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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Joe Klopfenstein

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 255 | College: Colorado
 
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Overview

Klopfenstein is a gifted athlete who was the overall strength and conditioning champion on the team as a senior. He not only boasts impressive quickness (4.53 speed), but also demonstrates above average strength (403-pound bench press, 504-pound squat) and incredible leaping ability (38-inch vertical jump) for his position.

Klopfenstein was a three-sport competitor (football, track, baseball) at Grandview High School, where he earned Prep Stars All-American accolades, was an Honor Roll student and was ranked as one of the nation's top tight ends. Prep Stars rated Klopfenstein the sixth-best tight end in the Midlands region, while Student Sports magazine rated him 20th in the country at tight end. He also garnered Rocky Mountain News All-State first-team and All-Grand Peaks League honors as a defensive end. He was a second-team All-GPL linebacker as a junior and honorable mention during his sophomore campaign.

Klopfenstein lined up at slotback during his senior year, rushing 16 times for 103 yards and catching 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. He had 53 tackles on defense (21 solos), with 14 stops for losses including eight quarterback sacks, seven pressures and three passes broken up. He posted 50 tackles as a junior (12 TFL, seven sacks), five pressures and a forced fumble. Klopfenstein added 45 tackles with four sacks, a forced fumble and a recovery as a sophomore.

Klopfenstein also played offensive guard as a sophomore and junior, and quarterback as a freshman. He also handled place-kicks on occasion (usually field goals) and kicked off as well. His best games his senior year came vs. Broomfield (five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, 12 tackles and a sack on defense in a 38-14 win) and vs. George Washington (2-30 receiving, 15 tackles, including three sacks). His team compiled a 9-2 record his senior year, advancing to the state playoffs, and was 7-3 his junior and 3-7 his sophomore year. He also lettered once in baseball (first baseman) and in track (ran the 200 meters and relays as a senior).

Klopfenstein appeared in seven games as a true freshman in 2002 at Colorado, but did not catch any passes. The following year, Klopfenstein earned All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention, as he started 10 games. He finished with 190 yards and four touchdowns on 20 receptions (9.5 avg) as a sophomore. In 2004, he was a second-team All-Big 12 pick, starting 12 times for the Buffs. Klopfenstein ranked third on the team with 33 catches for 418 yards (12.7 avg) and five touchdowns. He also posted six tackles (4 solos) on special teams.

Klopfenstein elevated to first-team All-Big 12 status as a senior. He caught 33 passes for 468 yards (14.5 avg) and four scores while also recording a solo tackle. Nine of his catches were for 20 yards or longer. In 44 games at Colorado, Klopfenstein started 34 times. He caught 86 passes for 1,076 yards (12.5 avg) and 13 touchdowns and also made seven tackles (5 solos).

Analysis

Positives: Has a developing frame with room for at least another 15 pounds of additional growth … Shows very good timed speed and adequate acceleration … Runs with a normal stride, displaying the balance, body control and flexibility to make smooth adjustments on the move … Effective at using his hands to defeat the press and is a big target going over the middle, maintaining concentration to hold onto the tough catches in a crowd … Does a very good job extending for the ball and securing it away from the body … Has a tough nature and will not hesitate to compete for a jump ball … Does a very good job coming back for off-target throws, demonstrating the field vision to easily settle into the zone's soft area … Shows vision and a fluid stride in route progression, displaying steady acceleration to get under the intermediate and deep passes.

Negatives: Despite his timed speed, he is late getting off the snap … Gathers himself a bit before cutting and needs to show better crispness running routes (takes some soft angles) … Needs to use his hands in order to defeat the jam rather than his speed, as he slowly builds to top acceleration … Makes good body adjustments, but lacks the second gear to explode past defenders after the catch … Shows good aggression as a blocker, but gets driven back on his heels too often for a player of his strength … Too inconsistent when asked to face up, lacking the ability to sustain and stick with his blocks for too long … Is usually replaced in obvious running situations because of his inability to control the defender when blocking … Has good pro value, mostly as an H-back or as a tight end in motion due to poor blocking technique, but has natural hands to easily secure the ball.

Klopfenstein has a developing frame with outstanding leg drive. He's more quick than fast, as he looks a little tight in his hips, but shows enough to flex out wide on occasion. He looks a little bit on the lean side, but has the growth potential to play at the 260-pound range at the next level.

