When Lucas Krull didn’t get an invite to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis earlier this month, he was told it was because since scouts would be in Pittsburgh for Pitt’s Pro Day, the Combine wanted to feature tight ends from smaller schools that wouldn’t get the exposure otherwise.
While that makes sense on the surface, it took away a key chance for a college tight end that desperately needed to prove himself to NFL scouts, coaches and executives on a national level.
Krull said it hurt to not get that opportunity, but it just made him want to prove that he belonged at the Combine and in the NFL. The snub of the Combine only served as motivation to come out Monday and showcase his ability as a big tight end.
“No doubt, absolutely,” Krull said after Pitt’s Pro Day Monday. “No disrespect to anybody, but I felt like I should’ve been there. It’s a thing that you wanna do, you know, you grow up and it’s something you wanna do. I didn’t get that opportunity, so I knew I had to come here and prove everyone wrong.”
With an official measurement of 6-foot-6 1/8, 253 pounds, with 9 3/8 inch hands, 33 5/8 inch arms and an 80-inch wingspan, Krull is a big guy. But he showed he’s not just big, he’s fast and athletic too.
With a 35-inch vertical and 4.54 40-yard dash time, his speed and explosiveness were on full display, and a 10-foot broad jump and 7.16 three-cone and 4.35 shuttle, he would’ve ranked as one of the top tight ends at the combine.
Update from @Pitt_FB Pro Day for Lucas Krull:
Wingspan: 80 in.
VJ: 35 in.
— Eric Galko (@EricGalko) March 21, 2022
“It felt great,” Krull said about being back at Pitt. “It was awesome to get back out here with the guys, especially throwing with Kenny again, it was phenomenal. So, it couldn’t be a better feeling.”
Krull was pleased to run a 4.5 40-yard dash time, which is where he’d been testing during training, and he said he couldn’t complain about his routes with Pickett nor his shuttles. “I did what I needed to do,” Krull said.
And in getting to receive some feedback from the scouts in attendance, nearly every team in the NFL represented, Krull was pleased with the way he was able to finally able to show off for NFL teams.
“Everyone’s saying I’m having a really good day,” Krull said. “I feel like people have been not really looking at my way as I thought they would, so it was something that I came here to prove. I think I did that well.”
With the intensity of Pro Day, basically a job interview for the NFL with hundreds in attendance and millions watching on television, Krull welcomed the scrutiny. He wanted to show the world who he is — a big guy who can move.
“There’s always things you need to improve on, work on, so obviously during that time, I just really wanted to emphasize showing I can move well and showing I’m better than they think too,” Krull said. “And I think I did that really well today.”
With a strong 2021 campaign with the ACC champions and subsequent performance in Pitt’s Pro Day, it’s a stark contrast from the early days of Krull’s college career — and it might not have happened without an extra year of eligibility.
“Super grateful for it,” Krull said. “You know, COVID got that extra sixth year for me. Got hurt when I got here, so obviously I didn’t know before what was gonna happen. I was like, ‘Oh, am I just gonna have to go and try for the draft?’ And then hearing I get another year because of COVID is a huge blessing and then coming back with these guys … it was awesome.”
With the 2022 NFL Draft just over a month away, the first round scheduled for Thursday, April 28 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Krull is going to stay and train in Pittsburgh for the time being.
With his girlfriend from the area, he’ll be staying with her while training with Aaron Donald’s local trainer. And while he won’t be throwing with Pickett, he’s got a pretty good replacement in the form of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins.
In getting to continue to sculpt his body for the draft and getting a big-time arm and someone whose been through the draft process before, Krull will have the opportunity to truly prepare for the experience before heading back to Kansas City with his family in late April.
Despite not being invited to the Combine, Krull’s persevered through the draft process over the last few months and with a strong Pro Day performance Monday, that dedication has paid off.
While Krull still may have a long road to be drafted, he’s showcased he’s a legitimate NFL prospect.