Cameron Latu - TE - Alabama
Welcome to the rookie profile for Cameron Latu. Cameron Latu took the long route to be an every-down tight end for the Alabama Crimson Tide starting first as a defensive end. Latu could be one of the most underrated players in this draft class as he shows great ability as a possession receiver. He profiles closest to current Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth and could have similar production as a rookie if he finds the right opportunity and role in the offense. It took Latu one year as a defensive end and two years as a backup tight end before he finally got the chance to play a significant role in the Alabama offense. But once he was given the chance, he seized the opportunity and produced at a solid level.
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 242 lbs
40-yard dash: DNP
3-cone drill: DNP
20-yard shuttle: DNP
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Latu was a 4-star edge rushing recruit out of Olympus High School before joining Alabama in 2018. Latu barely played as an edge rusher before converting to tight end. He saw action in only 2 games in 2019 and 0 games in 2020 before becoming the full-time tight end in 2021.
Latu spent the better part of those 2019/2020 seasons as a backup to Jahleel Billingsley but seized the starting job when Billingsley failed to produce. As a junior in 2020, when given his first chance as a full-time player, Latu hauled in 26 catches for 410 yards and 8 touchdowns in 14 games, an unexpected breakout to say the least.
Latu followed that up with a 2022 senior year that saw him play in 11 games, totaling 30 receptions for 377 yards and 4 touchdowns. His senior year was certainly not the next step forward he was expected to take. But with Alabama not being the powerhouse of years past, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his stats took a small hit.
Latu has excellent strength and physicality and easily wins in contested catch situations. He has great hands and balance throughout the catch process and he displays great burst and release off the line.
He is a hyper-competitive player who plays with passion and is rarely out-muscled for a ball. He does not shy away from contact or the tough areas of the field making him the ideal endzone target.
He has great strength and determination once he gets the ball in his hands and runs through tacklers as if they aren’t even there.
Latu’s upside is easily visible, if he is able to fully complete his transition to tight end and work on the finer points of the position he could be excellent.
Latu struggles heavily to beat zone coverage and had issues getting separation, instead relying too often on his ability to go up and win contested catches.
At this point, he is a work in progress as a blocker and will require some seasoning to understand the techniques fully.
He often loses the ball when tracking it over his shoulder on medium to deep throws and can sometimes get turned around needlessly. He must develop a better feel for his routes and their nuances to fully unlock his skillset.
Pre Draft Analysis
Expected Draft Capital- Round 6/7
Ideal Landing Spot- Washington Commanders
Washington has a solid duo of young receivers and is reportedly turning over starting quarterback duties to Sam Howell in 2023. As unlikely as that scenario may seem, if the Commanders do start Howell it would be a great landing spot for Latu. Rookie quarterbacks are notorious for short area check-downs and Howell figures to be no different.
Latu should be available well into day 3 and could become a reliable target for Howell (or whoever they start) in the red zone as well as the tight areas of the field. Don’t expect big things for Latu as a rookie but under the right circumstances, he could develop into a productive fantasy asset.
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Image Credit: Marc Lebryk – USA TODAY Sports