Klopfenstein has a normal running stride and is an above average short area receiver who shows alertness through his routes. He makes quick decisions and adjustments to come back for poorly thrown balls and has enough athleticism and strength to avoid jams, doing a nice job of using his hands to prevent having defenders reroute him.

While he displays excellent timed speed, his tight hips seem to negate that quickness on the playing field. He lacks explosion coming off the snap and has to slowly build to top acceleration. Klopfenstein just seems late getting out of the gate and while he uses his size effectively to escape the jam, he must get more active with his hands when working in traffic.

Klopfenstein is a good effort type who will run through arm tackles to gain yardage after the catch, showing the leg drive needed to power through. But he needs to show better avoidance skills, as he prefers to run over rather than around his defender. He has very good hands and will not hesitate to catch the football in a crowd, providing a nice target. He also shows the ability to uncover and adjust on the move.

Klopfenstein can extend at catch the ball away from the body. He makes good body adjustments to get under the ball in flight and has the flexibility to come back for the off-target passes. He is a functional blocker upfield, but when asked to work in-line, he fails to face up and sustain, making him a non-factor who is usually replaced in obvious run blocking-situations by Quinn Sypniewski. In order to perform at the next level, he will need show better consistency and sustain his blocks longer. He has most of his troubles on kick-out blocks or when a defender is lined up over his head.

His strong points are his size, leg drive, intensity and acceleration. His frame is still developing and another 20 pounds of bulk will be ideal. He is good to set up delay routes and takes proper angles to get depth and wide on flat routes. He has only marginal ability as a blocker, more of a "get on you sometimes" type, rather than a "bull you over" run-blocker.

Despite his timed speed, Klopfenstein lacks the explosion to pull and separate in the deep secondary, but has the ability to clear routes through the short zone. He will lead up on linebackers with aggression and is developing into a natural catcher with the ball. He has a decent feel to get yardage after the catch, but it is not too difficult to bring him down on initial contact. As for pro potential, he needs to show better hip flexibility and add more bulk, but this work in progress is on course to be a productive pass catcher at the next level, if the team picks and chooses when to use him.

Career Notes

The three-year starter caught 86 passes for 1,071 yards (12.5 avg) and 13 touchdowns in 44 games for the Buffaloes … Joined Christian Fauria (1,058, 1991-94), Jon Embree (1,166, 1983-86) and Daniel Graham (1,543, 1998-2001) as the only tight ends in school history to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in a career … Only Graham (106), Fauria (98) and Dave Hestera (91, 1981-83) had more receptions by a tight end during a career at Colorado … His 13 touchdown catches broke the old school career record for tight ends of 11, first set by Gary Knafelc (1951) and matched by Graham and Fauria … One of the quickest tight ends in the country, Klopfenstein was named the team's 2005 Fred Casotti Award winner as the outstanding offensive back as selected by the coaching staff … He was the overall strength and conditioning champion for the "Explosion" group (TE, LB, FB, DS) with 66 points, owning a group best of 403 pounds in the bench press and a 38-inch vertical jump, along with impressive showings in the standing long jump (10-0 feet), the 40-yard dash (4.53, which was sixth best on the team), the squat (504 lbs.), the power clean (315 lbs.) and incline (347 lbs.) … Formed a lethal combination with quarterback Joel Klatt, as the duo connected on 11 of Klopfenstein's touchdowns (the school record is 12, between QB Koy Detmer and WR Rae Caruth, 1993-96).

2005 Season

All-Big 12 Conference first-team selection … Started every game, except vs. Missouri … Caught 33 passes for 468 yards (14.5 avg) and four touchdowns … Nine of his receptions were good for 20 yards or longer … Converted 22 of those receptions into first downs, including five on third-down plays.

2005 Game Analysis

Colorado State … The Colorado tight ends combined for 120 yards on six receptions, as Klopfenstein caught four passes for 76 yards and Quinn Sypniewski had two for 44 yards … Klopfenstein had a 17-yard catch to set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Lawrence Vickers that capped a second quarter 11-play, 73-yard drive … In the fourth quarter, QB Joel Klatt hit Klopfenstein with a third-and-11 pass for a 23-yard gain and two plays later, Klopfenstein cut blocked linebacker Jahmal Hall as tailback Hugh Charles concluded the 5-play, 51-yard drive with a 29-yard scoring run … On the Buffs' next drive, Klopfenstein caught a 21-yard pass from Klatt to set up Mason Crosby's 48-yard field goal with 2:32 left to play.

