The 87th annual NFL Draft is fast approaching, so now is the perfect time to look ahead and get to know some of the top prospects in the class. I’ll break down each position and also take a look at some teams who may be in the market for that type of player. At the end, I’ll give you a look at my final mock draft. This time, we’re going to take a look at the tight ends.
There may not be a Kyle Pitts level player in this year’s class. However, history has proven that even tight ends selected in later rounds can find success. While we aren’t likely to hear names at the position until around the middle of round two, there are still guys who will make an impact. Let’s take a look at my top five.
Trey McBride TE, Colorado State 6’4 246 lb.
Trey McBride is climbing up draft boards and could even find himself being taken in the back end of the first. A unanimous All-American, McBride snagged 90 catches for 1,121 and 1 touchdown. He is a plus blocker who is great in pass protection. McBride could add some strength and needs to improve in the red zone.
Jalen Wydermyer TE, Texas A&M 6’5 255 lb.
Wydermyer made an impact the moment he stepped on campus for the Aggies. He racked up 118 catches for 1,468 yards and 16 touchdowns in his three years. He’s an efficient red zone target and was used in a variety of alignments. Wyderymer dropped eight passes in his final year. He will need to improve as a blocker going forward.
Greg Dulcich TE, UCLA 6’4 243 lb.
Dulcich lined up in different alignments and was effective for the Bruins in 202., His 42 catches for 725 yards and five touchdowns landed him runner-up to Trey McBride for the Mackey Award (best college TE). However, he doesn’t offer much in the run game. He will need to improve his blocking and technique.
Cade Otton TE, Washington 6’5 250 lb.
Otton was not used much in the passing game for the Huskies. Thus finishing the season with 28 catches and 250 yards with one touchdown. He has good hands and is a more than willing blocker. But will need to add aggressiveness when it comes to initiating and maintaining blocks.
Jeremy Ruckert TE, Ohio State 6’5 250 lb.
The Ohio State wide receiving corps was absolutely loaded and Ruckert’s stats reflect that. He had 26 catches for 309 yards with three touchdowns. Ruckert is an above average athlete with skillful hands. But needs to improve his blocking technique going forward.
Teams Targeting TEs
Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow relied heavily on tight end CJ Uzomah last season and he is gone to the Jets. A young quarterback’s best friend is a reliable tight end so the Bengals should look to address the hole.
Cleveland Browns- Head Coach Kevin Stefanski loves using multiple tight end sets and, after releasing Austin Hooper, only David Njoku and Harrison Bryant remain. Look for Cleveland to explore the position on day three.
New York Giants- The Giants are rolling with Daniel Jones for another season and need to surround him with weapons to figure out if he is their guy going forward. The oft-injured Evan Engram left for the Jaguars so New York should look to help their young signal caller.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The future of future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski is still up in the air, though many expect him to reunite with Tom Brady for another run. Regardless, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to add depth as Gronkowski is on the tail end of his career.
What are your thoughts? Any prospects you think I missed? Follow me on Twitter @devinlowe123 and let’s engage!
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