NFL Draft: Scouting the Tight Ends

One of the better tight end groups in a while, the '06 draft offers talent and depth. There is quality at the top with three potential first round picks while another trio offer starting potential. Several "number two" tight ends will be available through the draft's second day. Here are the scouting reports on the top twelve tight ends.

Full Name: Vernon Davis School: Maryland Pos: TE

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 254 40: 4.40 Year: 3Jr

Bio: All-Conference and All-American selection as a junior after totaling 51/871/6. Sophomore totals were 27/441/3, when he started six games. Ran 4.41 at the combine, totaling 33 repetitions on the bench press.

Pos: Explosive athlete swiftly developing into an outstanding football player. Quick off the snap, gets downfield and creates mismatches in the secondary. Plays with good pad level, adjusts to the throw and makes the difficult reception in a crowd. Has soft hands, and is a sturdy pass catcher who takes the big hit then holds onto the ball. Immediately transitions up the field running after the reception. Solid route-runner who quickly gets into breaks then stays low on exit. Shields opponents away with his frame or physically beats them down to make the catch. Strong, controls opponents at the point blocking or beats jam at the line of scrimmage.

Neg: Still raw and indecisive on the field. Not a dominant drive blocker who finishes.

Analysis: An exceptional athlete, Davis offers tremendous upside potential. Continuing to make strides in all areas of his game, he is a top 12 pick who will grow into a complete tight end at the next level.


Full Name: Leonard Pope School: Georgia Pos: TE

Ht: 6-7.5 Wt: 258 40: 4.67 Year: 3Jr

Bio: Broke into the starting unit as a sophomore and has won All-Conference honors ever since. Led the team in receiving last year with 39/541/4 after 25/482/6 as sophomore.

Pos: King-sized pass-catching threat who creates mismatches in a defensive secondary. Quickly releases into routes, remains focused throughout the action and makes the tough grab in a crowd. Immediately gets to top speed and consistently makes important receptions down the field. Extends and adjusts to grab the pass from the air, displaying soft and strong hands. Gives effort blocking.

Neg: Lacks footwork in pass protection. Bends at the waist as a blocker and does not finish the play.

Analysis: An imposing target, Pope has been a game-changing pass-catcher the past two seasons. May never turn into a dominant blocking force but his playmaking skills catching the ball will give him significant opportunities as a rookie.


Full Name: Marcedes Lewis School: UCLA Pos: TE

Ht: 6-6.5 Wt: 261 40: 4.85 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference and All-American honors as a senior after a team-leading 58/741/10. All-Conference recipient as a junior after 32/4077.

Pos: Exceptional pass-catching tight end with tremendous upside for the next level. Quickly releases into routes, finds the soft spot in the defense and consistently makes plays in the secondary. Has soft hands and pulls the ball from the air even with defenders draped on him. Works back to the quarterback and regularly makes the acrobatic grab. Takes a pounding yet holds onto the throw. Works hard running after the reception, displaying the ability to break tackles and carry the pile. Plays with outstanding focus, concentration and body control.

Neg: Must improve his blocking strength and intensity.

Analysis: A team player who displayed a willingness to work hard and improve his game, Lewis is a natural receiver with consistent hands. Needs to polish his blocking yet offers starting potential at the next level.


Full Name: Joe Klopfenstein School: Colorado Pos: TE

Ht: 6-6 Wt: 255 40: 4.66 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter and All-Conference selection since his sophomore campaign. Senior totals included 32/463/4 after 33/418/5 as a junior.

Pos: Athletic tight end consistently making plays in the defensive secondary. Quick into routes, displays outstanding focus and consistently makes the difficult reception. Will extend for the difficult catch or easily adjusts to the errant throw. Uses his frame to shield away opponents and plays heads up football. Adequate route-runner and gets separation from defenders.

Neg: Marginal playing strength and has trouble finishing off opposing linebackers.

Analysis: A playmaking tight end with outstanding work habits, Klopfenstein learns quickly and has been reliable at Colorado. Offers the tools to develop into a productive starter at the next level and should see significant action as a rookie.


Full Name: Anthony Fasano School: Notre Dame Pos: TE

Ht: 6-4.5 Wt: 250 40: 4.73 Year: 4Jr

Bio:

Full-time starter the past two seasons. Junior totals were 45/564/2 after 27/367/4 the prior year.

Pos: Athletic tight end and natural pass-catching threat. Quickly releases into routes, adjusts to the errant throw or lays out for the difficult reception. Extends making the reception away from his frame, displays solid concentration and works to pick up yardage after the catch. Consistently finds the open space in the defense. Blocks with excellent pad level, jolting defenders at the point of attack.

Neg: Does not always win out in battles. Marginally strong and cannot finish blocks.

Analysis: Possessing a solid combination of intelligence, athleticism and intensity, Fasano offers starting potential at the next level as a move tight end. Could be an effective blocker in time as he physically matures.


Full Name: Dominique Byrd School: USC Pos: TE

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 255 40: 4.82 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter who totaled 25/274 last season after winning All Conference honors as a junior with 37/384/3.

Pos: Natural pass-catching tight end with reliable hands. Quick to top speed, runs well laterally and makes the reception in stride. Has strong hands, snatching the ball from the air. Sharp route-runner who gets separation from defenders then displays shiftiness transitioning up field after the reception. Good eye/hand coordination and adjustment to the errant throw.

