Erick All started the post-June 22 visit weekend commitment party by choosing the Wolverines over Florida State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa and several others. The Ohio native is a 3-star, but based on his offer list schools who know tight ends want him, and that’s good enough for me.
All can play all over the field, lining up out wide, in the slot, as an offset wing or in the traditional in-line position on his film. He offers exciting upside as a physical blocker with promising skills in the pass game.
Last season, he caught 28 balls for 336 yards and three touchdowns in a system that runs the ball a lot more than it passes.
For this scouting report, I’m going to switch up the format a little. Instead of breaking the sections up into specific traits that are pros or cons, I’m going to split the report up into the two facets of the game tight ends are responsible for, receiving and blocking. I’ll cover what I think he does well and what he needs to improve upon in each area.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 225 pounds, All has the potential to be a jumbo wide receiver, making it tough for linebackers or cornerbacks to cover him. He is very smooth and polished running his routes, and seems to have that Jake Butt-like ability to find open spaces.
He gets off the ball well in the play above, brushing off the linebacker who chips him. He doesn’t get knocked off his route and sneaks behind the weak-side linebacker who stepped up for some reason. All catches the ball in stride and quickly turns upfield for some yards after the catch.
In this next play, All shakes the linebacker covering him with a nice cut after faking outside, leaving him wide open in the middle of the field. All hauls in the ball nicely, extending his arms and bringing in the pass which was a little far and outside.
While All does a good job with his hands in the play above, that is not often the case. Rather than reaching out his arms, forming the “triangle” with his hands and plucking the ball out of the air, he will usually let the ball come to him and catch it with his body. This is not what receivers are taught, as extending your arms creates more separation and gets you to the ball quicker.
This play is an excellent example of why receivers are taught to extend and reach for the ball. All runs a good route, making a sharp cut to the sideline on a 10-yard out. However, the man covering him sticks with him and is right behind him as the ball is thrown. All lets the ball come to him, catching it in his chest. This gives the defender a chance to jump in front and get a hand on the ball, or even intercept it. At the next level, where defenders are much faster, this will result in a pass breakup rather than a touchdown. All needs to get his arms out and close the space between him and the ball.
Here’s another example of All letting the ball come to him.
All finds space in the middle of the field and is wide open again, but he again brings the ball into his midsection. He needs to bring his arms up and catch the ball out of the air. This will make it easier to catch and run. Get him some work on the JUGS machine before he sees the field and is getting passes deflected by ball-hawking linebackers or safeties.
One final trait that might affect his performance in the passing game is his speed. All is not a burner, running a 4.75 40-yard dash at a camp event, meaning it is accurate. This is not great, especially considering he’ll have to add some weight before he sees the field at Michigan. As a tight end, his straight-line speed isn’t as important as other positions, but it does limit his ceiling as a top end talent in the passing game.
Playing in a run-heavy offense, All has plenty of opportunities to show his chops in the blocking game. He is very enthusiastic when asked to block, which can’t be said for a lot of tight ends *cough* Devin Funchess *cough*.
All shows great strength, provides a good pop on contact and uses his leverage well.
In the play above, All gets a good head of steam and pancakes his man. He gets lower than his opponent, using his leverage to get him off balance and drive him back, resulting in the defender on his back.
This next play shows how well All can block in space. Faced with blocking a safety, he shows good footwork and balance to stay in front of the guy and latch on. Once he gets his hands on the guy, he simply takes him where their momentum is going, towards the sideline. All easily drives him out of bounds, eliminating him from the play.
All’s willingness and athleticism make him an advanced blocker, especially out in space. However, he can struggle when lined up in smaller quarters against bigger defenders.
All and the right tackle are executing a fold block, where the tackle kicks out the end and All folds inside him and gets to the second level. All gets a running start before taking on the linebacker, but on contact he completely stops his feet. Keeping your feet moving when taking someone on is the most important factor in winning the battle. All gets stonewalled, though, and only starts moving him once he remembers to drive his feet again. Once he does, All easily pushes him back.
All clearly has superior strength, but he isn’t able to move his man without good technique.
Here’s another play that shows how important keeping your feet moving and having a good base is for blocking.
All acts as a pulling guard in the H-back position behind the line of scrimmage and is tasked with kicking out the defensive end left unblocked. All takes him on way too high and launches at him. This takes his feet completely out of the equation, and both of them are actually off the ground at one point. He’s unable to drive the end back and just has to collapse on him. Again, since All is probably stronger than most players he’s facing, he has an advantage and is able to cave the guy.
All’s technique will need to be refined before he goes against Big Ten defensive ends.
Given All’s size and Michigan’s depth at tight end, he should be able to redshirt his first year on campus. After spending some time with Ben Herbert, and given his willingness to do the dirty stuff, All should be a candidate to see the field early in his career. He has the potential to turn into a dual-threat tight end — one who can play all three downs and won’t have to be taken out on run plays. His slipperiness and fluid route running will make him a weapon in the passing game, especially in Jim Harbaugh’s system.
Michigan is probably done with the tight end position for the 2019 cycle, with one exception. California 4-star Isaiah Foskey will be on campus this summer for an unofficial visit and is the only other real target that Michigan is pursuing hard. If they don’t land Foskey, the staff will be happy with just All.