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Breaking Down TE Nick Muse

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 30 Duke’s Mayo Bowl - North Carolina v South Carolina Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the 227th pick in the NFL Draft, the Vikings selected Nick Muse, TE, South Carolina. The Vikings acquired this pick in a trade with the Raiders, exchanging picks #122 and #250 for picks #126 and #227.

Muse was not ranked among the top 300 prospects in the consensus big board.

TRAITS

Overall Muse has great athleticism for a tight end, and his size is that of a traditional in-line Y tight end.

Muse is an older rookie and will turn 24 in November.

COLLEGE GRADES AND STATS

Muse was a 0-star recruit who signed on with William & Mary for his freshman and sophomore years before transferring to South Carolina in 2019. He tore his ACL in November, 2019, cutting that season short. He was top three in receiving yards at South Carolina his last two seasons.

College Football Reference

Muse was not graded by PFF in college.

SCOUTING REPORTS

Dane Brugler, The Athletic:

SUMMARY: Nicholas “Nick” Muse, who is the younger brother of NFL LB/S Tanner Muse, grew up in Belmont and attended South Point High. He was a four-sport athlete and led the team to the 2016 3A state title as a linebacker and tight end. A no star recruit, he committed to FCS William & Mary where he played two seasons. He transferred to South Carolina and was ruled eligible early in the 2019 season. He tore his ACL late in 2019, but finished top three on the team in receiving the last two years. Lined up inline and on the wing, Muse is a good-sized, presentable target with plus foot-speed, but needs a runway to create separation as a route-runner. While he is a rugged blocker at the line of scrimmage and second level, his lack of length will leave him out-leveraged, especially on the edge. Overall, Muse is up and down as a blocker and needs to cut down on the drops, but he is a “make it” competitor with enough athleticism to compete for a backup role in the NFL.

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Lance Zierlein, nfl.com:

Athletic tight end with good size and the ability to be flexed around formations. Muse is a willing run blocker at the point of attack and has the body control and agility to handle move-blocking duties with some success. He’s average at uncovering within the route but lacks the length and hand talent to consistently win contested catch battles.

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Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network:

Positives: Consistent pass-catching tight end who must pick up the blocking intensity. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, plays faster than his 40 time, and finds the open spot in the defense. Sells routes, extends his hands to offer the quarterback a target, and adjusts to errant throws. Solid hands catcher who makes the reception in stride. Displays good blocking vision, stays square, and shows ability as a position blocker.

Negatives: Does not show much interest in blocking at times. Not physical and does not work to finish off opponents. Possesses average strength at the point of attack.

Analysis: Muse entered the season graded as a potential mid-round selection and went on to have a solid campaign. He displays little interest in blocking but could be used as a move tight end thanks to his pass-catching ability. In the end, if Muse does not improve his blocking, he will struggle to stay on an active roster.

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Jack McKessy, The Draft Network:

Nick Muse joined William & Mary’s football team out of high school, then transferred to South Carolina after the 2018 season. His numbers after joining the Gamecocks aren’t flashy, but his production in the passing game was limited due to relatively poor quarterback play at South Carolina. When he did get looks, it was because of an impressive ability to create separation with his route-running and adjustments in zone coverage. Muse thrives on short and intermediate passes over the middle, especially since he’s got high YAC potential. His physicality and good field vision allow him to create once the ball is in his hands. Muse isn’t as strong when he’s an in-line blocker, where he had trouble keeping defenders engaged, making him somewhat of a liability in the trenches.

FIT WITH THE VIKINGS

Muse will compete for a spot at the bottom of the Vikings’ TE depth chart with Ben Ellefson and Zack Davidson. Muse has some ability as a pass-catcher, and YAC ability as well, with enough elusiveness to often make the first defender miss.

Muse said part of the reason he decided to use his fifth year of eligibility was because he wasn’t completely 100% after his ACL injury in 2020, and he wanted to improve his blocking and play special teams- two key areas where he’ll need to be able to contribute if he is to land a roster spot. I’m not sure Ellefson represents stiff competition in that regard. Davidson is more of direct comparison with Muse (8.81 RAS) and similar in size. Davidson was a lot more productive in college, although that was D-II Central Missouri. He was on the Vikings’ practice squad last season. But for Muse, being able to contribute effectively on special teams, improve his blocking, and respond well to coaching will be key factors in his ability to land a roster spot.

COLLEGE FILM

Poll

Will Nick Muse make the Vikings’ 53-man roster at the end of training camp?

  • 33%
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    (270 votes)
  • 66%
    No
    (530 votes)
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