Derrick Deese Jr is going to be a strange scheme fit for evaluating NFL teams. He isn’t quite athletic enough to play the wide receiver position (even out of the slot), but isn’t quite big enough to play tight end. Deese was used mostly by the Spartans out of the slot, which leaves questions about his ability as an inline blocker. His father, Derrick Sr, played in the NFL, so there are bloodlines there.
Derrick Deese Jr
TE – #87 San Jose State
Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: John F Kennedy (Westlake Village, CA)
HS Rating: N/A
JUCO: Golden West
JUCO Rating: N/A
Phil Steele: PS#368JC
Derrick Deese Jr Scouting Report
Not incredibly fast, something that will be concerning with his lack of tight end size. Very sudden player who isn’t going to stop and go very well after the catch, but offers some serious lateral movement ability. Has some upper body strength to shrug off tackles. This man did not skip leg days. He’s got some serious lower body strength that helps him with his sudden explosiveness.
Shows good power in situations. Man handled edge defenders on blocks with brute strength. Made up for his lack of acceleration in college with his brute power. Accelerates poorly after a move or a stop. Rumbled with his power that made him difficult to bring down. Explosive and physical after the catch. Not the most refined route runner, but certainly effective. Needs to clean up some of his footwork, but there is potential there. Surprisingly smooth out of the break, just want to see him be better going into it.
Ran a lot of different routes at San Jose State from multiple places – out of the slot and inline. Very diverse route tree for a tight end prospect. Flashes strong hands with a large catch radius. Consistently adjusts well to the ball and creates proper catch angles. Was consistent enough in space to be schemed there as much as they could. Doesn’t offer much vertical ability to fight for contested catches. Does not catch well through contact consistently. Flashes the ability to every game. Most effective as a receiver in space. Strong run blocker when called upon. Quick enough to pull and secure the corner in the Mountain West. Really not sure if he could in the NFL. Raw technique, tries to manhandle people with brute strength.
What we want to see from Derrick Deese Jr in Las Vegas
- Just how effective will Derrick Deese Jr be as a blocker? We didn’t see him utilized in that role very often at San Jose State simply because he was so effective as a wide receiver. He brings some size limitations to the position as well, so we want to see how effective he can be in blocking situations inline. Will he show some improved technique?
Pre-Shrine Bowl projection
As of now, Derrick Deese Jr projects into a big slot role at the next level. While he has excellent length, Deese doesn’t have the prototypical size and build of an NFL-level tight end, which limits his projection to an Irv Smith Jr-type role at the next level.
We like Deese as a fourth/fifth-round projection. His receiving skills are valuable but his size potentially limits his role at the next level to exclusively the slot. The Shrine Bowl has a chance to boost his stock if he can show his role can be expanded.