Congratulations! You drafted a 6'7", 235 lb. ball of clay. Ross Travis hasn't played football in about eight years, which is generally rare for players who get drafted into a professional football league. He did play basketball for those eight years, and he played it at a rather high level, as he started the majority of his games for four seasons as a college basketball player in the Big Ten. So why isn't he pursuing basketball overseas, like most college basketball players? Well, he's leaving that door open if football doesn't work out, but he's a classic tweener, stuck somewhere between small forward and power forward.
What You're Getting
As dumb as this sounds, his basketball skill set should translate to football pretty well. The Jimmy Graham/Antonio Gates-style tight ends were undersized rebounders who knew how to use their bodies to great effect, and that's what your team is getting with this pick. Travis left Penn State with 816 rebounds to his name - an average of 6.2 per game, good for third in program history. He reportedly ran a 4.6 40-yard dash in a private workout after the season, and if that didn't put any athletic concerns to rest, this dunk over 7'1" A.J. Hammons should:
Of course, the learning curve will be steep. Blocking and route running are probably the two biggest areas of concern for any rookie tight end, much less a rookie that has been out of football for nearly a decade. But he is strong, fast and athletic, and if you give him some time to learn how to play football, this pick may pay off somewhere down the line. Just don't expect him to light up the world right away.
Is he the next Jimmy Graham? Mmmmmmprobably not. But he's got a much bigger upside than that punter your team would've drafted instead.