The 11th-ranked Texas Longhorns have returned to college football relevance under third-year head coach Charlie Strong, and have developed a strong dual quarterback system with freshman Shane Buechele and senior Tyrone Swoopes.
Swoopes, who is known as the 18-wheeler, has quickly become a household name for college football fans across the country with his three touchdowns in a win over Notre Dame, and is viewed as a potential NFL tight end prospect, according to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football.
One NFL general manager reportedly said that the 6-foot-4, 249-pound quarterback could be a fourth or fifth-round pick as a developmental tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft. A college scouting director agreed with the assessment of the Longhorns quarterback, and said that he would be an “intriguing” third-day draft prospect, according to Campbell.
The Longhorns dual threat quarterback will likely need to make a position change at the next level, as he has struggled as a passer throughout his college career. Swoopes has completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 2,973 yards and thrown 17 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. While NFL evaluators may not be interested in Swoopes as a quarterback prospect, his athleticism, strength, and ability to make plays in the open field will likely entice some NFL franchises.
The senior quarterback has rushed for 848 yards and scored 20 touchdowns, and can be a load for opposing linebackers and defensive backs to tackle. Swoopes has become a leader for the Longhorns program in his senior year, and his ability to share time with a freshman quarterback shows that he is the type of player that will put the team first.
The 2017 NFL Draft class will include some talented tight ends such as Alabama’s O.J. Howard and Michigan’s Jake Butt, but the Longhorns quarterback isn’t focused on making a position change at this time. Swoopes has said that his focus remains on helping his team win games, but did say he was confident in his pass-catching abilities.
“I feel like I have pretty good hands,” Swoopes said, via Hookem.com. “Of course, if I were to do something right now, I wouldn’t be able to do what I needed to do to be successful.”
Swoopes said that he will worry about a position change when the time comes, but knows Texas has a chance to do something special this season. The Longhorns face California this Saturday, and then will start their Big 12 schedule against Oklahoma State on Oct. 1.