andrews Chris Trulove’s Take on Mark Andrews

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With incoming freshman about to roll in next month, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at a few of our favorite prospects from the 2014 class. We asked our buddy Chris Trulove to give us some brief thoughts on Mark Andrews. Those of you who have been on our site for a while will remember that Chris Trulove is the former director of pro scouting for the Denver Broncos.

Obviously, there has been a lot of debate about where Mark Andrews would play at the next level. Some say WR while others say TE. We want to tell you outright that despite Chris’ excellent credentials as an evaluator, evaluation is always tough and the opinion below is just his opinion. One of the reasons we really value his opinion, beyond just his extensive background, is because he isn’t privy to all the discussion surrounding players. He has an unvarnished opinion of all the players and just gives his opinion based on what he is seeing on film. Right or wrong his opinion is informed and unbiased.

Chris Trulove’s Thoughts on Mark Andrews:

“Receiving target with excellent height, length, and ball skills. Primarily used as an outside receiver, but has the potential size for TE and has been used as a kicker/punter. Mark has good straight line, build up, speed and can take it the distance. However, he is a bit of an upright runner and does not have the great overall body and foot quickness to beat power conference DBs on a regular basis. He is a great mismatch in the red zone due to his length, ball timing, and reach-and-pluck hands. He does have good body balance and agility after the catch to gain precious yards after the reception”

“He can continue to dominate small school and mid-major competition as a receiver, but likely needs to continue to bulk up and use his high level receiving skills as a mismatch versus LBs if he wants to play power conference college football and beyond. He has good timing with his QB and has very good ball concentration in traffic, adding more reason that he will make for a good TE. He flashes the toughness and desire when blocking outside to suggest that, with the right focus and coaching, he can be an effective blocker and receiving mismatch versus most LBs. Needs some time to add mass, but can be an effective TE and red zone receiver.”

 


  • Oskie918

    “Needs some time to add mass, but can be an effective TE and red zone receiver.”

    Now to convince young Mr. Andrews of this…

    • Zack

      Agree. But it shouldn’t be hard to do that. Norvell expects his receivers to block well down field same thing if he was recruited as a TE. so if he wants to excel as a receiver it’s more than likely going to be the slot position where he can be matched up on safeties and linebackers. Or out wide in the redzone he reminds me a lot of Jeff samardzija from notre dame.

      • Oskie918

        Good points all around.

      • Super Keith

        I don’t think it’ll take any convincing. Once he gets on the field, and experiences what D1 defensive backs are like, I think he’ll come to that conclusion pretty quick.

        I know the coaches will give him every chance to play WR (since he was pretty sold on that during recruiting), but he just doesn’t have the speed to break through as a pure WR. He played TE in the Army All American game and looked great.

        • dahldennsull

          This is exactly what I was thinking. They will let him go tryout WR and he will work solely with Norvell. However, I imagine he will become increasingly frustrated when he has some of our pretty solid CB’s in his hip pocket everytime he runs a route that isn’t in the redzone.

  • Doobie74OU

    As crowded as we are at WR with current and incoming Prospects, even ones with great size, and as thin as we are at TE it shouldn’t be a hard sale. It will come down to if he can & wants to contribute immediately!

    • Jordan Esco

      It might be if he’s watched any film of OU’s offense the past 3-4 years.

      • Doobie74OU

        LOL! True! Hopefully he realizes we haven’t had an athletic TE like he would be since Way Back in the Gresham days and focuses more on that! :)

  • lulzer

    Am I wrong in thinking he can be an excellent TE, or be the next Dejaun Miller?

    • Jordan Esco

      Will always remember that one offseason talk of Wilson using Miller as a flex TE and then it never happening.

      • lulzer

        If I remember correctly, that was after Texas used former WR Dan Buckner at the flex TE, with much success. Oh, what could have been.

    • soonersd

      Dejuan Miller is the comparison I immediately came to after reading about his film and knowing his size. Having said that, I hope he rises above Miller’s production during his time here.

  • hOUligan

    Dakota Allen last year and Jaylon Lane this, where the recruit and the staff are not in total agreement on what is his best position. Bring them in, play them in the their position of choice, and they move forward or get left behind and SEE what is needed and where their skill set fits best. With Andrews, he gets his shot at WR but all signs are pointing toward a shift to TE down the road if he wants to see the field.

  • Boom

    I see his size and skills and think of Jace Amaro from TT. He was a considered a flex TE but played wide/slot/or out of the backfield. If we play two TE’s he “might” be considered one of TE’s. Mark A can stretch the field with the S/LB and it will be a miss match. The beauty is he offers options to the coaching staff. Millard & now Flowers have these same traits which means they will be used.

