By LARRY VAUGHT
For two years Kentucky assistant coach Vince Marrow has told me time after time that tight end C.J. Conrad would play in the National Football League.
Yet Kentucky’s offense has never seemed to fully showcase the talent Marrow — and others — feel Conrad has. Last year he had only 16 catches for 286 yards and four scores before missing the final three games with a foot injury. In his career, he has 50 receptions for 697 yards — 14 yards per catch — and nine touchdowns.
When healthy, he can be a dominating blocker and has been a significant reason Benny Snell has rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons.
ESPN draft analyst has the 6-5, 252-pound Conrad already projected as the top tight end in the 2019 draft. Listed after Conrad were Tyler Pettitle (USC), Tommy Sweeney (Boston College), Foster Moreau (LSU) and Matt Sokol (Michigan State).
A tight end has been taken in the first round three times in the last five NFL drafts.
Remember Kentucky has not had a player drafted since Josh Forrest in 2016 and now linebacker Josh Allen is being projected as a top 15 pick and Conrad projected as the top tight end. Kentucky has not had a tight end drafted since Jacob Tamme in 2008. He played nine years in the NFL.