*Our TE grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

**Our TE formulas had some slight changes in the offseason—an adjustment to better identify and value TE prospects that are smaller physically and are primed for the era ahead...the era of Jordan Reed and Delanie Walker-type TEs. Our historical grades will have changed some on various prospects as well, to show their grades by comparison. 

Prior to studying Parkinson, I studied Albert Okwuegbunam (Albert O.), Cole Kmet and Brycen Hopkins. I’ll use them to try to compare/put Parkinson in the proper perspective…

First, no one (TE) in this draft is like ‘Albert O.’ – the size and speed. He’s a whole different animal at tight end. Hard to compare the two of them.  But I still will in a moment.

I want to focus on Parkinson vs. Kmet and Hopkins because that’s more of Parkinson’s ‘class’ – not super athletic but have NFL size and average/acceptable TE athleticism for the pros.

Parkinson is a WAYYY better receiver than Kmet or Hopkins. Not even close. Parkinson is fast/quick off the snap and can pop-pop-pop his feet to make quick cuts and get open.  Kmet and Hopkins just don’t have that kind of bounce in their step and they have trouble separating (especially Kmet). The Combine numbers do not do justice to Parkinson’s on-field movement superiority relative to that of Kmet-Hopkins.

Parkinson also has excellent hands. PFF says he didn’t drop a pass in 2019. What I saw on tape was no drops, and just a smooth/confident catcher of the ball under duress (as tight ends tend to have defenders on their back while catching the ball over the middle). If you needed one of these three TEs to get open on 3rd & 3…it’s Parkinson. If you needed to make sure they actually catch the pass…it’s also Parkinson (by far).

Parkinson worked as a split out tight end, quasi-flanker because he was such a quality receiver. Whereas Kmet and Hopkins were more ‘release from a fake block and slip into a pass pattern’ type of misdirection receivers. Parkinson is a tight end who almost looks/works like a legit wide receiver.

Oh, and the 6’7”+ body is a nice target to throw at – compared to Hopkins at 6’3”+…even the taller Kmet at 6’5.6” is an inch+ shorter.

Parkinson wins the ‘receiver’ battle in every phase over the supposed #1 TE in this class, Cole Kmet.

You want another bonus? This one is key for the NFL – Parkinson is a WAYYY better blocker than Kmet or Hopkins. Parkinson is aggressive, gets in defender’s chests and does combat. Kmet plays pattycakes by comparison…trying to extend his arms from a distance and push defenders away, and aggressive/better defenders just throw him off or blow him back like it’s nothing. Not so with Parkinson.

Parkinson is the better receiver and blocker of the scouts’ more beloved Kmet and Hopkins. Why Parkinson isn’t mentioned in the same breath – I have no idea.

What about compared to Albert O. (who the scouts don’t like as much in this class either)?

Parkinson has better hands, and just a better sense/instinct in the passing game…but Albert O. is such a speed demon (for a tight end) that it’s pick-your-poison/favorite attributes. Albert O. is a big man with very fast feet, so he is able to generate more force and mass blocking and is able to outrun most linebacker coverage – that’s a rare thing among tight ends. Parkinson counters with more height and more technical receiving skills and can hold his own as a blocker.

Our computer will rate Albert O. higher because he is such a freak of nature with production and skills shown. The NFL might draft Parkinson ahead of Albert O. because he has height and such great, natural receiver ability. Both are nice prospects, they just bring different gifts to the table.

Parkinson is a real talent with freakish gifts of his own, just ones that are harder to measure, such as ‘great hands’ and ‘technical receiver skills’. Parkinson also lost his very good starting QB (K.J. Costello) a few weeks into 2019 season and finished out with a much weaker QB and thus his 2019 numbers were ‘meh’…so, he’s flying under the radar for something out of his control. Parkinson is a real all-around talent, not a future Hall of Famer, just really good, and, in addition, he has excellent character.

The more I watched and learned…the more I really appreciated what Parkinson brings to the table, and it really stands out when you watch Kmet-Hopkins-Parkinson in the same time range.



Colby Parkinson, Through the Lens of Our TE Scouting Algorithm:

After K.J. Costello went down, Parkinson caught just 1 TD pass his final 9 games with the inferior backup QB. With Costello in 2018, Parkinson caught 7 TDs in 13 games…and overall career had 11 TDs in his first 22 games before the Costello 2019 injury hit. That’s the kinda TD production you like to see from a tight end built like this…he just got diverted from the pace when Costello got hurt (as did the whole Stanford team). 

With Costello for a full 13 games in 2019, Parkinson would have probably caught 70+ passes for 700+ yards and 6-7+ TDs, and gotten more attention from analysts.

As mentioned earlier…PFF recorded Parkinson as having no drops in 2019 season. 

2020 NFL Combine Data…

6’7.2”/252, 9 5/8” hands, 33 ¼” arms

4.77 40-time (10th fastest of 17 at Combine), 2.81 20-yard, 1.66 10-yard

4.46 shuttle, 7.15 three-cone (6th best of 13)

18 bench reps, 32.5” vertical (11th best of 15), 9’1” broad jump (16th of 16/last)

Parkinson does not have a lot of spring in his legs, but he does have fast/quick move feet and a 6’7” body to compensate.  

The Historical TE Prospects to Whom Colby Parkinson Most Compares Within Our System:

It’s hard to find a proper comp for Parkinson because it’s hard for me to think of a big/tall TE prospect who didn’t light up Combine times but looked much faster and more accomplished on the field with terrific hands. Kyle Rudolph’s hands and maybe young Tyler Eifert’s movement skills (before all his injuries)?

TE Grade









Spd-Agil Metric

Strgth Blxing Metric

Hands Metric


















W. Oregon












Notre Dame












Notre Dame












U Conn



















*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a TE prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of TEs going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL TE.

All of the TE ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

**The ‘TE-Reed’ score is in honor of Jordan Reed’s 2015 season…looking at TEs in a different manner—the smaller, speedy receiving threats.

“Speed-Agility Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/create separation.

“Power-Strength Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Hands Metric” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance, and project the combination of data for receiving success at the next level.

2020 NFL Draft Outlook:

I do not see much love for Parkinson in anyone’s draft rankings. I see a range of 4th-to-7th-round projections. I’m going to guess he ends up 4th-round as someone will see some of the same things I’m seeing, and Stanford coach David Shaw pushes his players pretty well with the NFL. Could be a shock late 3rd-rounder at best.

If I were an NFL GM, I’m intrigued but not spurred to action/lust with Parkinson. The more Parkinson would fall as a value in the draft, the more interested I am. He deserves much better rankings. He’s a decent weapon in the receiving game worst case. I wouldn’t pay up/chase after him, but if he fell and I was needing tight end help/depth, I’d definitely consider him. 

NFL Outlook:   

He’ll be drafted without fanfare, so he faces an uphill battle to playing time and attention…it won’t be fair, while Cole Kmet is drafted to be an insta-starter, but it is what it is. I could see Parkinson getting buried for a few years or he works his way into some playing time early because he is such a nice receiver, and he just forces his way to becoming a starter/weapon – even if just for the red zone.