Very rare that a player from Dayton, an FCS program, is drafted into the NFL but former Flyer Adam Trautman was considered the No. 2 tight end prospect in the Class of 2020 and the Saints traded up to get him in Round 3. Here are Trautman’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as well as the Saints’ over/under win total.
The Saints traded up with the Vikings to select Trautman with the No. 105 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Saints traded picks No. 130, 169, 203 and 244 to the Vikings for pick No. 105. Trautman was the first Dayton player drafted in 43 years. The last player was offensive tackle Bill Westbeld by Seattle in the 11th round of the 1977 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Trautman was a four-year starting tight end at Dayton who was initially recruited as a quarterback.
Trautman became an impact contributor at Dayton as a redshirt sophomore with 43 receptions for 537 yards and five touchdowns in being named second-team All-Pioneer Football League. As a junior, Trautman led the team with 41 receptions, 604 yards and nine touchdowns and was again named second team All-PFL.
Then last year, Trautman led the team in receiving with 916 yards and 70 receptions. Those catches broke a school record across all positions and his yardage was second among tight ends in a single season. His 14 touchdowns were tops on the team. Trautman became the UD all-time record holder in career receptions (178) and receiving yards (2,295). He was named team MVP, first-team All-American and the PFL Offensive Player of the Year.
He posted a 96th percentile three-cone time at the NFL Combine, but he also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.80 seconds and is already 23 years old. On tape, he was much more physical than his small school opponents and he held up against Senior Bowl competition, especially as a run blocker and polished route runner.
While he expected going up against players from Power 5 schools to be more challenging than the FCS teams on Dayton’s schedule at the Senior Bowl, Trautman said that was not really the case.
“Honestly, I didn’t feel too much of a difference,” he said. “I mean they close a little faster, and they’re a little bigger and a little stronger, but I got great movement in the run game as a blocker and I think I showed that I was the best blocking tight end there for sure. And then route-wise, I didn’t feel out of place at all. I just trusted the techniques that I’ve been taught that I’ve practiced so hard.”
Trautman has terrific size (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) and is a capable blocker with good hands (two drops last season) and post-catch ability. Teams project him to be an in-line tight end. But in order to excel in that role, he’ll have to make significant strides as a blocker. Here’s what Saints coach Sean Payton said about him.
“Well we see him as a true Y (blocking tight-end). I do think for a small college player, we feel like he’s got real good inline strength. He’s also someone that that I think has got very good hips, so he’s changing direction,” Payton said. You know, you can see that in how he sets up his routes. So for someone who played at a smaller level you see a dominant player. And, see him as someone that can help us as an inline tight-end. And obviously, you build. In his first year build on some of the things that that we feel like he can do outside. One of the challenges we talked about this yesterday with maybe the lack of offseason program that teams are going to have.”
Trautman won’t start ahead of Jared Cook in 2020, but a major role could be on the horizon as early as 2021 – and maybe this year if Cook gets hurt.