Bills Draft: 194th Pick – Nick O’Leary – Florida St.
Throwback tight end known for playing with no gloves. Started in 40 of his 54 games played over four years at Florida State. In 2014, was named first-team AP All-American, first-team All-ACC and won the John Mackey Award for the nation’s best tight end. Finished second on team in catches, yards and touchdowns. Second-team All-ACC as a junior in 2013 finishing with 33 catches at 16.9 yards per catch and seven touchdowns. In May of 2013, was involved in motorcycle accident that sent him sliding 75 to 100 feet, but walked away unharmed. Honorable mention All-ACC in 2012 and played in all 13 games with two starts in 2011. Rated top tight end in the country coming out of high school. Grandson of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus.
Used inline, in the backfield and from the slot. Tenacious play demeanor. Has an understanding of space and how to adjust routes. At his best as a zone beater. Coachable and willing team player. Stepped up and bolstered pass protection in fourth quarter of win against Notre Dame. Uses good technique as a run blocker and will win against players his size. Slides feet and keeps rusher squared in pass protection. Possesses strong hands. Rarely has a drop and works for tough yardage after the catch. Throwback tight end.
Stumpy body and marginal athlete. Tight hips and won’t gain ground quickly out of his release. Labored runner in space. Willing blocker but lacks the natural core power to handle stronger players. Unlikely to be an NFL vertical threat. Doesn’t create separation in man coverage. Had just six catches of 25 yards or more over last three seasons and none his senior year. Maxed out body.
O’Leary has the competitive spirit and toughness that teams look for in a dual-threat tight end, but he lacks the physical traits. Based on how Florida State used him, he is an easy projection to an H-back spot where he should be an effective move-blocker and pass-catcher.