FanPost

Kyle Markway scouting report

I think that tight end Kyle Markway has an outside shot at making the Rams roster. Maybe he could land a PS spot. In his first 2 years in the NFL, Markway has bounced around on 4 different NFL teams, including 2 stints with the Rams. One way of looking at that is no team has considered him to be good enough to protect and keep around for long. The other way of looking at it is the Rams must have seen something in him they liked enough to bring him back for a 2nd look.

Markway initially was an UDFA in 2020 with the NYG. Per one list, he was the 5th best UDFA tight end available after that draft. He spent most of his rookie year on the PS for the Browns, his 3rd NFL team. The Browns let him go a few weeks after the 2021 draft. He signed with the Rams just before the beginning of the 2021 training camp. The Rams waived him during the preseason and he was claimed off of waivers by the Browns. His 2nd stint with the Browns only lasted about a week as he appeared in their final preseason game and had 5 catches for 54 yards. Late in the 2021 season the Rams added him to their PS.

Background

6'3 3/4'' tall, 250 pounds. Mac Markway, who is a highly ranked TE high school recruit currently committed to LSU, is his cousin. Matt Markway, who is Mac's dad and a former Iowa TE, is his uncle. His dad and sister were soccer players.

25 years old. Played special teams at South Carolina as true freshman in 2015. Had a foot injury in 2016 and redshirted. Missed most of the 2017 season due to a rib injury. As a 5th year senior in 2019 he had 31 catches for 349 yards and 2 TDs in 12 games. Graduated with degree in sport and entertainment management. SC had a true freshman QB, Ryan Hilinski, in 2019. Hilinski later lost the starting job and has transferred to Northwestern.

Lance Zierlein 5.65 draft grade, instinctive pass catcher, inconsistent blocker, doesn't offer much YAC, good catch focus in traffic, has a shot to be a 3rd or 4th string TE. Similar draft grade as Tre McKitty (3rd round 2021), Nick Eubanks, Luke Farrell, Joey Magnifico, Charlie Taumoepeau and Noah Togiai.

Strengths

Basically a poor man's version of Daniel Bellinger (4th round 2022).

Light on his feet as a blocker. Can play some fullback. Good blocker on the move. Makes nice adjustments as move blocker to find proper assignment and strike the defender on proper shoulder. Smart adjustment blocking on screen.

Good effort as blocker. Competitive on the field. Average size. Gets hands inside.

Short area agility and burst as a blocker to dodge traffic and get to necessary spot to make his block.

Understands blocking angles and finds good angles at the LOS, the 2nd level and when blocking out wide in space.

Good combo blocker, generates movement on first defender and has quickness and timing to switch off onto the LB. Good movement skills and timing on zone run blocks. SCar sometimes used an unbalanced line where he had to block more like an OT than a TE.

Some deception on routes. Will sit down in zone and find open area. Able to slip out on play action fakes.

Soft hands catching the ball.

Weaknesses

Runs too slow. Insufficient speed to stretch the defense vertically and not fast releasing into his route.

Inconsistent catching, bobbled a ball, had pass go off of his shoulder pads.

Lunged and whiffed on pass block. Average size and body width as blocker, lacks desired bulk to be a starting Y TE and block in-line. Average play strength and can get knocked backwards. Plays narrow as blocker and can get beaten around his edge. Ducks his head into initial contact on some blocks.

Not much lower body drive and power into his blocks.

Made a mental mistake at 2nd level, late to identify proper defender to block.

Not sharp getting out of his breaks.

Injury history.

Low ceiling prospect.

Rams Outlook

What I like about Markway is he's a pretty good blocker on the move, but he's also a big enough player to also handle some blocking duties in-line next to the OT. While he's not a great receiver, he catches the ball well enough to get system yards in the Rams offense on short passes close to the LOS.

Markway's attention to detail in his blocking angles translates well to a West Coast based offense and the types of plays the Rams use.

Kendall Blanton had more developmental upside as a prospect, but Markway is probably a more consistent and reliable performer. LZ gave Markway a better draft grade (5.65) than Blanton (5.40), but Blanton was an UDFA in 2019, so last year one advantage Blanton had was being more familiar with the offense.

I wouldn't assume that Markway is just a camp body. The competition between Blanton and Markway could end up being much closer than Rams fans assume. Blanton is a bigger player at 6'6'' tall and 262 pounds, but Markway somewhat makes up for his lack of size by being a versatile blocker.