vs Notre Dame (2020), vs North Carolina (2020), vs Virgina Tech (2020)
Long has a good catch radius and can catch balls high or low. He has soft hands and can make difficult catches look easy. He has good route running ability, which allows for him to create separation at the top of his routes. He has decent speed for his size, which causes nightmare match ups for linebackers down the field. Long flashed his versatility at Boston College, where he can line up just about anywhere in the offense and find success. He is a willing and capable blocker. He does a great job blocking in space, which makes him a major asset in the run game. He has great spatial awareness in zone coverages.
Long is not an elite athlete. He does not possess the physical tools to make defenders miss in open space or create a ton of separation deep. He struggles to haul in passes in traffic. He appears to lack the aggression and physicality that NFL teams look for in a tight end. His lack of play strength and physicality, has hindered his development as a consistent pass blocker and in line run blocker. It also causes him to lose ground or get knocked off course when being pressed.
Long is a below average athlete at the tight end position. However, he flashed decent speed and the ability to create separation at the top of routes. He also showed he can be a threat down the seam. Long is a natural pass catcher, who can make hard catches look easy. He is a willing blocker and does a great job utilizing his legs and hands on the perimeter as a run blocker. The biggest concern for Long is his lack of play strength and physicality. He struggles to come up with contested catches and is too often bumped off course in press coverage. His lack of physicality has stopped him from being an effective pass blocker. Although his physicality is a concern, his ability to find the soft spot in zone coverage and to be able to line up in line, outside, in the slot and as a wing is intriguing. Long has to be more physical in all phases of the game. If he can do that and clean up his mechanics as a blocker. He will be a solid TE2 for the team that drafts him.
Long is a below average athlete. However, he showed enough speed and lateral agility to create seperation. He showed decent flexibility in his routes and as a blocker. He lacks play strength and an explosive release.
Big Play Ability
Spacing & Timing
Long is a solid route runner for the tight end position, however he lacks an explosive and physical release. He creates decent separation at the top of his routes. He has soft hands and is a natural catcher of the football. He has a great catch radius. He can jump up to grab passes or he can scoop low passes. He has impeccable timing and spacing in zone coverage looks.
Long is a willing and capable blocker. He does a great job utilizing his hands inside and driving the legs. This makes him an effective run blocker both in line and in space. His lack of physicality causes him to struggle as a pass protector.
Blocking in Space
Long's lack of aggression is extremely concerning. He often gets pushed around in press coverage. He is weak at the catch point and struggles to haul in contested passes. He shows good effort, especially as a run blocker.
Aggression & Toughness
Catch Point Mentality
Long's intelligence and football IQ is exciting. He has great instincts in regards to working back to the quarterback when the play breaks down. He does a terrific job recognizing soft spots in zone coverage. He is also extremely versatile. He can line up outside, in the slot, in the backfield, as a wing or as the traditional in line Y. Regardless of where he lines up, he finds success all over the field.