2023 NFL Draft: Will Dalton Kincaid Be Ready for Week 1?

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) celebrates the victory
Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Utah Utes tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) celebrates the victory / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid has risen to a first-round draft prospect, but his back injury raised some red flags when he couldn’t participate in the NFL’s scouting combine.

According to the Pro Football Docs, Kincaid appeared to suffer a mild compression fracture on November 26th when a defender landed on him during an awkward twisting motion. The fracture isn’t structural, has no nerve damage, and isn’t a long-term concern.

There is no such thing as a “small” back fracture, as NFL Network’s Mike Garofolo described in his report, but this type of fracture is of a lesser degree. Kincaid’s back fracture didn’t require surgery, and he’s been medically cleared ahead of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Kincaid played one week later in the PAC-12 championship win over USC but opted out of the Rose Bowl.

Kincaid has been viewed as one of the top tight-end prospects in this deep class, and his slippery route running and sticky hand is the main reasons.

The soon-to-be-24-year-old caught 106 of 138 targets with only two drops for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns in 25 games for Utah after he logged 1,209 yards and 19 scores at the University of San Diego. 

Kincaid will be ready for mandatory OTAs and should provide immediate value to the team.

Kincaid has been rumored to the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, and New York Jets.

For more NFL Draft injury insights go to Sports Injury Central. Our free weekly newsletter has the best NFL, CFB, NBA and MLB insights from our Pro Sports Doctors plus Free Picks to give you a unique edge!