kelce, McDonald, Reed) before Ertz. I think Ertz is very similar to his teammate Coby Fleener as a pro and should have a long career but probably isn’t the type of perennial Pro Bowler that many are looking for in the position. Just a solid prospect that carries very little risk with his selection. I think he comes off the board in the 2nd round and should be taken after Tyler Eifert is off the board.