New Mexico State … Held to 24 yards on two catches, but both resulted in first downs, including a 10-yarder that helped convert a third-and-8 play in the third quarter.

Miami … His only reception was good for 23 yards and a first down.

Oklahoma State … Caught two passes for 28 yards … QB Joel Klatt connected with Klopfenstein on an 11-yard touchdown pass that expanded Colorado's lead to 24-0 with 9:28 to go in the third quarter.

Texas A&M … Followed with a season-high 99 yards on five catches … Three of his receptions were good for first downs, setting up three scoring drives in the process … His 13-yard catch in the first quarter set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Hugh Charles, followed by a 44-yard catch on the next drive, which was concluded by a Lawrence Vickers 3-yard scoring burst … A one-handed grab for 7 yards in the second quarter kept an 80-yard drive alive, as Vickers ran for a 1-yard touchdown … On third-and-6 in the third quarter, Joel Klatt hit Klofenstein with a 16-yard sideline pass and A&M rover Lee Foliaki was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play, setting up Mason Crosby's 30-yard field goal … Talking after the game, Klopfenstein remarked that he kept anticipating the big hit that never got delivered. His Buffs teammates kept waiting for the strong challenge that never really came. "There were a few times where I'd catch the ball, turn around and expect to get hit, but there was no one there," Klopfenstein said. It was, indeed, one of those nights for the Buffs (4-1, 2-0 Big 12), who finished with 559 yards and clicked from start to end. "We've moved the ball every week," Klatt said. "But tonight, I thought we were more focused on details. We didn't stall out. We didn't make mistakes. It's exciting on offense, when you put the ball in the end zone like that."

Texas … Made five catches for 60 yards and a touchdown … Three of his receptions were

good for first downs, including a 21-yarder on a third-and-1 slant pass from Joel Klatt in the fourth quarter … On the team's next drive, Klatt and Klopfenstein connected on a fourth-and-goal post pattern for a 4-yard touchdown with 9:40 left to play.

Kansas … Only caught two passes for 43 yards, but both receptions were good for touchdowns … Raced past a pair of defenders early in the second quarter to haul in a 40-yard scoring strike from QB Joel Klatt to cap an 8-play, 80-yard drive … His second scoring reception was set up by a 21-yard run on a fake field goal. Klatt followed with a 3-yard pass to Klopfenstein midway through the third quarter … His touchdown catches helped him set a new school career record for tight ends with 13 … Asked about that record, Klopfenstein responded, "I was really, really surprised to hear that I was even close to that record. But just like with every record, what matters most is getting the win and making the team better."

Kansas State … Only had one catch, but that 20-yarder helped QB Joel Klatt break Kordell Stewart's school record of 6,481 career passing yards.

Missouri … Held to 9 yards on a pair of catches.

Iowa State … Only had a 32-yard reception, but also drew a pass interference penalty vs. Nik Moser in the third quarter.

Nebraska … Two of his three catches were good for first downs, finishing with 26 yards.

Texas (Big 12 Conference Championship) … Caught four passes for 23 yards, but also fumbled once when Klopfenstein was tackled by cornerback Cedric Griffin after catching a 3-yard out pass from Joel Klatt on the game's third play … In the second quarter, Klopfenstein tackled Tarell Brown after the cornerback intercepted a Klatt pass at the CU 42. He returned the ball 11 yards before the Colorado tight end stopped him in a 70-3 loss … "Ever since the Iowa State game, something's been mentally wrong with our team,'' Klopfenstein said. "But we haven't been able to pinpoint what it is. We thought we found out what it was a few times, but we've come to find it's not it. We get into the games and we get down, and there's something wrong with our team where we can't fight through that. We have to figure out a way to correct that."

Clemson (Capital One Bowl) … Closed his career with a 5-yard catch.

2004 Season

Second-team All-Big 12 Conference choice by the league's coaches, earning honorable mention from the Associated Press … Played in every game, starting 11 … Six of his catches were for 20 yards or longer … Also produced six tackles (4 solos) on special teams.

2004 Game Analysis

North Texas … Scored on receptions of 1 and 17 yards, as five of his six catches for 67 yards were good for first downs.

