Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Pittsburgh, Miami(Fl.)
Report By: Roy Countryman
Keene is a versatile weapon that was utilized all over the formation while at Virginia Tech. Is very impressive in the blocking department as he consistently was able to move defenders off the LOS in-line, in space, and when asked to lead block as a FB. He also showed the shuffle, hand placement, and tenacity to stonewall DEs in pass protection. Was underutilized as a pass catcher while with the Hokies, but he has tremendous upside due to his burst after the catch, deep speed, and attitude displayed after the catch. Has a finisher's mentality on every play, and flashes a mean streak when blocking. Displayed a savviness and intelligence in his route running and was especially effective on chip and release plays.
Route running is somewhat basic as he was not utilized in the passing game too often. He at times will short arm passes when in combative situations. Was tossed by DEs on a few plays when they were quicker than him off the ball or when they had heavier hands to control him. He needs to continually add some lower body bulk to combat NFL caliber defenders.
Dalton Keene is one of the biggest sleepers in this year's class simply because of the lack of exposure he has as a pass-catcher. In that small amount of snaps as a pass-catcher, he was an impressive playmaker and when you add that to his highly effective blocking demeanor and versatility he should be able to contribute almost immediately in some form or fashion in Year 1. Teams like the Steelers, Eagles, 49ers, and Cardinals would be smart to keep tabs on him on day three of the draft as he will most likely come off the board in the 5th-7th round range. His playing style reminds me of Vance McDonald.