Wisconsin has a long lineage of producing productive tight ends both in college and for the next level. Firmly entrenched in both the running game and the play-action game, they have to be athletic enough to catch passes, but also brutish to block opposing defensive ends and outside linebackers.
Austin Traylor is the latest in a long line of Badger tight ends to have success in college. Owen Daniels, Jason Pociask, Travis Beckum, Garrett Graham and Lance Kendricks are the recent headliners.
Traylor had very minimal production prior to his senior season, when he became a favorite target of senior quarterback Joel Stave to the tune of 14 catches for 210 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately, he broke his arm against Iowa, so he was unable to participate for most of his senior season. He did come back for the bowl game vs. USC and caught a goal-line touchdown.
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst stated at the beginning of last season that the staff had challenged Traylor to become a better receiver prior to last season, and him acting on that will be a good example of his coachability moving forward.
Austin Traylor, TE
Arm length: N/A
40-yard dash: 4.81
Vertical jump: 33.5"
Broad jump: 9'5.5"
Pro agility: 4.57
3-cone drill: 7.24
Bench press: 16
Strengths: Traylor possess nice size for the tight end position, and caught the ball well as a senior. He's a very dependable blocker, as it was his main responsibility with the Badgers. Lined up in a variety of different positions for Wisconsin, in-line, at fullback, as a wing and flexed out in some trips formations. Traylor possesses decent athleticism, and is a load to bring down after the catch.
Weaknesses: Traylor is a one-year producer, and wasn't all that productive. Doesn't possess above-average athleticism, and struggles to separate vs. man coverage. Traylor, while being tough to tackle after the catch, doesn't offer much as far as wiggle. His frame appears to be maxed out, which limits his in-line potential at the next level.
Overall: Traylor is a perfect example of "If you stay here, by the time you leave, you'll be happy you did." The fifth-year senior stayed long enough to work himself into a potential pro, and Traylor will definitely reap the benefits of this underwhelming tight end class. I think Traylor can stick on a team that keeps three tight ends and uses them heavily in special teams. If the NFL isn't an option, the CFL or other leagues will be interested.