An impressive physical specimen at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, Troy Niklas will once again make an effort to live up to his draft hype and size expectations. Every year, something happens to stop him in his tracks. So he's made some adjustments. According to the Arizona Republic, Niklas is a little lighter this year, which makes him faster at hitting his cuts and breaks. He’s spent more time fine-tuning his techniques, like learning how to improve his hand speed and placement. So far, head coach Bruce Arians loves what he’s seeing. “When he’s healthy, he’s another tackle that can run and catch,” Arians said.
The words "when he's healthy" are the key here. This is only his fourth NFL season, and Niklas, a former second-round pick, has already undergone six surgical procedures. Niklas, 24, has almost had as many operations performed on him as he has career receptions (8).
2017 Bottom Line
Once again, the tight end isn't featured in Arians' offense. It's a block-first role. And Jermaine Gresham is the starter. It'll be interesting to see what the athletic Niklas can do if healthy, but nobody should be banking on fantasy production from him.