Missouri … Added 25 yards on a pair of receptions.

Oklahoma State … Caught three passes for 12 yards.

Texas A&M … Collected 48 yards on four catches, with three of them resulting in first downs … Had a pair of key receptions on CU's go-ahead touchdown drive with 1:05 left; one was a terrific one-handed snare and the other brought CU to the 1-yard line (both were 11 yards).

Texas … Followed with two receptions for 48 yards.

Kansas … Caught three passes for 24 yards and a 4-yard touchdown.

Kansas State … Had a 5-yard touchdown among his three catches for 16 yards.

Nebraska … Totaled 22 yards on two receptions.

Oklahoma (Big 12 Championship) … Did not catch any passes.

Texas-El Paso (Houston Bowl) … Closed out the year in explosive fashion, hauling in five passes for a career-high 134 yards, including a fourth quarter 78-yard touchdown.

2003 Season

Played in 11 games, starting 10 … Sat out the Texas Tech game due to a bad case of the flu, which also kept him from starting the following week vs. Missouri … Had entered the fall listed third at tight end, but due to a combination of his development and injuries at the position, he ascended to starting status for the season opener vs. Colorado State, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 Conference honors from both the league's coaches and Associated Press … Caught 20 passes for 190 yards (9.5 avg) and four touchdowns … Eight of his receptions resulted in first downs.

2003 Game Analysis

UCLA … Made five catches for 25 yards, including a game-winning 6-yard touchdown with 2:15 left in a 16-14 decision.

Washington State … Totaled 12 yards on three catches, with a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter and a 3-yard scoring reception in the fourth quarter … His two touchdowns marked the first time a CU tight end caught two in a game since November 9, 1996, when Brody Heffner Liddiard had a pair in a 49-42 win over Iowa State.

Kansas … Gained 63 yards on three receptions in a 50-47 double overtime win, coming up with a 48-yard touchdown catch.

Kansas State … Followed with 23 yards on a pair of catches.

Oklahoma … Had another two receptions for 26 yards.

Nebraska … Added two catches for 14 yards.

2002 Season

Saw action in seven regular season games, but did not catch any passes.

Injury Report

2003: Missed the Texas Tech game (11/01) and saw limited action the following week vs. Missouri due to a bad case of the flu.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.53 in the 40-yard dash (wind-aided) … 4.59 in the 40-yard dash (indoor rubber track) … 403-pound bench press … 504-pound squat … 347-pound incline press … 315-pound power clean … 38-inch vertical jump … 10'0" broad jump … 33-inch arm length … 10-inch hands … Left-handed … 31/39 Wonderlic score.

High School

Attended Grandview (Aurora, Colo.) High School, playing football for head coach Rocky Whitworth … Three-sport competitor (football, track, baseball) who earned Prep Stars All-America accolades, was an Honor Roll student and was ranked as one of the nation's top tight ends … Prep Stars rated Klopfenstein the sixth-best tight end in the Midlands region, while Student Sports magazine rated him 20th in the country at tight end … Also garnered Rocky Mountain News All-State first-team and All-Grand Peaks League honors as a defensive end … Second-team All-GPL linebacker as a junior and honorable mention during his sophomore campaign … Lined up at slotback during his senior year, rushing 16 times for 103 yards and catching 10 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown … Added 53 tackles on defense (21 solos), with 14 stops for losses including eight quarterback sacks, seven pressures and three passes broken up … Posted 50 tackles as a junior (12 TFL, seven sacks), five pressures and a forced fumble … Had 45 tackles with four sacks, a forced fumble and a recovery as a sophomore … Also played offensive guard as sophomore and junior, and quarterback as a freshman … Handled place-kicks on occasion (usually field goals) and kicked off as well … His best games his senior year came vs. Broomfield (five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, 12 tackles and a sack on defense in a 38-14 win) and vs. George Washington (2-30 receiving, 15 tackles, including three sacks). His team compiled a 9-2 record his senior year, advancing to the state playoffs, and was 7-3 his junior and 3-7 his sophomore year … Lettered once in baseball (first baseman) and in track (ran the 200 meters and relays as a senior) … Honor Roll student.

Personal

Sociology major … His last name is pronounced Klof-N-stein; the P is silent … Born 11/09/83 in Denver, Colorado … Resides in Brighton, Colorado.

 
 
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