Troy Fumagalli has been a reliable wide receiver for the Wisconsin Badgers in his career. He was second team All-Big Ten as a Junior and caught 46 passes for 547 yards and four touchdowns as a Senior. Is Troy Fumagalli a tight end prospect that could be on the Pittsburgh Steelers radar?
School: Wisconsin Badgers
Fumagalli is a solid addition as a pass catcher. Despite being born with just nine fingers, he has some of the surest hands of the entire draft class. Fumagalli never drops a pass in his breadbasket. He also has the ability to extend his catch radius and catch inaccurate passes and passes in traffic.
Fumagalli also has a good understanding of where to find soft spots in the zone. He is able to sit in space and find easy completions in this regard. As a blocker, he does a good job of positioning his body to seal off blocks to the outside.
However, a lot of the weaknesses to Troy Fumagalli come in his ability to pick up blocks. He does not have great vision, or feel when it comes to moving to block while pulling or in the second level.
On the play below, he has to take out of one of the defenders in the second level to give his running back a shot. He whiffs on both of them, as the two corner the running back with ease.
Below Fumagalli is pulling from the wing-back spot. He gets to the second level, and completely whiffs on the defender.
Another missed block coming across the line of scrimmage. This led to a direct tackle in the backfield.
Aside from struggling to pick up blocks, he also does not posses much functional strength. He has a weak lower half, and in power running he struggles to get a push down field, and hold the edges.
Fumagalli is also not a lethal pass catching weapon. His hands are consistent, but his routes are not. He is not a strong athlete and is a slow mover in and out of his breaks. Without his nuance and understanding to sit in soft spots of the zone, it would be questionable if he can consistently get separation in any other way. This leaves little to be desired after the catch as well.
Pro Comparison: Jesse James, Pittsburgh Steelers
Fumagalli projects close to a tight end currently on the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fumagalli arguably has better hands than James, but James has a longer reach and is a bit taller. Either way, the two are good for cheap yards. They can both sit in zone, and they both have consistent enough hands. This makes them an asset on the football field.
They also both project to be number two tight ends in the NFL due to their lack of functional strength and an inability to help block in the running game. James, like Fumagalli is top heavy and that hurts him when it comes to setting his base as a power runner, or being able to move functionally downfield with the intentions of blocking.
A fit for Pittsburgh Steelers?
If Fumagalli were to be drafted by the Steelers, he would likely be stepping in over Xavier Grimble. However, the idea would be that Jesse James, a free agent after 2018, would be replaced by Fumagalli in 2019. The fact of the matter is that this team should not be tied down to James. Vance McDonald soared over him easily despite health and drop concerns. However, James also is not a position that needs to have the long term in mind when it comes to the draft. And if they do want to upgrade on Jesse James, they have to be adding a better blocker, not a similar version of what they are letting go. If Fumagalli fell towards the sixth round, he could be the Steelers best player available. Aside from that, this is player they should not be looking to draft.