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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Shaun Beyer, TE, Iowa

Could Beyer be the perfect Trey Burton replacement for the Colts?

Iowa v Penn State Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

A fan-favorite series is coming back to the site as it is officially prospect interview season. For anybody new to the site or for people who need a reminder, every draft season I sit down with prospects that are going to be in the upcoming NFL Draft to talk with them about their off-field accomplishments and some film aspects on the field. While I don’t always talk to star players, I have been able to talk to a few players who eventually ended up with the Colts such as Khari Willis, Marvell Tell III, and Rock Ya-Sin.

Our next prospect interview is with Iowa tight end Shaun Beyer. We had a great conversation about his insane athleticism, his wrestling background, and his ability as an all-around tight end.


Background

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 248 pounds

Class: Senior

Beyer is a former three-star recruit out of John F. Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In high school, he was an all-around athlete who played football, basketball, wrestling, and track. He originally committed to Iowa as a receiver but was ultimately moved to tight end after his freshman year. From then on, Beyer had a consistent role as a blocking tight end who would occasionally make the splash play in the receiving game. He finished his career with 18 catches for 275 yards and one touchdown.

Beyer was also a four-time All Big-Ten Academic All American as well. He participated in the CGS Gridiron Showcase after his senior season.

ZH: You were bit of an all-around athlete in high school. What made you take up so many different sports?

SB: Well, I was a kid who grew up playing sports year-round. When I came into high school, I obviously wanted to excel in football. I also did track all four years which was something I really wanted to do. On top of those two, I grew up wrestling my entire life. I decided to do that in the offseason because wrestling is one of the best things you can do for football in terms of body awareness and moving people. Basketball was pretty funny though. I was just looking to train and focus on football and track for my senior year and then the basketball coach saw me messing around and dunking in the gym. He decided then that they needed me to play right then (laughs). I was pretty much there just to play defense and get rebounds. It was fun, I had a good time.


Tight End U

ZH: Out of high school, you get the offer from Tight End U in Iowa. Iowa has produced so many stars at tight end like George Kittle, T.J Hockenson, and Noah Fant. What was it like playing for a school that was known for developing your position?

SB: I grew up an Iowa kid, so I always wanted to play for the Hawks. I always supported them when I was younger, got a couple chances to go to some games, and just being able to experience that as a kid was amazing. Getting an opportunity with that offer was a dream come true, especially at the tight end position. Playing behind guys like Kittle, Hockenson, and Fant and you learn a lot of different things that you need to know to get that extra edge and perform.


Blocking Ability

ZH: Obviously, tight ends have to be able to block when they come through Iowa. Does your wrestling background help you when it comes to blocking?

SB: I’d like to think so. Growing up with wrestling, you just have great body awareness and balance. Just knowing how to move someone the way that you want and control their body is what you get out of wrestling. Being able to translate that onto the football field... I mean it’s blocking someone. You are trying to control and move players in blocking so it definitely helps, for sure.


Underrated Athleticism

ZH: I don’t want to say you couldn’t see your athleticism on film but it was certainly hard to see with how often you were blocking. Were there ever any times where you were frustrated about not getting the ball?

SB: I mean, yeah, everyone wants the ball more. The more you get the ball, the more you can show. I never was the guy to complain about not getting the ball, even if I was open on a play. I was more of a team player in that aspect where as long as we were moving, I didn’t care who got the ball. Obviously, if I could get the ball more though it would be nice (laughs).

ZH: You had this weird ability to make highlight-reel plays at Iowa. A crazy one-handed catch and a hurdle over a defender that both made their rounds on social media. Do you go into plays thinking, “oh, I’m gonna make a highlight here” or is it just a last-second decision? (laughs)

SB: You know, I’ve never put much thought into it. The one-hand catch kind of just happened. It was up there and I kind of just threw a hand up there, and came down with it. As far as the hurdle, the defender was coming down on me and I saw the way his body was positioned. When he started to go down, I went up.

ZH: Love it. Are you expecting to have a huge Pro Day from your testing numbers?

SB: I think I’m going to open some eyes a little bit. It all comes down to the day. I just gotta perform in everything I do, so I’m looking to have a big day for sure.


NFL Outlook

ZH: What is my team getting if they spend a draft pick on Shaun Beyer?

SB: You are going to get a tight end who can do it all. I can win vs man coverage, I can block the shit out of people, and I’m not afraid to play special teams. I played in all three phases on special teams, the only teams I wasn’t on was punt. That is something I would really enjoy to do (play special teams) and I think it is one of the biggest assets you can have as a player. That is what we always preached at Iowa; defense and special teams wins games. Being able to come into an organization and give it everything I got is what I plan to do.


Final Thoughts

Beyer is a talented tight end who never really got a shot to show off his ability at Iowa. His blocking is incredible and he certainly had a lot of reps in that aspect of his game in college. The concern comes in how high you can draft a player who has just 18 career catches to his name. His ability as a blocker and his athleticism (if he tests as he should), definitely could get him drafted on day three in spite of the lack of production.

Unless the Colts want to bump Mo Alie-Cox up to more of the move tight end, I’m not sure if the Colts will be the team to draft Beyer. His upside is super intriguing though and I think the potential is there for him in this league. One thing is for sure though, never count out an Iowa tight end.