Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens TE Robert Tonyan (Packers): File and Monitor

Matt Waldman’s RSP NFL Lens examines a fade route by second-year tight end Robert Tonyan of the Green Bay Packers — a developmental option you should be monitoring. 

Robert Tonyan caught my eye at Indiana State last year. I didn’t study his game for the 2017 Rookie Scouting Portfolio pre-draft publication, but I managed to watch him in time for the post-draft addendum. Tonyan excelled as a red zone threat and physical receiver with a wide catch radius.

The Detroit Lions signed Tonyan as a free agent last year but cut him. This year, there have been reports that Tonyan could push veteran Lance Kendricks for a spot on the Packers’ roster.

After seeing Tonyan’s work in the preseason, it’s clear that he’s a superior receiver with starter-level skills as a pass catcher and he’s an emerging talent with routes. If his blocking has been satisfactory for the Packers, unseating Kendricks might be a real possibility.

I’m skeptical because Kendricks is a reliable option. However, this is no slight to Tonyan, who already looks like he could contribute in a starting lineup as a receiver.

This fade route split from the formation is a thing of beauty.  Note the pacing, full turn to attack the ball in the air, and the hand strength.

If Tonyan sticks in Green Bay, keep an eye on him in 2019 because it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he pushes for playing time or excites the team enough to develop into Jimmy Graham’s heir apparent.

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