By Adam Aniba
Draft Prospect Spotlight; Kenny Yeboah
In some ways, Washington exceeded expectations in the passing game in 2020. After starting 4 different quarterbacks and a slew of receivers opposite Terry McLaurin, they generated enough offense to stay competitive in many of their games. After signing journeyman and former college quarterback, Logan Thomas, Washington passed on drafting a tight end altogether in 2020. Fans were left scratching their heads and wondering if the coaches saw something in Thomas that most others teams didn't. The results were undeniable after Thomas finished the season 2nd on the team with 72 rec for 670 yards and 6 td's in his first season under Ron Rivera.
Thomas found the team that believed in him and was willing to put in the work to develop the former VA Tech signal caller. Although Thomas had a productive first season in Washington, more help is needed in the receiving and blocking game from the position
This years tight end class boasts a deeper and arguably more talented group in the later rounds, compared to last years class. Impact prospects will certainly be available in the later stages of this draft.
In this edition of Draft Prospect Spotlight we take a look at Ole Miss tight end Kenny Yeboah.
4th-5th Round Grade | TE | Ole Miss
Height: 6 feet, 3 7/8 inches
Weight: 247 lbs
Wingspan: 80 inches
Arm length: 33 1/4 inches
Hand size: 9 3/8 inches
Career Stats (35 games 27 with Temple) 38 rec 524 YDS 6 td's 19.24 YPC average
2020 (7 games) 38 rec 524 YDS 6 td's 19.24 YPC average
Kenny Yeboah was a star, multi-sport athlete while at Parkland Senior High in Allentown, Pa. Yeboah lettered in football and basketball, earning All-State honors as a senior (2015) playing receiver and defensive back (72 rec 1,160 14 yd's and 5 ints). As if the Parkland senior didn't show enough, he also punted and kicked in a few games, gaining the attention of Temple head coach Matt Rhule (now HC for the Carolina Panthers).
Kenny Yeboah spent his 4 seasons at Temple before transferring to Ole Miss in 2020. Yeboah left Temple as the first tight end in school history to tally a multi-touchdown game (vs Tulane Nov. '19). After only 8 games played at Ole Miss, Yeboah decided to forgo the rest of the season in preparation for the NFL Draft. At the conclusion of the season, the Ole Miss tight end finished 2nd on the team in receptions (27 rec) and receiving yards (524 yards).
Under Ole Miss HC Lane Kiffin, Yeboah was utilized in a variety of roles, including lining up as a motioning H-back. Yeboah thrived in Kiffin's uptempo offense that often went no-huddle and was used to open lanes in the screen game. The Temple transfer thrived in this role and provided the Rebels a weapon who was more than serviceable blocking in space, effectively utilizing his long arms, which also aided him with 50/50 jump balls. Yeboah understands how to manipulate defenses and use his height advantage when facing smaller DB's and linebackers .
Many of Yeboah's big gains downfield were under-thrown, jump balls and showed the move to the SEC wasn't too big for him. When lining up in the backfield, Yeboah would often run delayed routes, lining up behind the right tackles outside hip, giving his quarterback a consistent safety blanket underneath. Kiffin often used Yeboah in a variety of formations in the red zone when facing teams like Alabama, Florida and Kentucky in an effort to keep some of the nation's faster defenses on their toes.
The Ole Miss tight end showed that he can be an impact blocker on the next level, but his ability as a red zone threat can't be understated. Yeboah's versatility and athletic ability certainly gained attention during the Senior Bowl with his leaping, 21-yard, TD grab in traffic. Once viewed as a 7th round-UDFA, Yeboah has shown he could be in demand early, on day 3.
Tale of the Tape
Shows disciplined eyes as a receiver, showing no fear when surrounded
As a move-tight end, he can be used in a variety of formations
Tough as nails and is usually the last man standing after initial contact
Wide catch radius allows him to adjust fairly easily to off target throws
Has the versatility to line up all over the field, including in the backfield as an athletic H-back
Plays with urgency with his eyes always upfield, particularly in the blocking game
Overall improvement as a blocker was noticeable in 2020; has room to grow in this department and NFL level coaching will help
Fit in Washington
Fans were surprised when Ron Rivera passed on drafting a tight end in lasts year's draft and decided to, instead, sign converted tight end Logan Thomas. Many viewed going into the 2020 season, with no proven tight end on the roster, as a gamble. Washington seems likely to go in another direction in this draft with Rivera potentially selecting multiple tight ends at various points on Day 2-3 of the draft.
Although Yeboah will be one of the older tight end prospects in this class, he comes equipped with the knowledge and experience to contribute immediately as a sub-package weapon in twelve-personnel (multiple tight ends in the game). The former HS wide receiver and defensive back has shown he has the hands and vision to be a dangerous TE#2 on the next level. His overall lack of production has likely caused his day 3 slotting, but make no mistake, his is a prospect that hasn't yet hit his ceiling.
OC Scott Turner will surely have to figure out more ways to run the ball. Without a traditional fullback utilized in his system, a prospect like Yeboah could fit that role in sub packages . He would also provide Washington the complimentary weapon they need, without having to select a tight end with the first 3-4 selections. The Ole Miss tight end is projected to be a Day 3 selection and if Washington hasn't selected a tight end by the 4th round, Kenny Yeboah would be an ideal addition to Rivera's new-look offense.
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*All Senior Bowl prospect measurements noted by The Burgundy and Gold Report were found directly on the Senior Bowl official website.
*Draft grades cross referenced by TDN