Texas TE's, best crop ever?

In late January, we said to watch out for the defensive linemen in Texas and they still number many. But another position in the state bringing excitement happens to be tight end. Never before have I seen as many top quality kids at the position.

With recent big-name NFLers such as Jeremy Shockey and Tony Gonzalez household names at the TE spot, and Kellen Winslow projected to be an NFL top 10 Draft pick and future star, football purists want to see more! Problem is, the position has become such a specialty item that teams often dole out the responsibilities via a platoon approach -- one who specializes in run blocking/pass-blocking and another who can present a mismatch in the passing game.

Finding one who can be both adept at receiving and blocking (or vice versa) is a chore. The fact that a good portion of the kids fitting the prototype move to the defensive end position makes all-purpose TEs that much more scarce. And don't forget that athletic tight ends who boast dual-threat, difference-making football skills are often some of the most gifted 6-5/6-6 power forwards/centers on high school hardwoods across America.

Having said all that, look no further than to the Lone Star State's Class of '05 for five prospects who could become every-down tight ends in what amounts to an insanely-gifted crop: Galena Park North Shore's DajLeon Farr (currently the state's No. 1 overall prospect), Diboll's Jermichael Finley (No. 5, who we initially projected as a DE but actually looks more like an offensive-skilled weapon on film than as a DE), The Woodlands' Kyle Anderson (No. 24, who specializes in the art of pancake and moving well enough to stay in during passing situations), Alief Taylor's Martellus Bennett (No. 91, who went from a 6-5, 220, 5.0 forty as a junior-to-be to a very close and recently eye-balled 6-6/6-6.5, 230 senior-to-be, not to mention clocking the same 4.77 forty we've listed for Farr) and Hitchcock's Josh Bell (Texas Hot 100 Candidate) who said he measures a good 6-6/6-6.5, 230, himself.

The tight end crop is so ridiculous at this point that any additional blue-chippers at the position will continue providing the answer to: "Best Texas TE crop ever?"...

[FYI (A): After recently eye-balling Alief Taylor TE Bennett, we expect him to vault into the upper echelon of our April Texas Hot 100 rankings. And the unranked tight end from Hitchock, who we recently began compiling information on, is rumored to be good enough to land a TheInsiders.com Texas Hot 100 top-25/50-ranking (or higher) next month.]

[FYI (B): Senior-to-be Klein blue-chipper Mark Ortmann -- currently No. 37 on the Texas Hot 100 as an OT prospect -- and Sandy Riley (Greater Houston-Area bad-ass) play the tight end position also. Both registering for this weekend's Houston MSL Combine @ UH, their performances could go a long way toward putting them in the same ritzy neighborhood of the previously mentioned (5) Lone Star state tight ends...]

CAT TRACKS' ANALYSIS: The Cats are in on a number of the best tight ends in Texas. They are very aggressive and are making great strides at trying to find a top-tier replacement for seniors Steve Fleming and Charles McRae.

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