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Nick O'Leary 2015 NFL Draft scouting report

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If the Bills are looking for a reliable rookie tight end familiar with EJ Manuel, the Mackey Award winner could be a decent option in the middle of the draft.

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All of Buffalo Rumblings' 2015 NFL Draft coverage can be found in our NFL Draft section. These scouting reports are part of our 2015 NFL Draft big board, which is also available under the "Library" header on our site's navigation bar.

Nick O'Leary

  • Position: Tight End/Flex End (TE/FE)
  • Class: Senior
  • College: Florida State
  • Ht/Wt: 6'3", 247 pounds

Scouting Report

Nick O'Leary is a steady, average-across-the-board tight end with polish and experience in a pro-style offense, but he's limited by smaller size and an overall lack of athleticism.

O'Leary shows a knack for getting open in both man and zone, and runs a variety of routes effectively. He is a great safety valve for his quarterback, although his hands aren't quite as reliable as a receiver's. As a bonus, he spent two seasons catching passes from EJ Manuel at Florida State, so he is already familiar with the style of Buffalo's current starting quarterback. One other thing I like about him: he's very tough after the catch, moving downfield like a power back and trucking defenders as they come near him. He's not elite in that area, but you should expect him to pick up a few yards after contact on most catches.

As a blocker, O'Leary anchors fairly well and is good at chipping, but he is somewhat lacking in core strength, with his smaller frame not always holding up well against linebackers and defensive linemen. He's average-to-above-average with his speed and acceleration, and looked faster as a younger player before getting into two serious motorcycle accidents about a year apart. As a run blocker, O'Leary doesn't open big holes, instead being more useful as a guy who gets in the way of a defender.

O'Leary doesn't have a large catch radius, but is capable of contorting his body on occasion to make tough catches. He's also the grandson of professional golfer Jack Nicklaus.

Grade

I had a lot of hope for O'Leary entering his senior season that he would either develop a great reputation for strong blocking, or for being a receiving threat before graduating. He showed a lot of promise and understanding of the game on the film I had watched in 2012 and 2013, but his body didn't keep up - perhaps as a result of his motorcycle crashes, which cost him significant practice time spent in recovery.

O'Leary is a player I wouldn't mind having on this team as a second or third string tight end, but I don't think he has the size or athleticism to be a great starter in the league. His Combine will be something interesting to watch, but he gets a fourth-round grade from me at the moment.