Following the close of the 2018 season, the Buffalo Bills have made it clear they want to see more from the tight ends on their roster. Cutting Charles Clay then adding Tyler Kroft and Jake Fischer in free agency, the Bills also addressed the position via the draft. After adding Dawson Knox in the third round, Buffalo double-dipped in the seventh with Tommy Sweeney. The 228th pick, Sweeney hails from Boston College, whose mascot is a less valuable version of SUNY Brockport’s.
A four-year player for Boston, Sweeney had consistent production from his sophomore season to his senior. In that three-year span his best season of 36 catches, 512 yards and four touchdowns isn’t a far cry from his worst (32 catches, 348 yards, three touchdowns). The Eagles weren’t known for a high-volume passing attack. Sweeney’s most prolific year, detailed above, led the team in yards and touchdowns.
Sweeney is an under-the-radar player with very little to discuss outside of stats and profile narratives. If you search “Tommy Sweeney scandal” or “controversy” one of the first results is what appears to be a professional landscaper. I don’t know what scandalous landscaping he’s been up to, but it’s not the right Tommy Sweeney, so I’ll leave you with the mystery.
For size, Tommy Sweeney is mostly average. A slightly shorter arm length than average for the position isn’t ideal, but certainly not a major issue. The drill results are underwhelming, although an injury during the combine prevented him from performing to his fullest. His pro day filled in some of the gaps but, regardless, the chart above tells the story. Tommy Sweeney was not drafted for athletic upside.
Sweeney’s strengths seems to suggest his accomplishments are due to technique and attention to detail. Good hands and solid route running made sure he was routinely open for Boston. Sweeney is said to be physical while running to help create space. His attention to detail may have sold him to Sean McDermott. He was often noted helping teammates line up. Additionally, reports praise him for good timing on block and release plays and while running routes.
Sweeney’s limited athleticism drew consistent critique. It was cited as contributing to poor yards after the catch. Similarly, Sweeney was said to struggle creating separation without being physical. While his blocking was generally praised, the positives surrounded the run game and blocking in line. Pass blocking was often felt to be incomplete due to low usage.
Tommy Sweeney profiles similarly to former Buffalo Bill Nick O’Leary who certainly doesn’t have any famous relatives and may or may not wear gloves to catch. Like Sweeney, Nick O’Leary was fairly average-sized with shorter arms and low-end athleticism. Both were/are willing blockers and capable in the passing game.