The combination of Austin Allen and Travis Vokolek give Nebraska two talented tight ends that can be used in a variety of ways either together or individually. And while both combined for just 27 catches, 327 yards and one touchdown, they are a big part of Nebraska’s offense. In this edition of the Scouting Perspective I took a look at the Iowa game to get a better look at both Allen and Vokolek.
Despite his lack of production and being second on the depth chart, Vokolek in my opinion has the higher upside of the two. Vokolek was used primarily as a blocker in 2020 and this suited him well. As an inline blocker he has the strength to turn and seal off defenders while in space he’s able to use his agility to lock onto defenders and occupy them.
Against Iowa Vokolek caught all three targets, but showed his ability to adjust to off target throws. Making hands catches on two low balls was impressive, but his ability to spin back and pluck the ball was his most impressive catch.
While Vokolek shows the ability to be a good blocker and soft hands, his lack of explosiveness really hampers his draft stock. Vokolek has some traits but he projects to be a third tight end that is used mainly for his blocking skills. Think Cethan Carter. Vokolek could very well have a similar NFL path as Carter who is entering his fourth year in the NFL.
Much like his teammate, Allen was mainly used as a blocker playing inline and using his size to occupy defenders, especially at the second level. As a pass catcher Allen shows natural hands and is able to use his length to make tough catches.
Those traits make Allen a solid college tight end, but his future in the NFL is a steeper climb. Lacking the speed to push the seam or the quickness to create separation, Allen too often has to be schemed open. His size does give him an advantage but his lack of athletic traits will hold him back and really limit his chances.