After all the tape study, the combine measurements/workouts, and re-watching of tape, there has been significant movement in the post combine tight ends rankings.
Jayson Braddock and Dory LeBlanc 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:
1. Coby Fleener, Stanford, rSr., 6’6” 247 Lbs. – Teams will hope to find this year’s Jimmy Graham when they evaluate Fleener. As the NFL evolves more and more into a heavily tilted passing league, receiving tight ends value will outweigh those of dual threat tight ends that are less talented as a receiver exclusively. +1
2. Dwayne Allen, Clemson, rJr., 6’3” 255 Lbs. – Allen is the most complete tight end in this class. As mentioned before, a lot of teams will still decide to go with Fleener over Allen due to the fact that Coby is a 6’6 target that will be a bigger all around receiving threat. Dwayne can come in and block at a high level right away and he can be a effective in the passing game. He won’t be a team’s top option like some of the recent tight end selections over the past few seasons. -1
3. Orson Charles, Georgia, Jr., 6’2” 252 Lbs. – He is a glorified receiver. He will have to develop into more of a complete tight end at the next level. He looks so talented when comparing to other tight ends because he’s not of their nature. Orson can develop into a weapon in the NFL but he’s not a top talent entering the league. EVEN
4. Michael Egnew, Missouri, Sr., 6’5” 251 Lbs. – Egnew is another big target guy. After you get past the top three in this class though, you are looking at more developmental players. They are guys that can definitely make a roster and contribute but they would be a liability in some sense or another. Egnew will be another receiving option for a team and provide match up problems. EVEN
5. Brian Linthicum, Michigan State, rSr., 6’4” 249 Lbs. – Here’s a guy that wasn’t used right in his offense in college. His freshman year he caught 3 touchdowns. He then transferred schools and only caught 3 more touchdowns over his remaining three years at Michigan State. This is probably one of the best value picks of the class. He’s also the second best dual threat tight end. EVEN
6. Ladarius Green, La-Lafayette, Sr., 6’6” 238 Lbs. – Any team that was interested in Fleener early may look to add Green later. He’s a much more raw version of Fleener. He has to learn to trust his hands and use his size to his advantage at all times. He also needs to add bulk to his frame. A team with a talented, aging tight end should look to add Green and develop him behind their veteran. +2
7. David Paulson, Oregon, rSr., 6’3” 246 Lbs. – Paulson was a producer at Oregon. While it was a high octane offense you can definitely see his talent in his production. He’s also a big play tight end. He had the highest average per catch of any tight end in this top ten with the exception of Coby Fleener. +4
8. Kevin Koger, Michigan, Sr., 6’3” 262 Lbs. – Koger was also hurt by the offense he played in and having a running quarterback. This is one of those guys that get into the NFL and you ask, “where did he come from”. He’ll definitely turn some heads at the next level. -2
9. Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern, rSr., 6’2” 241 Lbs. – Out of all of this year’s tight end prospects, Dunsmore may be the most natural catcher. He catches and runs with ease. He will have to be committed to an NFL training program in the off season but he will be successful in some aspect at the next level, even if that means moving him to H-back. +6
10. Deangelo Peterson, LSU, Sr., 6’3” 243 Lbs. – This guy scares the fool out of us. Deangelo could develop at the next level and that would be the only reason to draft him. He’s raw but athletic. Which ever team drafts him, needs to have faith in their own personal development of draft picks. He’s not ready for the NFL game as of yet. He’s the tight end’s class boom or bust player. -3