Football

NFL Draft: Here’s Why UCLA TE Greg Dulcich Impresses Teams

28 Apr 2022 | 08:43

LOS ANGELES – Greg Dulcich enjoyed walking NFL teams through his 75-yard catch and run against LSU in September.

It was play that featured during Dulcich’s time at UCLA in one of the Bruins’ biggest wins of 2021. LSU managed to pull off the perfectly engineered play action and Dorian Thompson-Robinson hit a shot at it. midfield for the expanding Dulcich. .

The player graduated from St. Francis got past a defender along the touchline and dodged two more at the goal line for a striking touchdown that most tight finishes only dream of ending, with the Rose Bowl breaking out.

“I have a lot to open up,” Dulcich said on the NFL network last week. “That’s what I do.”

That playstyle exemplifies why Dulcich is expected to be one of the first tight finishers selected in the NFL draft, which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. Dulcich’s solid hands, quick pace and ability to add the field after catching the ball helped put him in a good position. Most mock drafts feature Dulcich or Trey McBride of Colorado State at the top of the tight-ended list, with the possibility that Dulcich will be selected in the second or third round.

Three years ago, it was unclear if Dulcich even had a future at UCLA, much less the NFL.

The Glendale native was just starting out, moving into his freshman year and barely playing his first two seasons, appearing mostly on special and reserve teams.

Dulcich weighed just 210 pounds at the time, and with tight finishes like Caleb Wilson and Devin Asiasi ahead of Dulcich on the depth charts, he thought the receiver would be the best position to get playtime. After Asiasi turned pro in 2020, Dulcich put on some weight and made the move to close competition in his third year, quickly establishing himself as one of the team’s top offensive weapons. .

Dulcich said at his Pro Day at UCLA last month that his story as a walk has been a point of discussion when he meets with NFL teams.

“Many teams appreciate that work ethic and it gets more buzz around me, which is great,” Dulcich said.

Dulcich — now 6 feet 4 and 243 pounds, with a mustache and long, curly hair — ranked second nationally in last season’s finals with an average of 17.3 yards per catch and seventh in the standings. his position with 725 yards received. Then there was a breakout campaign of 2020, in which he finished second in the Pac-12 in terms of yard reception and grounding.

Dulcich’s ascent on the depth chart at UCLA earned the respect of his teammates, especially his teammates.

“Greg Dulcich, he was a great inspiration,” said Michael Ezeike at the end of Bruins’ fifth year. “He sets a tight final standard for each of us.”

Playing offensively professionally and under the guidance of a former NFL coach at Chip Kelly helped Dulcich in interviews with the teams.

“They were impressed by how well I knew our entire offense,” Dulcich said during his Pro Day last month. “It’s pretty pro-style interface, the kind of stuff that we run and you talk to the teams like, ‘You wouldn’t imagine how many guys we talk to and they don’t really understand. good catch like you guys.’ “And that’s a credit to Coach Kelly.”

Dulcich’s versatility could also make him a favorite with teams looking for a tight finish line who can do a lot more than catch and block. Dulcich told CBS Sports HQ before putting together the draft last month that Kelly jokingly asked Dulcich to change his place on the roster to the SAK – or Swiss Army Knife.

“That’s the great thing about what we did at UCLA in close quarters. We were asked to wear a lot of hats,” said Dulcich. “I’m on the wing, I’m a real full-back, split, play full-back even a little bit, it’s very exciting. Teams definitely appreciate that, and that’s what I want: do it all. “

Most scouting reports note that blocking is Dulcich’s biggest weakness, specifically technique and hand placement – with a caveat that Dulcich only playing full-time is a tight finish in the game. two years.