NFL Draft Story Central
1) Zach Ertz (6-5/249)
Ertz had a monster season for the Cardinal, catching 66 passes for 837 yards and six scores. This is a physical tight end that is deceptively athletic. Ertz blocks well in-line and continues to get better in this part of his game. As a receiver Ertz has good but not great speed. But Ertz has soft hands and is a nice route runner. He and Tyler Eifert are basically 1a and 1b in this draft. I prefer Ertz because at this point I think he's a more well-rounded player.
2) Tyler Eifert (6-5/250)
Eifert had a team high 50 receptions for 685 yards and four touchdowns for the Fighting Irish. He won the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end. Eifert has great hands and is terrific in the air. He uses his body well. Eifert continues to develop his run blocking skills. In today’s pass happy NFL Eifert should excel and fit right in with a team in need of a pass catching tight end.
3) Gavin Escobar (6-5.5/254)
San Diego State
Escobar is a very intriguing tight end prospect. He has great size, soft hands and runs well but it's more straight line speed. He needs to improve his run blocking. Escobar led the Aztecs with 41 receptions for 519 yards and six touchdowns this season. Escobar was All-Mountain West all three seasons and finished with 121 receptions, 1622 yards and 17 scores.
4) Jordan Reed
Reed came to Gainesville as a quarterback but made a successful conversion to tight end. He may be the best athlete of all the '13 tight ends in this draft. Reed has good speed and is tough to defend in space. He needs to continue to develop as a blocker as this is definitely the weak link to his game.
5) Travis Kelce (6-5/255)
Kelce came to the Bears as a quarterback. He red-shirted his freshman season and converted to tight end. In 2010 he was suspended for the season for an unspecified reason. Things changed this past year where he had a breakout season with 45 receptions for 722 yards and eight touchdowns. Kelce is an athlete that can run, catch and block but he's only put it together for one season.
6) Vance McDonald (6-4/267)
This small town Texas tight end is athletic. He worked in the slot a lot. McDonald runs pretty well, good hands and is a very good blocker, although he is not overwhelming. He has 79 receptions over the past two seasons for 910 yards and seven touchdowns. McDonald was also the teams long snapper.
7) Nick Kasa (6-6/269)
Kasa was recruited as a big time defensive end prospect but made the switch to tight end his junior year. This is a big bodied kid that is a good run blocker. He runs well, catches well and just needs more time at that position. Kasa could be a real find for someone in the mid-to-late rounds.
8) Philip Lutzenkirchen (6-3/258)
Lutzenkirchen missed half of last season because of hip surgery. He has also had shoulder issues which has now been fixed. Lutzenkirchen finished as the all time touchdown leader as a tight end in Tiger history. He has super hands and can make some ridiculous catches look easy. He’s deceptively fast, uses his body well and a solid blocker. He’s overall a very well rounded tight end.
9) Joseph Fauria (6-7/259)
This is a big and long tight end prospect that once played at Notre Dame before transferring to the Bruins. He’s terrific in the red zone, where he scored a dozen times this past year and six in 2011. Fauria needs to bulk up and also learn to be a more consistent run blocker.
10) Matt Furstenburg (6-3/242)
Furstenburg only has 47 receptions for four touchdowns over the last two seasons. This is a pretty fast tight end who has good north-south speed. He really does a nice job of catching the football. He does a decent job of blocking in-line next to the tackle. Furstenburg could be a real steal for someone in the late rounds.
11) Dion Sims (6-4.5/262)
Sims caught only 49 passes during his Spartan career. He scored eight touchdowns. Sims was primarily a blocker and a pretty good one at that. This is a big bodied tight end that catches the ball very well. He has straight line speed but is stiff in his movement.
12) Levine Toilolo (6-8/260)
Played for the Cardinal alongside Zach Ertz. Over his final two seasons in Palo Alto he caught 49 passes for over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns. Toilolo is huge and a very good deep threat and red zone target for this position. He’s an adequate blocker that can get better at some fundamentals like playing lower and using his hands better. Toilolo just needs to play with more consistency in all phases of his game.
13) Jake Stoneburner (6-3/252)
When used in college Stoneburner was a good receiver as a tight end. He has good hands, nice frame and runs well enough. Stoneburner needs to work on his strength. He’s a solid blocker at the point of attack. He caught 16 passes last year and scored four touchdowns.
14) D.C. Jefferson (6-6/255)
Jefferson is a converted quarterback that switched to tight end in 2009. He’s has very good size, speed and athleticism. What he lacks is experience and reps at the position and he needs to improve his blocking skills. But the talent is there with Jefferson.
15) Ryan Otten (6-5/230)
San Jose State
Otten had a breakout junior campaign. This is a kid that caught 99 passes over the last two years for almost 1,500 yards and scoring nine touchdowns. Otten has strong hands, decent speed, and is a solid blocker.
16) Chris Gragg (6-3/244)
Gragg has had some injuries issues including a knee issue last season. This is a former receiver that plays like one. He has very good hands and has good speed. Gragg is more of a tight end that will be used as a flex guy or H-back. He’s not a very effective blocker at this time.
17) Mychal Rivera (6-3/242)
Riveria signed with Oregon out of high school before transferring to Tennessee. This is a solid pass catching tight end that shows good hands. He’s a fair to average blocker that lacks elite size and speed. This past season he caught 36 passes for 562 yards and scored five touchdowns for the Vols.
18) Zach Sudfield (6-7/255)
Sudfield has battled numerous injuries during his career or he would be projected much higher. He blocks and catches the football pretty well. He had a big senior season, catching 45 passes for almost 600 yards and eight touchdowns.
19) Michael Williams (6-6/269)
Williams is primarily a run blocking tight end and a very good one at that. He’s almost like having another offensive tackle on the field. He did have 51 receptions over his career in Tuscaloosa but he’s going to make his money on Sundays being a run blocker.
20) Justice Cunningham (6-2/258)
Cunningham is another very good blocking tight end. He finished with 48 receptions playing for Steve Spurrier. He has shown he can catch the football but like Williams from Alabama he will primarily make a living because of his blocking skills.
FULL DATABASE OVERALL RANKINGS WILL BE UPDATED from 1-300 on April 24. The current top 300 doesn't parallel the new positional rankings for the 2013 NFL Draft.
NFL Draft Story Central