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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Kylen Granson

  • The Draft Network
  • January 8, 2021
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Kylen Granson began his college career at Rice in 2016 where he played for two seasons. After Rice fired its coach, Granson transferred to SMU where he collected 78 catches for 1,057 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. He sat out the 2018 season due to NCAA transfer rules. SMU played Granson primarily at slot receiver and then as an in-line tight end with occasional reps coming out of the backfield. Given his lack of size, strength, and modest athletic profile, a similar role will be his best course at the next level. Granson has room for technical improvement when it comes to route-running and making plays on the football. Overall, his ceiling is modest, but if a team is in search of a Swiss Army knife-type H-back that can provide depth in a utility role on offense and special teams, Granson is someone to consider late in the draft. 

Ideal Role: H-back, slot receiver.

Scheme Fit: Spread.


Written by Joe Marino 

Games watched: East Carolina (2020), Cincinnati (2020), Memphis (2020), Tulsa (2020), Temple (2020), Memphis (2019)

Best Game Studied: Temple (2020) 

Worst Game Studied: Cincinnati (2020) 

Hands: Granson features soft and reliable hands that generally greet the football with proper alignment. While he doesn’t have much of an above the rim game, he is capable of extending and securing the football outside of his frame. On 204 career targets, Granson had 16 drops.  

Route Running: Granson is an ordinary route-runner. He executes his routes with good timing and makes clean vertical cuts. He does well attack space in zones and make himself available. With that said, his horizontal route breaks are often predictable and aren’t overly sudden. 

Versatility: For SMU, Granson primarily aligned as a slot receiver but also spent time as an in-line tight end and was occasionally in the backfield. He lacks the size and strength to be an every-down in-line tight end at the next level, so operating from a variety of spots will likely be his role in the NFL as well. He has some appeal as a blocker and receiver from all three aforementioned spots. 

Competitive Toughness: Granson is a tough football player that competes in the trenches despite not having the ideal frame to do so. He competes for yards after the catch and is willing to be physical. The key for Granson is developing more functional strength and technique to reward his efforts. 

Ball Skills: Granson has sufficient ball skills but he isn’t overly consistent when it comes to tracking and adjusting to the football down the field. His “above the rim” game is modest and there are times when the timing of his jumps are off when making a play on the ball in the air. SMU didn’t use him often in situations where they threw the ball into space and asked him to “go get it.”

Blocking Skills: Granson is a competitive and willing blocker that is experienced blocking in-line, from the slot, and out of the backfield. With that said, adding more functional strength is necessary for him to have success at the next level as a blocker. He competes to fit his hands and position his body, but until he gets stronger, widening lanes is a challenge. 

Football IQ: I appreciate the amount of alignments he is experienced executing from as a blocker and receiver. It’s quite clear there was comfort from the SMU offense in Granson and he truly served as a security blanket for the quarterback. He appears to have good spatial awareness. 

RAC Ability: SMU often had Granson leak out into space and he consistently battled for extra yardage. While he isn’t overly explosive or dynamic with the ball in his hands, he is decisive and physical to gain the available yards and fall forward. His skill set doesn’t command manufactured touches but he competes. 

Pass Protection: Granson fared well in his opportunities to pass block in college. He does well to fit his hands, leverage his hips and compete to stay square. He stays under control and understands what it means to take his opponents where they want to go more than they want to go there. 

Big-Play Ability: Granson doesn’t have a dynamic mix of size, speed, and ball skills that project him to be a big-play threat at the next level. He is likely an H-back or big slot that is more of a chain-mover than explosive play threat. 

Prospect Comparison: Cethan Carter (2017 NFL Draft, UDFA) 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 67.5/100

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