With Maxx Williams, Vince Mayle and Nick Boyle the only tight ends currently on the Baltimore Ravens roster, it would seem as though the position would be a priority for the team to address going into the NFL Draft.
One player who could fit the bill for them early in the draft is former South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert. ESPN's Todd McShay is among the experts who has mocked the productive pass catcher to Baltimore with the 16th pick.
Goedert readily admits he's been paying some attention to where the experts think he might go and knows the reasons why some believe he could end up in purple and black.
"I think there's people both ways that probably look too much into it and some people ignore it completely," Goedert told
Glenn Clark Radio
April 19. "I definitely look into it a little bit, I try to think of different places I could be. When draft day comes, you never know what's going to happen. I could be anywhere. But I like to look at the mock drafts and that stuff. I think it's pretty cool seeing my name out there, so I enjoy reading that stuff and trying to figure out what teams are needing and where I think I might go."
Considering not only the Ravens' need for a pass-catching tight end, but also the presence of a former Super Bowl MVP quarterback (Joe Flacco), the past success the organization has had with tight ends like Todd Heap and Dennis Pitta and that the general manager (Ozzie Newsome) was a Hall of Fame tight end himself, Goedert can't help but think the Ravens might be a perfect fit for him.
"Going to Baltimore would be an incredible experience," Goedert said. "I'd really enjoy going there. If they do draft me, I'd be happy, I'd be ecstatic about it."
The FCS All-American said he met with the team at the NFL Scouting Combine and met with assistant head coach/tight ends coach Greg Roman at his Pro Day. He's particularly intrigued by the possibility of being able to contribute right away for the Ravens.
"Obviously different situations depending on where you get drafted, but to be able to step on the field and make a difference right away being the competitor that I am, that's what I want," Goedert said. "So going to Baltimore would be a perfect scenario for that."
And while tight end hasn't always been a position where players have been able to put up big numbers as a rookie, Goedert doesn't expect to experience much of a learning curve.
"I'm a hard-working guy," Goedert said. "I understand football really well. I'm going to be in the playbook, I'm going to be a guy that the coaches can trust and rely on. You don't have to worry about me having mental errors or things like that. I plan on doing it right from the start. I don't think I'll have a problem going in and transitioning to the next level."
One of the knocks on Goedert is that his production came against lesser talent playing at the FCS level. But he points out that the Jackrabbits faced Big 12 teams like TCU (when he had five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown in 2016) and Missouri during his career and they even scored a win against Kansas. Additionally in his last three games against North Dakota State (who has won three of the last four FCS national championships), Goedert tallied 22 total catches for 329 yards and three touchdowns.
He's pretty dismissive of the competition factor.
"I've heard it quite a bit throughout this process," Goedert said. "I don't think the gap between the FCS and the FBS is what it used to be. I mean some of the best at their positions, [Philadelphia Eagles quarterback] Carson Wentz and [Arizona Cardinals running back] David Johnson, both played in my conference. They didn't have a problem adjusting. I plan on being the best tight end at the next level, so I don't think I'll have a problem either."
Other tight end options for the Ravens early in the 2018 NFL Draft could include South Carolina's Hayden Hurst, Penn State's Mike Gesicki and Oklahoma's Mark Andrews. But while Goedert admires those players, he believes he's separated himself from the group.
"I think I'm going to be a complete three-down tight end, which I don't see either of them doing," Goedert said. "And their strength is definitely in the pass game. I think my pass game outshines them as well. My athleticism, my ability to create separation, catch the contested catches, go up and high point, I think I do that better than any of them."
And if the Ravens do indeed select Goedert, he may be a shoo-in to win the team's annual rookie talent show during training camp. His largely unknown talent? He rides unicycles.
"So one day I was just looking through that fat old J.C. Penney catalog that they send out for Christmas and I saw a unicycle, and I told my mom I wanted it," Goedert said. "And she was like, 'Well, your grandpa has a bunch in his shop because they used to ride them in parades back in the day.' And I didn't even know that. So we went and got them and I just learned how to ride and kinda kept the tradition going.
"It's pretty cool. Any time you bring it out, people try and don't realize how hard it is. But once you learn it, it's kinda like riding a bike."
But Goedert isn't trying to compete with unicycle legend and internet sensation Red Panda just yet. He's never attempted to juggle bowls while riding his unicycle.
"That girl's crazy! I'm not to that level yet, but maybe after football I'll pick that up too."
For more from Goedert, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Dave Eggen/Inertia Sports Media