The traditional fullback role may be going the way of the dinosaurs but NFL teams are always in search of moveable chess pieces capable of lead blocking, protecting the edge and releasing into the flats as receiver. This is precisely the combination of skills Hewitt demonstrated with the Cardinal, culminating with an invitation to the 2014 Senior Bowl despite less-than-impressive statistics during his final season in Palo Alto. Hewitt enjoyed his greatest production in 2011. Despite playing the role of a complementary outlet receiver with future NFL tight ends Coby Fleener (Indianapolis Colts), Zach Ertz (Philadelphia Eagles) and Levine Toilolo (Atlanta Falcons), Hewitt hauled in what turned out to be a career-high 34 catches for 282 yards and five scores. He emerged as the team's primary fullback over the next two years, rushing for a total of 40 yards (on 18 carries) and catching 23 passes for 175 yards. Hewitt's value lies in his versatility. He proved to be a capable, reliable receiver and physical blocker at the Senior Bowl. Given his success and variety of roles in Stanford's pro-style offense, he is an easy projection to the NFL.
STRENGTHS: Possesses broad shoulders and the frame to handle an additional 10 pounds of muscle. Good quickness out of his stance, showing lateral agility and balance to gain separation from defenders. Reliable hands. Can extend and pluck outside of his frame and secures the ball quickly, showing the ability to take a big hit and hang on. Locates targets quickly as a lead blocker and shows good use of leverage and leg drive to knock defenders out of the hole. Sinks his hips and anchors well in pass protection. Versatile player with the size and experience to play multiple roles. WEAKNESSES: A jack of all trades, master of none whose frame and lack of athleticism could make him a 'tweener in the eyes of scouts. Isn't a traditional pile-driver as a lead blocker and does not possess the straight-line speed to take the top off a defense as a traditional tight end. Relatively slim lower body. COMPARES TO: Sean McGrath, Kansas City Chiefs - McGrath surprised with his production after signing with the Chiefs, hauling in 26 passes for 302 yards and two scores in 2013. Like McGrath, Hewitt lacks elite athleticism and will rely on his ability to play multiple roles to find a roster spot. Each catch the ball well, however, and are a competitive, if undersized blockers.--Rob Rang
05/13/2014 - Bengals CFA class: Ryan Hewitt, TE, Stanford 6-4, 246: Already comes in as versatile after playing tight end, fullback, and H-Back in pro offense....Good hands, smart route runner... Has been compared to former Cowboy Moose Johnston...Caught 34 balls and five TDs from Andrew Luck as sophomore in 2011....Finished career with 59 catches...Hometown is Denver, Colo. - Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com