Secure hands create a large catch radius for his quarterback.
Likely has shown to have reliable hands. He has the confidence in his hands to extend them away from his body to secure the catch. Likely also understands situations and if he needs to brace for contact while going across the middle, he will allow the ball to get into his body to trap it to brace for contact.
It's a "more you can do" league. And Likely can do a lot.
Likely has athletic traits that make him an exceptional versatile offensive weapon at the tight end position, Likely can align at the traditional Y position and as a flex TE in the slot. And when Coastal Carolina wants to get creative, they align him in an H-back position and put him in motion.
Run After Catch Ability
Sure to get a few more yards than expected per touch.
Run After Catch Ability
Likely looks to have good speed at the tight end position that he uses to pull away from defenders after he’s secured the pass. During the season, Likely had multiple long touchdowns that were a result of him catching a short pass and being able to accelerate past defenders to get to the end zone. Likely also has enough strength to run through arm tackles from small defenders.
Isaiah Likely was an unranked prospect by most recruiting services coming out of high school but had a couple of offers from small-school programs and ultimately chose Coastal Carolina. During his time at Coastal Carolina, Likely continued to develop his skill set at tight end and it has paid off. Likely finished his career as a highly decorated player and has been mentioned for some outstanding awards. Likely has been named to the All-Sun-Belt first team twice, been named a John Mackey Award semi-finalist, and was named to the Biletnikoff preseason watch list.
Likely is an athletic tight end that thrives at stretching the field vertically. He has good speed to not only get vertical but can run away from most Sun Belt defenders. At Coastal Carolina, they lined him up in multiple different positions and he thrives at all of them. He has shown to be a natural hands-catcher and can turn up the field to be a good run after the catch option for offenses. In the NFL, Likely will be best served as an offensive weapon, he has the athleticism, toughness, and natural hands to play all over the field and should serve as a mismatch for offenses.
Ideal Role: This player can align in traditional Y, flex, or H-back
Scheme Fit: Multiple
Written by Keith Sanchez
Games watched: Kansas (2021), Arkansas State (2021), Georgia State (2021), NIU (2021)
Best Game Studied: Arkansas State (2021)
Worst Game Studied: Kansas (2021)
Hands: See Above.
Route Running: This player is an efficient and effective route-runner running vertical routes. Likely showed the ability to run double moves up the seam and free himself of second-level defenders. Likely also has the athleticism to line up as a boundary receiver and can run speed-outs, curl routes, and slants from this alignment.
Versatility: See Above.
Competitive Toughness: Likely shows his competitive toughness through his blocking. When run blocking at the traditional Y position, Likely competes to win his blocks and plays through the whistle.
Ball Skills: Likely runs a good bit of vertical routes where he shows an outstanding ability to track the deep ball. Likely does a good job of adjusting his body and hands while the ball is in the air to put himself in position to best secure the pass. Likely looks to be comfortable catching the ball and could be considered a natural hands-catcher for a tight end.
Blocking Skills: Likely is a highly effective blocker and at Coastal Carolina, they put him in multiple positions to execute key blocks. At times they aligned him at H-back and put him in motion to become the lead blocker on run plays and he does this effectively. When he is aligned at receiver, they threw receiver screens from the bunch formation and made him the blocker in charge of flushing the point man out of the play.
Football IQ: Likely aligned in multiple positions and I believe that this is a testament to his football IQ. In the run game, Likely rarely misses a block due to a missed assignment. And as a route-runner, Likely showed a high-level IQ, understanding coverages and finding out how to get open.
RAC Ability: See Above.
Pass Protection: Likely is effective and efficient in pass protection. He throws good chip blocks where he is able to give the defender a rib shot, slowing their pass rush, and then he gets out into his route. He is also capable of staying in on pass protection when the offense needs to have an extra body in. Likely is a high-effort guy in pass protection, but like most tight ends, I wouldn’t place him in single-blocking situations where he is responsible for blocking the defensive end.
Big Play Ability: At the tight end position this player offers a tremendous amount of big-play ability. He has the speed to get vertical consistently and provide big-play ability. He also has the speed to run away from defensive backs, making him a true vertical threat. Throughout his career, Likely has shown that he is comfortable playing in the deeper portion of the field and is comfortable securing passes that he has to track in the deeper portions of the field.
TDN Consensus: 79.08/100 (Third Round Value)
Crabbs Grade: 80.00/100
Marino Grade: 80.50/100
Harris Grade: 77.00/100
Sanchez Grade: 79.00/100
Weissman Grade: 80.00/100
Parson Grade: 78.00/100