  • Dagr612

    I like him at WR. A lot of these evaluations would have been said about many top level college receivers that have turned out to be great at the next level. Of course, all receivers that come into college that are tall and weigh anywhere north of 220 are considered tight end prospects. But I think the odds are that Andrews won’t develop to 250+ and maintain speed in the same freakish way Gresham developed in just one year’s time. Here’s what’s happening in college football. There’s more and more plus sized receivers which has forced teams to sign plus sized corners that may not be as quick as smaller DB’s but they are more physical. It seems to me that from college football to the NFL that physical WR’s or DB’s are dominating the smaller sized, quicker players. I would like OU to trend more to the physical side of things in this era, rather than trying to be smaller and quicker at these positions. With good development, Andrews has an opportunity to be a top level WR, but with top level development, I think he figures to be an average at best tight end. I would rather reach for greatness, than settle a player into a mediocre role.

    • Zack

      Good points I agree with going after bigger receivers but those who can move. Look at aj green and Julio jones. They have good agility what I’ve seen of Andrews he does not have that ability at this time. If he can develop better agility and a little better speed and become a long strider then I think he can make a living outside. But if he catches 50 balls a year should he really care whether he’s a tight end or a wide out? For me it’s a wait and see what he does once he’s on campus I do think he could play right away.

    • Super Keith

      In general, I would agree with you. However, Chris Trulove isn’t the average recruiting pundit. Andrews isn’t a speedster, so he has succeeded at out-sizing defenders and having great hands. At the next level (especially in the Big XII), that’s not going to be enough. I can’t think of a single WR in the past 10 years that played/compared to Andrews (that’s not a compliment). He may surprise everyone and own the position, but he’s as prototypical a TE as they come.

  • Soonerfan30

    Everyone seems to forget what Mike Evans did at ATM. It’s not coincidence that the year after OU got beat by ATM and Mike Evans, Ou picks up 3 big wrs. They saw what a tall Wr can do. It doesn’t matter how fast the db was, mike evans was gunna get the ball because his effective radius was so much higher and wider…I think Evans made Johnny football look good bc JF could just throw the ball in the air on a prayer and Evans would come down with it.
    So I think he’s a wr or flex or whatever u want to call him, but he won’t have his hand in the ground.

    • Jordan Esco

      Fair point. I’m just not sure Andrews has the same kind of speed as Evans at that size. But I could be wrong.

      • Soonerfan30

        We wont really know until he gets on the field. But I’m pretty sure Sumlin recruited him as a WR.

        • Jordan Esco

          True. I don’t really care where he’s playing so long as he is an effective weapon for this offense.

  • Sooner 4Ever

    He reminds me a lot of Jay Novacek. Novacek was 6′-4″ 240ish, excellent body control, great hands, caught the ball well in traffic and could do a little damage after the catch. I’m not saying he should be moved to TE… but he you could do worse than have Jay Novacek’s career and 3 Super Bowl rings.

  • Sooner Ray

    I think this kid could be a dangerous red zone weapon. I would love to see him line up on the hip of the TE giving a power run look, then have numerous passing options available.

  • Indy_sooner

    Not sure why we keep trying to box in this kid. I would be pleased whether he ends up as an iteration of Jermaine Gresham at TE or Mike Evans at WR. I actually see us using him in the same capacity as Mike- and he has the potential to excel at either of those with time with the right scheme. He really good hands and is an incredibly an hard worker.

    • Super Keith

      “We” have no say in where he ends up playing, so it’s just a point of discussion. I love the kid, and like you, I don’t care where he ends up because he can be a real weapon. However, comparing him to Mike Evans isn’t a good comparison, Andrews doesn’t possess the speed or first move of Evans. About the only thing they have in common is size and great hands.

      • Indy_sooner

        A man can dream, right? :)

    • Super K

      And that’s why we prefaced it by stating this is one persons opinion. You know we aren’t the type to doubt young guys but we also want to offer y’all opinions.

      • SamSooner

        When, I watch his tape, he reminds me of a basketball player. He knows how to get open and positions himself to receive the ball. He keeps defenders in his hip pocket. This kid will be a great tight end.

      • Indy_sooner

        Absolutely. Mark elicits alot of discussion on where he will play. My response was not on Chris’ review per-say.

  • Sooner Ray

    How about Darian Owens (2016) showing some love for the Sooners.