(STATS) – The general belief among NFL Draft analysts is South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert will be the first FCS player selected this year.
“Obviously, that would be a really cool honor,” Goedert said. “Just playing in the FCS level the last few years, I know there’s a lot of good players.”
At this week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, Goedert is trying to take a big step toward solidifying his status. The two-time first-team FCS All-American is working with the Houston Texans staff that is coaching the South squad, but he’s basically doing a job interview with all 32 teams leading into Saturday’s game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
It took until his senior year of high school for Goedert to choose football over basketball as his main sport, but it was probably evident all along. He is named for the Dallas Cowboys, his father David’s favorite team when Dallas was born. The younger Goedert grew into a Green Bay Packers fan.
But he also has grown to be 6-foot-4 1/2, 260 pounds, and he physically dominated players in the subdivision. While teaming with Missouri Valley Football Conference all-time leading wide receiver Jake Wieneke, Goedert caught 164 passes for 3,404 yards and 18 touchdowns over his junior and senior seasons. The two helped South Dakota State to the FCS quarterfinals in 2016 and the semifinals this season – the deepest runs in program history.
“Just the way our offense used me should help me at the next level,” Goedert said. “Being able to play in multiple, different positions, knowing the schemes of our offense, learning just more about football, I think that will really help me a lot at the next level.
“I think my athleticism helps me – I have really good hands,” he added. “There’s a lot of things I can work on – I can become a better blocker, I can become a better route runner. But I think right now I’m good enough at all that to be able to play in the league. Just growing into my body and all of that will help.”
ESPN’s Todd McShay currently has Goedert going in the first round when the three-day event begins April 26-28, as do some other analysts. CBS Sports ranks Goedert second among tight ends and 50th overall, which would put him in the second round.
Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage, who lauds Goedert for his long arms and big hands, writes, “Overall, Dallas has some Jason Witten-like mannerisms in his route techniques and he catches the ball extremely well. He is likely to get on the field as a rookie in a No. 2 tight end role and should emerge as a full-scale starter in the future.”
Goedert, who’s also headed to the NFL combine, is part of a South squad that also includes Southern cornerback Danny Johnson, Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta, South Carolina State outside linebacker Darius Leonard, Jacksonville State cornerback Siran Neal, North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker, Idaho State offensive guard Skyler Phillips and Murray State cornerback D’Montre Wade.
Former FCS players on the North squad are Maine offensive tackle Jamil Demby, North Dakota State inside linebacker Nick DeLuca, Brown defensive end Richard “Dewey” Jarvis, Weber State cornerback Taron Johnson, The Citadel inside linebacker Myles Pierce and Penn wide receiver Justin Watson.
Stony Brook offensive tackle Timon Parris was invited to the Senior Bowl, but is recovering from a fractured fibula.