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Minnesota Football NFL Draft Preview: TE Nate Wozniak

Could Wozi find his way to the NFL?

Middle Tennessee v Minnesota
Nate Woznaik could hear his name called on Saturday
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

While it is likely that no Gopher will hear his name called for the first time since 2013 in the NFL Draft this weekend, several Gophers will most likely sign with NFL teams as undrafted free agents and gain rookie try-out spots in the next few weeks. We will preview the Gophers who are most likely to earn one of these spots over the next few days. Next is tight end Nate Wozniak.

Nate Wozniak

Height: 6’ 9.5”

Weight: 268 lbs

40 yard Dash: 5.10

Bench Reps: 16

Vertical Jump: 32”

Wozniak completed his four year career for the Gophers this fall as an anchor on the end of the Minnesota offensive line. Wozniak was a dependable blocker for the Gophers with the occasional flash of pass catching ability. In 34 games for the Gophers over four seasons Wozi caught 28 passes for 314 yards and never got into the end zone.

Wozniak’s ability to run block and serve as a 6th man on the offensive line is what is spurring most of his draft interest. He could see some reps at a offensive tackle spot for a team in a pinch. While not a top pass catching threat, he has improved his receiving over the past season or two and would not be a liability as a potential huge target in the red zone.

While most Gopher fans probably don’t think of Wozniak as a prototypical NFL tight end, his draft steam seems to be picking up as the draft nears. Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report has Wozi as one of his four more players to watch in the draft. He says about him:

Wozniak is 6’9” and 260 pounds. He’s spoken to more than a dozen NFL teams, and while he’s as good a blocker as there is at the tight end position in this draft, teams are also discovering he can run routes and catch passes. Teams that worked him out have been stunned by his speed and hands.

”Most teams think of me as a blocking tight end,” he told me. “That’s what I did, and do, well. But I do have upside in the passing game.”

Wozniak said one of the most interesting things for him during the draft process has been taking the Athletic Intelligence Quotient test. It measures cognitive abilities in athletes.

“There were questions about shape rotations and memory tests,” said Wozniak.

Here’s what to remember about Wozniak: He’s going to be a better pass-catcher than many know.

We know the NFL loves physical freaks, and at nearly 6’10 Wozniak fits the bill. If he can block players at an NFL level he has a chance to find a niche as a #2 or #3 tight end in the league. And he has been garnering attention from a lot of clubs:

Whether he sneaks onto a teams draft board in the last few rounds or is signed as a UDFA on Saturday evening, you can bet Wozniak will have a chance to make an NFL club this summer.