by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Pittsburgh, Tight End, Gavin Bartholomew
Name- Gavin Bartholomew
HT/WT- 6’5” 250 lbs.
Home – Schuylkill Haven, PA
Gavin Bartholomew played several roles at Blue Mountain High School, including tight end, defensive end, punter and he was the team's quarterback as a senior. Bartholomew was rated Pennsylvania’s 36th best overall prospect by ESPN.
As a freshman at Pitt, Bartholomew played in all 14 games, starting 8 and compiled 28 receptions for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was named a second team Freshman All-American by the Athletic and the Pro Football Network. As a sophomore last season, Bartholomew regressed but played in all 13 games, starting 10 and finished the season with 21 catches for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Panthers are looking for big things from Bartholomew in 2023, and Draft 412 looks for his numbers to improve with Phil Jurkovec behind center. With a depleted wide receiver unit, Bartholomew should get more targets than the past two seasons.
As a prospect, Bartholomew could have the best and strongest hands of any tight end in this class. He’s able to snatch balls away from his body and has demonstrated excellent body control, contorting himself to make catches thrown behind him. He was his high school’s high-jump champion and has sneaky athleticism when it comes to contested passes. And he has a knack for shielding defenders when making catches in traffic.
Bartholomew is a hard worker who puts forth the effort in run blocking. He has a good football IQ and does a good job of knowing when to pass protect and when to release.
On the downside, Bartholomew sometimes has trouble getting off the line of scrimmage. He will need to improve on his chip-blocking of defenders and releasing off the line cleanly, which in the past has caused him to be inconsistent in timing routes. Although a good blocker, he sometimes does not drive defenders back in run blocking, needing to improve on his footwork and overall strength. Bartholomew has a thin build for his 250 lb. frame but has the body type to add 10-15 lbs. of muscle. If he does before he goes pro, it should help the problems mentioned above.
Draft 412 is reminded of George Kittle when watching games and film of Bartholomew, especially in the way he can turn a simple play into a big gain or touchdown. However, the best NFL comparison or projection for “Bart” is likely the Seattle Seahawks' Will Dissly.
Excellent Combat Catcher
Release off line of scrimmage
Lacks separation speed
Gavin Bartholomew is a prospect that Draft 412 can see putting up big numbers in 2023 and moving up draft boards. He’s a unique prospect that can beat you on a big play and then disappears for a game or two. Consistency will go a long way in 2023, and if he performs well for the Panthers, it’s easy to see him leaving early for the draft.
Prediction- 5th round, but Bartholomew has enough talent to move up the draft boards and become a mid-to-late 2nd day pick (3rd round). Much will depend on his performance this season.