Sunday, March 4, 2012
2012 Top NFL Draft Prospects: Tight Ends
1. Coby Fleener, Redshirt Sr. - Stanford Cardinal
Fleener is a quarterback's ideal tight end at 6'6'', 247 pounds. He plays like a bigger wide receiver and can go up and get the ball at its highest point. Has the speed to stretch the field down the middle opening up outside wide receivers. He runs effective routes and does just enough blocking getting in position so his defender doesn't make the tackle but will need to improve on blocking. He could possibly gain 10-15 pounds without losing speed. Fleener caught 34 passes, averaging 19.6 yards per catch and had 10 touchdowns. The first tight end likely to be selected will be at the number 32 spot where the Giants sit. The Giants had two of their TE's go down in the Super Bowl due to ACL tears.
2. Orson Charles, Jr. - Georgia Bulldogs
Charles is an excellent athlete who is an effective blocker and receiver. Charles weighed in at a solid 251 pounds for being 6'2''. He benched 225 pounds 35 times at the combine which is excellent for a tight end. He has the ability to pancake linebackers. In 2011, he caught 45 passes for 574 yards and 5 touchdowns. Charles can stretch the field in the passing game but is more suited for the short and intermediate routes. Will have to work on routes and gaining separation from defenders at the next level. Charles is likely to be a 2nd Round selection.
3. Dwayne Allen, Redshirt Jr. - Clemson Tigers
Allen at the combine showed he wasn't as good as an athlete as most people thought running a 4.89 40 yard dash. He was still very productive at Clemson with 50 catches and 598 yards winning the John Mackey award for being the best tight end in the nation in 2011. He has good size at 6'3'' and 255 pounds. Allen runs crisp routes and will be a short to intermediate threat in the passing game. He is also probably the best blocking tight end in the draft. Allen will have to improve on his 40 at his pro day to be the first TE selected either in the late 1st Round or early 2nd Round.
4. Michael Egnew, Sr. - Missouri Tigers
Egnew will be a very athletic and talented option in the NFL. Has questions on whether he can block on the line of scrimmage because he was split out wide most of the time in Missouri's spread offense. He is a converted receiver who knows how to run solid routes and has great hands but must be able to do blocking duties as well on defensive lineman and linebackers.. Egnew has great height at 6'5'' and will have to gain weight to get in the 260's. He was a top performer at the combine as expected because he was a WR. Egnew could fall to the 4th Round but could have a Aaron Hernandez of the Patriots type impact in the NFL.
5. Ladarius Green, Sr. - Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns
Green is more of a wide receiver right now at this point and it will take some time to develop him as a great tight end. He is 6'6'' and 238 pounds and ran a 4.53 40 yard dash. Runs good routes, great body control and was a mismatch to the teams he faced in college. A team could draft this guy wanting him to just be a WR because he isn't much of a blocker at all and just doesn't have the strength to be an NFL tight end right now. An NFL team might take a chance drafting Green in the 3rd Round or Green could fall to the 6th.
6. Deangelo Peterson, Sr. - LSU Tigers
Peterson is a good athlete at the tight end position but is very inconsistent. He only caught 18 passes for an average of only 9.9 yards per catch. He is 6'3'' and 243 pounds. Has good hands and blocks pretty well. Peterson may have maturity concerns as well. He had a solid Senior Bowl week that helped his draft stock. Peterson is likely to be drafted in the 4th or 5th Round.
7. Rhett Ellison, Redshirt Sr. - USC Trojans
Ellison caught 22 passes for only 133 yards in 2011 with the Trojans. He is a hard worker with great size at 6'5'', 251 pounds and is a fundamentally sound blocker. Ellison runs pretty good routes and has dependable hands. Also lined up at fullback at USC so he has some versatility. He isn't much of an athlete and doesn't have much explosion. Ellison is a TE/FB that will be picked somewhere in the middle rounds.
8. Kevin Koger, Sr. - Michigan Wolverines
Koger was a very dependable tight end when called upon. In 2011, he caught 23 balls for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns. He was not at the NFL Combine, but is much better than most that were there. He has the speed to stretch the middle of the field and has great hands. Did a very good job of blocking in Michigan's offense and has the size to do the same in the NFL at 6'3'', 262 pounds. Koger is likely to be selected in the 5th or 6th Round in the NFL Draft.
9. George Bryan, Redshirt Sr. - North Carolina State Wolfpack
Bryan is an underrated tight end prospect that didn't get an invite to the combine. He is one of the better blocking TE's in the draft and also a reliable receiving option. Was very consistent at North Carolina State with at least 33 catches in his last 3 years with the Wolfpack. Bryan is a decent athlete and could be a great red zone option at 6'5'', 265 pounds. Bryan is likely to be selected in the 5th or 6th Round in the NFL Draft.
10. David Paulson, Redshirt Sr. - Oregon Ducks
Paulson had solid production in Oregon's high paced offense catching 31 passes averaging 14.1 yards per catch and 6 touchdowns. Paulson is only a decent blocker and will need to improve that. He isn't a fast player and will struggle to get separation from linebackers in the NFL but makes tough catches and is a good athlete despite his lack of explosiveness. Paul also has decent size at 6'3'', 241 pounds. He is a late round tight end prospect.