Arizona Cardinals 7 round mock draft, SEC only edition
A former five-star recruit out of high school, Isaac Nauta has all the intangibles to become a safety blanket at tight end. Known as a deep ball threat and blocker at Georgia, Nauta ranked first in deep pass catch rate amongst tight ends and ninth in yards per route run, per Pro Football Focus.
Even though he was used sparingly at Georgia with only 68 receptions for 908 yards and eight touchdowns in three years, I’m fairly high on the tight end and his ability to succeed at the next level as a sure-handed, consistent tight end.
Nauta has strong hands to snag the ball outside his 6-foot-3, 244-pound frame can adjust to off-target throws, and can high-point catches in the endzone. His one drop, per PFF, in the past two years is a testament to that. He’s also unafraid to extend for the ball over the middle of the field and play physical when need be.
Although he’s not creative in the open field, he gets vertical fast and will run through defenders for extra yards. Nauta is always looking to establish contact to run right through you — he will absorb hits and keep trucking. Although he is not fast (4.91 second 40-yard-dash), he will use his physicality to be effective.
In the run blocking game he acts as if he is a human wrecking ball. He fires off the ball with hands inside and drives defenders outside the gaps. Nauta has the strength and tenacity to handle big-time assignments as he understands body positioning to seal off lanes.
Nauta has a fifth-grade tag on him and would fit excellently in an air-raid offense to showcase his strong hands and excellent catch radius. Playing in a Georgia offense that ran the ball quite a bit he never got the chance to shine but Steve Keim would do right by picking up this promising prospect.