Adam Trautman (cover photo) will almost surely be UD’s first draft pick since 1977. The senior tight end has been turning heads this season by showing that he isn’t afraid of highly competitive opponents. Taken by Griffin Quinn
Sports Staff Writer
This article first ran in print on Feb. 26
March is upon us here at the University of Dayton. With the Flyers men’s basketball team sitting at 25-2 in route to a top seed in the big dance, our campus is brimming with energy.
Talk about the cutting down of nets and Obi Toppin’s name being announced at the NBA draft can be heard from Irving Avenue all the way down to Frank Street.
One name that will surely be announced in a different draft is Adam Trautman. Trautman is a potential first round pick in April’s NFL draft.
“Obviously Toppin’s doing great things but I consider myself the only Adam Trautman to come out of Dayton,” the UD football star said.
Trautman will look to be the Flyers’ first NFL draft pick since Bill Westbeld was taken with the 281st pick in 1977.
Senior tight end Adam Trautman was a star for Dayton football this past season, amassing 914 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns on 70 receptions. Trautman has been a staple on mock draft boards since the beginning of last summer, projected as a third or fourth round pick by many analysts.
After an impressive senior season and an invitation to compete with the nation’s best at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, that may be changing.
Trautman headed down to Mobile, Ala. for the weekend of January 25 to show scouts why a player from the University of Dayton deserved to be a top selection at the tight-end position.
Although Trautman was the lone Flyer competing over the weekend, he was accompanied by 24 of his fellow Flyers.
“It was so cool, knowing the support system that I had from the guys, some drove 11 hours to be there and spend the weekend in Mobile Alabama,” Trautman said.
Trautman, unlike his faithful fans who made the trip, did much more than just show up in Mobile, he showed out.
Although he only caught two passes for 10 yards in the game, many scouts were impressed with his blocking ability from the tight end position. Trautman recalls making a lofty comment on the first day of media availability in regards to his blocking ability at the next level.
“I put my neck on the line and told them ‘you watch’” in reference to how he would handle high level competition that he would be up against.
Trautman proceeded to put a defensive end from the University of Florida on his backside on his first snap of the game.
“I love the game of football and I love to compete so the level of competition wasn’t something I was really worried about, it was all about effort and knowing I had put the work in,” Trautman said.
Many scouts were pleased to see how Trautman performed throughout the weekend. Having broken several receiving records at UD, his route running and catching abilities rarely came into question, but Trautman proved throughout the weekend that he can provide all that is needed at the next level as a tight end.
Although his performance came as a surprise to members of the media and scouts, his former offensive coordinator at UD, Coach Austin King, wasn’t shocked in the slightest.
King will be joining Trautman on the NFL stage as the newly hired offensive line coach for the Las Vegas Raiders.
“Adam has always been a hard worker, since the day he got to Dayton, we didn’t see this path to the NFL when he first arrived but it definitely isn’t a surprise that its become a reality for him,” King said.
King will surely be looking forward to seeing Trautman after games, but not so much on the field if he’s playing for the other team.
Recently, the position of tight end in the NFL has produced some of the most vibrant on field personalities the league has seen. With the likes of Travis Kelce and George Kittle leading the charge, the tight end has become something many teams in the league rally around for inspiration.
“The position of tight end has become a guy that a lot of teams look to carry that cowbell and lead the charge, and there is no surprise that some of the best tight ends affect the game in so many different ways,” Trautman said. “I’m really looking forward to providing that and really getting to be myself out there.”
Trautman looks to further bolster his draft stock at the upcoming NFL combine where he will participate in all the events, looking to prove that he is worthy of being selected with a high pick in the draft. The combine will be televised on ESPN on February 27.
Looking forward to what the future holds for Trautman, the NFL draft will be held in Las Vegas on the weekend of April 23. Be sure to tune in to see which NFL franchise will replace Dayton’s name across Trautman’s chest.