Arkansas Tight Ends

Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino gave Hawgs Illustrated his assessment of the tight ends following spring drills. This is part of a series to run over the next week at

Paul Petrino on Tight Ends:

Overview: I think the tight end group's biggest strength is as receivers or pass catchers. They catch the ball well, they all do a good job of getting open. They can stretch a defense and they're a good receiving group at tight end. All need to improve at run blocking.

Chris Gragg
6-3, 236, SR
Chris is right there with Cobi Hamilton in that it's his time now. He has put in a bunch of years and worked hard, has been a role player here and there, but now it's his time to shine. He's got to have a great year for us. I think we'll move him all over the place. I was probably harder on Chris and Cobi all spring because those two have to get to where they know play-after-play they have to make plays for us. They need the physical and mental toughness to make it happen. Chris has great speed. He runs like a wideout and is probably as pretty of a looking guy as there is when you watch him run the 40. He's going to have a big year for us.

Austin Tate
6-6, 253, JR
Austin is a tough guy who does a good job at the line of the scrimmage and at the point of attack in the running game. He actually made a lot of big plays for us catching the ball in the scrimmages, too. He's got good hands. He doesn't have the speed of Chris, but if a play presents itself he'll make a play for you. I'm a big fan of Austin's and he did a good job for us. He missed that last week of spring practice and then you realized all the things he really was doing for us. He's a good player.

Brett Weir
6-5, 250, FR
He's going to be a good football player before it's all said and done. He's still learning how to shoot his hips and learning how to play the game. He's big, has good hands, shows toughness and as the spring went on, he improved. He's a guy who could also end up being a fullback some day.

Demetrius Dean
6-3, 250, FR
Demetrius has good hands, is fluid, smooth and makes some catches kids could never make look easy. We've got to find a role for him. He's got to make some plays for us each game because he can the catch the ball so well. He had a great spring for us early on and then kind of, like a lot of true freshmen, hit the wall. The grind, the hard work every day kind of took a toll on his body because he had sat out a year. He sprained his ankle and didn't finish spring as well as he started out. I think he's got a real bright future. He's a D.J. Williams type of talent.

Brad Taylor
6-4, 224, JR
Brad does some good things and catches the ball well. When Austin went down, Brad was really the next guy who could do what Austin did for us. He's got a good future. He's got good hands, he's probably the best blocker at the line of scrimmage behind Chris and Austin. He understands the offense. Right now, Demetrius and Brett are situational guys because they don't know the whole package, as to where if something were to happen to Austin in the first quarter of a game, Brad could fill his role and do a good job at it.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories