For a guy who led his team in receptions as a tight end, you wouldn't think Kennard Backman has much interest in blocking.
"Oh yeah, I like the physicality of it," said Kennard, who led the Blazers with 39 receptions last season. "That's what makes football. Especially at the professional level in the NFL. … I just think it's my nature in general. I enjoy the physicality part of the game."
That doesn't mean the 6-3, 258-pounder doesn't see himself as a pass catcher, though.
"I have traces of Vernon Davis," he said of the San Francisco tight end.
As a former standout high school basketball player, Kennard said the traits he displayed on the basketball court translate to the football field.
"I do believe that basketball background has helped me just in the games itself," he said. "With catching and just being good with my hands. I feel like that set me up for that."
Kennard Backman at a glance
Position: Tight end.
Height, weight: 6-3, 258.
Overview: Atlanta native was a four-year starter at UAB. He finished his college career with 96 receptions for 979 yards and nine touchdowns. During his senior year, he had 39 catches for 399 yards and three touchdowns.