Neg: Marginal blocker who does not get results at the line of scrimmage or downfield. Has been plagued with durability issues the past two years.

Analysis: A reliable pass-catcher, Byrd nicely fits in as a move tight end at the next level. Must improve his blocking to complete his game yet offers starting potential.


Full Name: Tony Scheffler School: Western Michigan Pos: TE

Ht: 6-5.5 Wt: 254 40: 4.62 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Moved into the starting lineup as a junior and was awarded All-Conference honors the past two seasons. Posted career-best numbers of 57/670/9 as a senior after 53/570/3 during his junior campaign.

Pos: Outstanding pass-catching tight end with reliable hands. Sturdy receiver who adjusts to the errant throw in traffic, takes a pounding yet holds onto the ball. Aggressively goes up for the pass and displays solid eye/hand coordination. Displays an excellent sense of timing and anticipation. Plays with good pad level and flashes ability as a position blocker.

Neg: Lacks strength at the point of attack. Usually lined up in the slot rather then next to the offensive tackle. Not a deep threat who consistently makes plays into the secondary.

Analysis: A good athlete who also has a career in baseball, Scheffler is an offensive threat at the tight end position who could be a good fit for a West Coast offense.


Full Name: David Thomas School: Texas Pos: TE

Ht: 6-3 Wt: 252 40: 4.74 Year: 4Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference and All-Academic honors since his junior campaign. Led Texas in receiving as a senior with 50/613/5 after 24/430/5.

Pos: Athletic tight end who plays with a good degree of intelligence. Finds the open spot on the field and effectively uses his frame to shield away opponents. Has soft hands, makes the reception in stride and keeps the play in bounds. Possesses excellent field sense, gets past the sticks on third down and is always in tune with the quarterback. Gives effort as a blocker.

Neg: Rarely moves linebackers off the ball blocking. Not a consistent deep threat.

Analysis: Lacking great upside, Thomas has been a consistent pass-catching threat who elevated his play the past three seasons. Should see significant playing time in third-down back/red-zone situations at the next level.


Full Name: Timothy Day School: Oregon Pos: TE

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 256 40: 4.76 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors after his junior and sophomore campaigns. Totals last season included 22/201 after career numbers of 35/457/8 the prior season.

Pos: Nice-sized tight end developing a complete game. Finds the open seam in the defense, adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception in stride. Stays on his feet running after the reception, carrying the pile for extra yards. Solid position blocker who controls opponents at the point.

Neg: Lacks top playing speed and not a consistent deep threat. Over-extends into blocks or ducks his head which adversely affects his ability to finish off defenders.

Analysis: Suffering from a change of offensive systems at Oregon as a senior, Day had been a consistent player the previous three seasons. May slip through the cracks yet could be one of the draft's better bargains on Day Two.


Full Name: Owen Daniels School: Wisconsin Pos: TE

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt: 253 40: 4.70 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Awarded All-Conference honors as a junior after totaling 25/391/2. Senior numbers were 22/268/4.

Pos: Effective pass-catching tight end with a good feel for the position. Finds the soft spot in the defense, displays a sense of timing and has natural hands. Plays with good pad level and remains focused throughout the action.

Neg: Lacks strength at the point of attack. Marginally productive as a blocker. Does not play to his 40 time.

Analysis: A former quarterback who has shown flashes of ability since making the move to tight end, Daniels must significantly elevate his level of play this summer. Practice squad player with developmental potential.


Full Name: Jeff King School: Virginia Tech Pos: TE

Ht: 6-5 Wt: 245 40: 4.89 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Moved into the starting lineup as a junior and earned All-Conference honors the past two seasons. Senior totals included 26/292/6 after 25/304/4 the prior year.

Pos: Consistent tight end with a complete game. Nasty blocker who controls opponents at the point of attack. Plays with good pad level, seals defenders from the action and stays with assignments. Solid route-runner and extends to make the reception away from his frame. Reads the defense, finds the open areas on the field and exposes himself to the big hit in order to make the reception.

Neg: Not a flashy or explosive tight end. Marginal playing speed and rarely makes plays in the secondary.

Analysis: A competitive prospect with great work habits, King nicely projects as a second tight end in the NFL. Offers starting abilities in certain systems and possesses the tools to stick around the league for a long time.


Full Name: Tim Massaquoi School: Michigan Pos: TE

Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 259 40: 4.73 Year: 5Sr

Bio: Three-year starter awarded All-Conference honors as a senior and junior. Missed two games with an arm injury last season, finishing with 11/86. Junior totals 18/184.

Pos: Solid athlete who flashes big-time ability. Runs well laterally and reaches back to grab the errant throw from the air. Settles into the open space on the field or makes the difficult reception in a crowd. Plays with good pad level, turns defenders off the ball and displays ability blocking in motion.

Neg: Does not block with great balance or body control. Must become more cognizant of where he is on the field. Does not finish blocks.

Analysis: A good worker who does the extras, Massaquoi offers a large amount of potential for the next level. Never took his game to another level, yet a solid late-round selection who can be developed for the future.


Complete Tight End Rankings - Complete NFL Draft Rankings


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