They used extensive criteria that included (but was not limited to) hands, route running, release, separation, after the catch, vision, blocking, physical makeup, physicality, and productivity into determining how those attributes translate to the NFL.
The ten-best prospects at the TE position are:
- Dwayne Allen, Clemson, rJr., 6’4” 255 Lbs. – The most solid all-around TE in the draft: reliable hands, physical and strong.
- Coby Fleener, Stanford, rSr., 6’6” 245 Lbs. – Teams hoping to find the next Jimmy Graham could be enticed by the production and similar size of Fleener.
- Orson Charles, Georgia, Jr., 6’3” 242 Lbs. – Great athlete with incredible natural catching ability. In a copycat league, teams will squint and hope to see the next Aaron Hernandez. Size and blocking may be an issue, but if he is drafted by the right team, could be a major factor in the offense.
- Michael Egnew, Missouri, Sr., 6’5” 251 Lbs. – Is a reliable receiving target who led all Big 12 tight ends in yardage for two years in a row.
- Brian Linthicum, Michigan State, rSr., 6’4” 249 Lbs. – Had as many touchdowns in one season at Clemson as the three he played in East Lansing; the Spartans offense didn’t use him as effectively as they should have.
- Kevin Koger, Michigan, Sr., 6’3” 262 Lbs. – Somewhat underrated prospect that has a great upside – just didn’t play in the proper offense.
- Deangelo Peterson, LSU, Sr., 6’3” 230 Lbs. – Highly recruited WR who was converted to tight end. Peterson has to prove he can play as physical as the next level will require.
- Ladarius Green, La-Lafayette, Sr., 6’6” 237 Lbs. – Concerns will be with his frame and lack of using his height to his advantage.
- Cory Harkey, UCLA, Sr., 6’4” 262 Lbs. – This could be a solid blocker that gets lost in the shadows playing in the same conference as guys like Fleener.
- George Bryan, NC State, rSr., 6’5” 265 Lbs. – Possibly one of the most underrated positions in the NFL draft is the big blocking TE, especially with exit of Mike Martz from the league.
Five other players are “on the bubble” and we will be keeping a close eye on them. These TEs are:
- Evan Rodriguez (HBack), Temple, rSr., 6’2” 242 Lbs.
- Brad Smelley (HBack), Alabama, Sr., 6’2” 233 Lbs.
- David Paulson, Oregon, rSr., 6’3” 243 Lbs.
- Chase Ford, Miami (FL), Sr., 6’6” 258 Lbs.
- Rhett Ellison, Southern Cal, rSr., 6’5” 250 Lbs.