Could use more grooming lining up with hand in the ground
Had some medical issues
Off-the-field concerns, arrested in 2012
Summary: The 2014 NFL Draft has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball in a deep draft class. One of the areas that has an inordinate amount of talent is the tight end position. In a normal year, Amaro would be the first tight end selected, but in the 2014 NFL Draft, he could be the second, or even the fourth, tight end to go off the board. No matter where Amaro's drafted, he figures to be a dangerous receiving tight end in the NFL.
Amaro was on his way to a huge 2012 season, racking up almost 400 yards through the first six games, but suffered a spleen injury against West Virginia that resulted in him missing six games. Amaro was having a massive performance against the Moutaineers with five receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown before getting hurt. He finished the season with a total of 25 catches for 409 yards with four touchdowns. He caught seven passes for 57 yards and two scores in 2011.
In 2013, Amaro was one of the best pass receivers in the nation. He dominated the Big XII with a number of prolific Saturdays for the Red Raiders. Amaro recorded 98 receptions for 1,240 yards with seven touchdowns for the year. The junior had huge days against a number of teams, including Iowa State (9-143), West Virginia (9-136), Oklahoma (8-119) and Oklahoma State (15-174).
Amaro was deadly at burning defenses down the middle of the field. He gets down the seam quickly and presents a good target, plus does well on out routes and crosses. Amaro catches the ball well with the body control to make leaping catches over defenders. On third downs, he is a reliable receiver who is an asset to move the chains.
The big bodied Amaro can be tough for defensive backs to bring down after the catch. He runs through or bounces off tackles while having the quickness to pick up more yards. Amaro also has red-zone ability, and if he develops his blocking, he could be a nice weapon in goal-line situations. Amaro's size, quickness and hands make him an excellent receiving tight end prospect for the NFL.
As a blocker, Amaro has a lot of room for improvement. Texas Tech's offense wasn't a pro system that really developed Amaro's in-line blocking ability. He has to improve his ability to get a hold of defenders and move them at the point of attack. Amaro has the size and strength to get the job done, he just is very green as a blocker and has to be built up. Going to a good coaching staff will have a lot to say as to whether Amaro develops into a well-rounded tight end, or if he is a just a receiver who is a liability in the ground game.
The NFL is a passing-driven league and receiving tight ends like Amaro are tough to find. Players like that present a lot of mismatches. Amaro looks like a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Player Comparison: Greg Olsen. Olsen was a late first-round pick in 2007 and has been a solid receiving tight end in his career. Amaro has a similar receiving skill set to Olsen (6-5, 250), but Olsen is a better blocker. On the flip side, Amaro has more upside as a receiver, although Olsen has been under-utilized for a lot of his career. If Amaro develops his blocking, he could be a tight end who is comparable to, or better than, Olsen.
NFL Matches: Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, New England, Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Detroit
There are a lot of teams that could consider taking Amaro late in the first round or early in the second round. The Packers could look at Amaro as a replacement for Jermichael Finley, but Green Bay is more focused on drafting for defense.
Heath Miller is declining with the Steelers, and Pittsburgh could consider a tight end early. Baltimore also may want another receiving tight end if that is the best passing weapon available.
In the AFC East, all four teams could be potential landing spots for Amaro. The Bills need a receiving tight end for their offense and could go after Amaro with their second-round pick. The Dolphins could use a tight end to pair with Charles Clay, but they probably need to use their first-round pick elsewhere, and Amaro is unlikely to reach their second-round pick.
The Jets need to add some weapons for Geno Smith, and a receiving tight end like Amaro would provide a nice security blanket for Smith. The Patriots really missed Aaron Hernandez last year, while Rob Gronkowski is becoming more and more injury prone. New England's offense could really use a player like Amaro, and he would be an appropriate value late in the first round. Amaro is a nice fit for the Patriots' offense.
In the second round, Tampa Bay and Atlanta both need starting tight ends. If Amaro falls to Round 2, he could land with either the Bucs or Falcons. The Lions could be interested in Amaro in the second round if they don't re-sign Brandon Pettigrew.