Joe Don Duncan (TE), Dixie State
6'3" | 268 lbs.
71 recs, 1045 yds, 14 TDs
7th round/free agent
What scouts are saying:
“Big, soft hands and adjusts very well to the ball -- outstanding hand placement and catching radius. Good muscularity and weight-room strength. Very good coverage recognition -- feels his way through zones and finds open areas.” (Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com)
“Dominated against lower level competition and is not a top-notch athlete. Accelerates smoothly but possesses only fair straight-line speed, overall. Shows only fair lateral agility and while physical, simply doesn't break enough tackles given his size advantage over most of the defenders covering him.” (Rob Rang, CBSSports.com)
“The Division II product Duncan is going to get the opportunity to impress NFL evaluators at the Senior Bowl. It is rare for D-II players to get Senior Bowl invites, but Duncan managed to impress Phil Savage and the Senior Bowl selection staff...The 6-foot-3, 267-pounder is said to have the athletic ability to also execute some fullback and H-back duties...Of all the positions to be an obscure prospect, tight end may be the best thanks to unknowns who have become good players in the NFL. Antonio Gates being the most well-known example.” (Charlie Campbell, Walterfootball.com)
Fit for the Bears:
The addition of Martellus Bennett re-established the tight end position in the Bears offense last year. Bennett notched 65 receptions in his first year in Chicago, just one season after Kellen Davis managed a whopping 19 at the top of the depth chart. Bennett, however, is the only tight end on the roster with any real play-making ability, and drafting Duncan likely wouldn’t do much to change that--although Duncan is somewhat of a hybrid between a true offensive route-runner and old-fashioned bruiser. The Bears already have five tight ends on their roster (Bennett, Zach Miller, Matt Mulligan, Fendi Onobun, Dante Rosario), and if they look to add another, it’ll likely be someone with a bigger frame and a more refined offensive skillset to complement their number one, as opposed to taking a flyer on a late-round gamble. That said, Phil Emery has shown he’s not afraid to buck the trend every now and then.