Isaac Nauta heard his name called with the 224th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions on April 27. While the early entrant into the draft undoubtedly hoped to go a little bit higher, he is on a team with a chance to see the field.
The most notable tight end on the Lions roster is T.J. Hockenson, who was drafted in the first round out of Iowa. He racked up 73 receptions for 1,080 yards and nine touchdowns in his final two years at Iowa, and as a first-round pick, he will likely be in line to be the top tight end target for former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford.
The other top candidate to start at tight end is Jesse James, a four-year veteran and former Steeler with 120 receptions, 1,189 yards and nine touchdowns in his career.
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Behind those two, there is a group of four tight ends, including Nauta, that will battle for a roster spot. Should Nauta make the team, his biggest early role will likely be on special teams or as a blocker.
From there, he has the athleticism and skill to potentially work his way into the rotation at tight end and become a factor in the passing game for Detroit in the coming years.