Philip Lutzenkirchen... This is one of those odd undrafted free agents who'll be tough to judge. First, he only had 59 receptions in his college career, yet 14 of them were for touchdowns. As you'll see in the chart below, he had a grand total of 628 receiving yards during his time at Auburn. While many point to the Tiger's having a tough time on offense last season, there was a guy named Cam Newton there in 2010. So I'm not buying the "it was the offense" argument. But what make Lutzenkirchen intriguing is his accolades.
Have a look at this courtesy of auburntigers.com :
CAREER -- Ranks first in touchdowns by a tight end in Auburn history with 14 ... Holds AU single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end with seven (2011) ... Three career game-winning touchdowns (South Carolina - 2010/11, Alabama -2010)
2012 -- Did not fully participate in spring drills recovering from injury ... AFCA Good Works Team nominee.
2011 -- AP Second Team ALl-SEC ... Coaches All-SEC Second Team ... Sports Illustrated Honorable Mention All-American ... SEC Coaches Pre-Season Third Team ... Phil Steele All-SEC Second Team ... Mackey Award Watch List ... Sports Illustrated Preseason All-SEC Team ... Phil Steele Preseason All-SEC Third Team ... Played in 12 games with 11 starts ... Third on team in receptions (24), receiving yards (238), while leading team with seven TD receptions ... Tied for third nationally with seven touchdown catches by a tight end ...
There are times in the video you just saw, where he looks like a young Jason Witten. He does a great job of tracking back to the ball when the pass is behind him. In the next video, you'll see why any comparison to the star Dallas Cowboys tight end are a bit of a stretch. He's a decent blocker, but he seems to bend at the point of contact. Take a look:
Lutzenkirchen had surgery to repair a torn labrum and have three bones spurs removed from his hip, according to Joel A Erickson, of "Alabama Live". He only played in 6 games his senior year, and injury recovery caused him to under-perform at the NFL Combine and his Auburn Pro-Day. "Lutz" has decent size for a tight end, but nothing remarkable: 6'3", 258 lbs, 33 1/4 inch arms and 10 1/4" hands.
NFL.com had this to say about his strengths and Weaknesses:
"Possesses NFL size and bulk. Difficult red zone and short-yardage assignment for defenders, uses his build to shield defenders or simply pushes them away when trying to reach a spot. Strong hands to make one-handed spots and win 50/50 balls when covered. Flashes foot quickness in his routes and athleticism to spin off tackle attempts and leap into the end zone to beat a defender to the pylon. Adjusts to throws behind him when heading out to the flat. Adept move blocker from his H-back spot, makes contact as a lead blocker and fits on linebackers in the run game. Solid in pass protection, mirrors blitzers effectively. Can shown effectiveness as an in-line blocker, as well."
"Though a fair athlete for his size, is still not an elite vertical threat. Must improve his ability to sustain as a blocker in space, when will bend at the waist and lunge instead of moving his feet. Will need to prove himself a reliable receiver once in an offense where he is regularly targeted. Injuries have been an issue, played injured junior year, missed most of his senior season."
Thoughts? Opinions? Let me hear what you think of Lutzenkirchen. We'll be dissecting all of the UDFAs over the next week since Rams mini-camp is about to start.