Terron Armstead is large, a word you hear a lot when you weigh 306 pounds. But he’s also different.
Record setting different.
That’s Armstead — an offensive lineman — running 40 yards in 4.71 seconds, a record for his position. He easily shattered the previous mark of 4.84, and often a lineman is doing very well speed-wise if he breaks 5.0.
So he’s clearly athletic, and extremely fast for a large human. But is he athletic enough to be a tight end?
Draft godfather Gil Brandt thinks that question will be contemplated by teams at Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s Pro Day. And while a switch remains unlikely and is difficult to envision, experimenting makes a whole lot of sense right now, especially when we remember that Rob Gronkowski clocked a 40-yard dash time of 4.65 on his Pro Day back in 2010. You gotta ask the question.
If an adventurous, pioneering general manager decides that Armstead’s raw athleticism does indeed mean he meets the profile of a hulking tight end, he’ll have to become a little less hulking. For some perspective to show the prototypical tight end body type in today’s NFL, Gronk is 6’6″ and weighs 265 pounds, while Jimmy Graham plays at the same weight, and he’s an inch taller. Meanwhile, Vernon Davis checks in at 250 pounds while standing 6’3″, Tony Gonzalez is 247 at 6’5″, and Jason Witten is 6’6″ while tipping the scales at 261.
That leaves Armstead — who’s 6’6″ — with, oh, 50-ish pounds to shed for any tight end experiment to be successful, which means he’ll be eating naked a lot (sorry).