Hey, NFL Draft fans!
It’s November, and the NFL Draft season is just starting to heat up. I’ve been watching a ton of college tape these past several weeks trying to get a feel for the NFL Draft prospects and where they stand. This is the fourth in a series of articles, a series that I hope will become a staple during the Draft season for you to use.
Each week, I will introduce a new positional board, as well as update the old boards. This will go until February, when I will be unavailable due to my recent venture in joining the National Guard where I will be shipping out to Boot Camp.
That means that all of my draft work will be done old school – Before the Combine.
Here is the fourth piece in this series: The Tight End board.
How I evaluate Tight Ends
I want to see strength from the tight end. He needs to have the strength to push through blockers, and out body defenders on every play. I think blocking tight ends can be as valuable, if not more, than catching ones, so I want to make sure my tight end is strong and physical enough. Is he stronger than the edge players? If being covered by a linebacker, does he play physically with him? 28/100.
In the modern NFL, tight ends are another weapon of the offense. It’s good, and important, to have a guy who can catch at this position. How are his hands? How well does he catch in traffic? 20/100.
Speed and athleticism are next on this chart. A fast tight end increases his value as a weapon, and athleticism does so as well. Is he faster than the linebackers and safeties? Can he out jump the safety on the 50/50 ball? Does he line-up across the formation? 16/100.
Tight ends are often asked to block, so now we look to see if they have the technique to block. Do they deliver punches to the chest plate to set up a lockdown block under the shoulders? How well do they maintain balance? Do they hold their own against edge players? 14/100.
Route Running/Other receiving skills
A good route runner is valuable in the NFL at any position. If a tight end can do it, add some points to his grade. Is he quick in his breaks? How is his release off of the line of scrimmage? Does he sell his fakes? 12/100.
Does he recognize coverages? Is he football savvy? Does he carry a good attitude? Will he improve the team mentality? 10/100.
The Prospect Board: Tight Ends
1 Noah Fant, Iowa
2 Isaac Nauta, Georgia
3 Irv Smith Jr, Alabama
4 Kaden Smith, Stanford
5 Dawson Knox, Ole Miss
6 TJ Hockenson, Iowa
7 Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
8 Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
9 Daniel Helm, Duke
10 Tommy Sweeney, Boston College
11 Alize Mack, Notre Dame
12 Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt
13 Caleb Wilson, UCLA
14 Mitchell Wilcox, USF
15 Andrew Beck, Texas
16 Jacob Breeland, Oregon
17 Foster Morenu, LSU