Monday, April 9, 2007

Tight End Rankings

1. Greg Olsen*, Miami
6’6” 254; 4.51
Statistics: 40rec; 489yds; 1TD
Positives: He’s an excellent athlete and really separated himself from the rest of the TE’s at the combine. Has the potential to be a big time threat in the passing game, with his rare combination of size, speed, and hands. Has the frame to add bulk and strength.
Negatives: He never really improved his blocking over his career at Miami and needs some work in that area. Lacks overall strength, gives solid effort but is just not big or strong enough to hold his own. Wasn’t productive last season, but that was mainly because of inconsistent QB play for the ‘Canes.
Best Case: Jeremy Shockey
Worst Case: Matt Schobel


2. Zach Miller*, Arizona St
6’4” 256; 4.87
Statistics: 50rec; 484yds; 4TDs
Positives: He has very reliable hands and catches pretty much anything thrown his way. Plays faster than he times, and knows how to get open. He’s a sound blocker from a technique standpoint and is a high character guy.
Negatives: As much as the combine helped Olsen, that’s how much it hurt Miller. Both were projected 4.7 guys, but Miller ran a 4.87, which is very poor for a receiving TE. Doesn’t have ideal size or strength and could improve as a blocker.
Best Case: Dallas Clark
Worst Case: Bennie Joppru


3. Ben Patrick, Delaware
6’3” 252; 4.74
Statistics: 64rec; 639yds; 6TDs
Positives: A smooth athlete with big, soft hands and long arms. Has potential as a receiver thanks to his leaping ability and quickness. Solid blocker that can hold his ground against most DE’s and plays to the whistle.
Negatives: He doesn’t really have star potential. Lacks ideal height and doesn’t have much of a second gear. Level of competition is a minor concern, but he competed against ACC competition at Duke earlier in his career.
Best Case: Poor man’s Antonio Gates
Worst Case: George Wrighster


4. Matt Spaeth, Minnesota
6’7” 270; 4.81
Statistics: 47rec; 564yds; 4TDs
Positives: Does everything well. Of the top tight ends in this year’s class, he’s probably the best blocker. Can break tackles in the open field and is very tough. He’s a solid athlete with reliable hands, a huge frame and good strength.
Negatives: He doesn’t have ideal speed, quickness, or burst off the line. He could improve his blocking technique, as he mainly got by with pure size and strength in college.
Best Case: Erron Kinney
Worst Case: Roland Williams


5. Scott Chandler, Iowa
6’7” 270; 4.78
Statistics: 46rec; 591yds; 6TDs
Positives: He has a very big frame that could add even more weight, but his main strength is his overall receiving skills. Not a great leaper, but times his jumps well, not the fastest guy, but knows how to get open. He has excellent hands and ball skills.
Negatives: He really needs to improve his overall and playing strength. Lacks ideal top end speed and won’t run away from anybody. Gets thrown around too much as a blocker and doesn’t have a mean streak.
Best Case: Less Athletic Heath Miller
Worst Case: Chris Luzar


6. Michael Allan, Whitworth
6’6” 255; 4.71
Statistics: 53rec; 1,100yds; 9TDs
Positives: He was a very productive receiver in D3, and has the skills to do it at the next level. Great speed for a guy his size, solid runner after the catch and can break tackles. Good hands, has the frame to add bulk.
Negatives: He needs to add some more strength to improve his blocking. The transition from D3 to the NFL is an obvious concern. Doesn’t really have great burst or acceleration, he’s more fast than quick.
Best Case: Courtney Anderson
Worst Case: Aaron Walker


7. Jonny Harline, BYU
6’4” 248; 4.84
Statistics: 58rec; 935yds; 12TDs
Positives: He’s a very reliable receiver that could contribute right away. Solid blocker, shows good effort, plays to the whistle. Solid hands, was very productive in college and can run after the catch. Has some upside as a possible H-back.
Negatives: He’s small for a TE and doesn’t have top notch speed or strength. Older than the average prospect, will turn 25 during his rookie season.
Best Case: Eric Johnson
Worst Case: Tim Euhus


8. Martrez Milner, Georgia
6’4” 252; 4.79
Statistics: 30rec; 425yds; 3TDs
Positives: Great athlete with better speed and quickness than his times would indicate. He’s a solid runner after the catch and can make people miss or run over them. Explosive as a blocker and receiver, has a lot of potential.
Negatives: He’s way too inconsistent to contribute right now in the NFL, a boom or bust prospect. Drops too many passes and needs to improve his blocking technique. He was put on the bench at one point last season, after dropping 3 passes against Florida.
Best Case: L.J. Smith
Worst Case: Marcellus Rivers


9. Kevin Boss, Western Oregon
6’7” 252; 4.78
Statistics: 33rec; 403yds; 5TDs
Positives: He has the potential to be a very valuable threat in the receiving game. Being a former basketball player is always a plus. He wins jump balls with his strong hands and good receiving instincts. Has the frame to get bigger. Good athlete for a 6’7” tight end.
Negatives: He doesn’t have elite speed, and needs to add bulk and strength before being able to block anybody at the next level. He had a serious shoulder injury last season, so durability is a little bit of a concern, as is level of competition.
Best Case: Jerramy Stevens
Worst Case: O.J. Santiago


10. Clark Harris, Rutgers
6’6” 251; 4.80
Statistics: 34rec; 493yds; 2TDs
Positives: Solid blocker and intermediate receiver that has some versatility as a long snapper. Has the big frame to add bulk and strength, reliable hands and adequate athleticism for a guy his size.
Negatives: He doesn’t have ideal strength right now, doesn’t have a tough guy reputation and doesn’t play a physical game. Lacks speed in the open field and quickness in his routes, doesn’t have a whole lot of potential.
Best Case: Chad Lewis in his prime
Worst Case: Brett Pierce


11. Joe Newton, Oregon St
6’7” 257; 4.87
Statistics: 36rec; 466yds; 7TDs
Positives: His size is obvious, and he uses it to full advantage. Has good hands and overall instincts in the receiving game, plus the frame to get bigger and stronger. Hard worker and high character guy that will do whatever it takes to win.
Negatives: He needs to put on some weight, uses sound technique when blocking but doesn’t have ideal strength. Lacks speed and explosiveness, won’t ever do anything after the catch. Has had some pretty significant durability problems in the past.
Best Case: Steve Heiden
Worst Case: Darnell Sanders


12. Daniel Coats, BYU
13. Matt Herian, Nebraska
14. Cody Boyd, Washington St
15. Zac Herold, Nebraska-Omaha
16. Brent Celek, Cincinnati
17. Chad Upshaw, Buffalo
18. Tyler Ecker, Michigan
19. Jake Nordin, Northern Illinois
20. Desmond Allison, South Dakota
21. Dan Murray, UCONN
22. Cole Bennett, Auburn
23. Anthony Pudewell, Nevada
24. Rodney Hannah, Houston
25. Samuel Smith, Fla Int’l
26. Braden Jones, Southern Illinois
27. Julius McLellan, NC Central
28. Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame
29. Jamaal Lewis, Arizona St
30. Brad Wood, Arizona
31. Matt Farbotko, Harvard
32. L’Tydrick Riley, Texas A&M
33. Michael Matthews, Georgia Tech
34. Kendrick Ballantyne, Northeastern
35. Chris DeSpain, Nebraska-Omaha
36. Anthony James, Louisiana Tech
37. Keith Zinger, LSU
38. Melvin Bryant, Illinois

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