Calcaterra has an interesting background, so let’s throw it right to a scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
An athletic tight end with quality ball skills and receiving acumen, Calcaterra has a concussion history that will be flagged by some teams. He retired from football in 2019 and spent 2020 preparing to become a firefighter before transferring to SMU, where he showed he still had it as a two-level pass-catcher. He plays with good football IQ versus zone coverage but might benefit from more pattern breaks to help him uncover against tight man coverage. He won’t make a difference as a blocker so he needs to shine as a pass-catching threat. The medical evaluations will be the biggest determining factor in where he might be drafted.
Calcaterra is a bit on the older side considering he’ll be entering his age 24 season as a rookie. Older prospect ... firefighter ... is this Danny Watkins redux?! (No, clearly not. Way worse to spend a first-round pick like that.)
Calcaterra actually briefly overlapped with Jalen Hurts at Oklahoma in 2019. Calcaterra caught five receptions for 79 yards (15.8 average) from him in a very small sample size. Now the two are reunited in Philly.
With Dallas Goedert entrenched as the Eagles’ top tight end, Calcaterra will be competing for the TE2 spot at best. He’ll be competing against the likes of Jack Stoll, Richard Rodgers, Noah Togiai, and recently converted WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The Birds also have Tyree Jackson in the mix, though he could be poised to start the season on the PUP list after tearing his ACL in January.
One might’ve thought the Eagles would’ve been looking for a tight end with better run blocking chops for their offense. But maybe they figure that much can come with time? Or they’re just intrigued with the pass-catching ability and they don’t care about his blocking.
Given that Calcaterra has already walked away once, his commitment to football moving forward bears monitoring.
College stats via Sports Reference:
Eagles desperately needed a pass catching tight end behind Goedert.— Ben Natan (@thebennatan) April 30, 2022
Grant Calcaterra has 4.62 speed and was a seam threat when he was on the field.
Briefly retired from football due to health issues and almost became an EMT.
Spider graph via Mockdraftable:
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