NFL Scouting Combine: Top 5 Tight Ends

The Giants Beat takes a look at the Top 5 tight ends at the NFL's Scouting Combine.

1.   Hunter Henry


Scouting Profile: Winner of this past year’s John Mackey Award, this junior out of Arkansas leads the TE class. The first team All-American hauled in 59 catches, 739 yards, and 3 scores his final year. He compiled 116 receptions his 3 years at Arkansas and made it to the end zone 9 times.


He was a large contributor to the running game of the Razorbacks. A confident run-blocker, he can tussle with LBs at the line of scrimmage and is too talented to be covered by them in the field. Soft hands and did not have a single drop in 2015.


Henry registered 3 holding penalties during the year and can be a little rough during some sharp routes. Otherwise, there is little to complain about.


Scheme Fit: He would add some needed depth to the Giant’s roster. A blocking TE would be great to give Will Tye some rest and with both of them having receiving abilities, could create some serious problems for defenses in a 2 TE package.


 2. Austin Hooper


Scouting Profile: The Stanford product has quite a resume over only two seasons. His freshmen year, he earned Freshman All-American and Second-Team All-Pac-12 honors. His sophomore campaign earned him a finalist spot for the John Mackey Award, Third-Team AP All-American, and First-Team All-Pac 12.


He nabbed 6 TDs his final year, demonstrating his desire to score and the ability to carry defenders on his back. His long game is impressive. Loves getting over safeties at the second level and going for the big play. Adequate job blocking.


He had 9 drops his two seasons and is not as effective in the short and intermediate gains. He lacks a certain aggressiveness to break off from LBs. When confronted with physical defenders, his routes get sloppy and are already a little lackluster.


Scheme Fit: Could be a stable TE and challenge other TEs for their roster spots. The Giant’s need more confident blockers, however. And although Hooper is willing to block, he needs some work overall and the dropped passes are a concern.



3.      Tyler Higbee


Scouting Profile: The WR turned TE had a very successful senior year. With 38 receptions, 563 yards, and an eye popping 8 TDs, all while missing time with a knee injury. His last season at Western Kentucky placed him with some of the best statistics in the 2015 season among TEs.


He is a WR that has the build of a TE. He added on some pounds to get to that build, but plays with the hands of a wideout and can make tough catches. A speedy guy that can work in the slot and still take hits over the middle of the field.


Lacks the strength to handle LBs at the line of scrimmage and is not reliable to handle inline blocking. Needs to work on his routes a bit more, specifically his underneath routes. His knee injury cost him 4 games and a bowl game.


Scheme Fit: His receiving abilities are quite dependable. While the Giants could use another receiving TE, one that can block seems a bit more prudent. The knee injury is also a concern. If the Giants end up losing a little depth this off-season at WR they could nab Higbee and throw him into the slot.



4.      Nick Vannett


Scouting Profile: The 4-year starter for Ohio State tallied 55 catches, 585 yards, and 6 TDs during his college career. He earned All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2015.


Vannett’s lack of stats was due to his limited role in the Buckeyes offense, but he as the size and hands to be an NFL TE. He can take hits over the middle of the field, fight off defenders along the line of scrimmage, and is a big target for QBs. He enjoyed a 2014 campaign where he found the end-zone 5 times.


His lack of participation in the offense does not give a large body of work to examine. A specimen base purely off athleticism, he needs more time on the field to develop more toughness to engage LBs at the point of attack. Needs to refine his routes more to gain separation from defenders.


Scheme Fit: Vannett could be another big body to throw at defenses. He has a mid-round grade, so if Jerry Reese thinks he is the best player available he will grab Vannett. Creating competition at a position is always a good thing.


5.     Jerell Adams


Scouting Profile: The 4th year South Carolina product saw his production increase dramatically when Rory Anderson went down with an injury in 2014. He showed off his skills his senior season, hauling in 28 targets, gaining 421 yards, and scoring 3 TDs.


He performed well when called up to take over the starting role. He is a big target that can haul in balls with his long arms. Can split safeties and carry defenders with him down the field. Has the ability to avoid tackles as well as punish defenders.


He is not the most athletic TE. While he is tough and can carry himself, he does not demonstrate great route running and speed out of his cuts. Has trouble adjusting to throws.


Scheme Fit: A good pick for the Giants in later rounds. He has hands that can be improved and is a proficient blocker. With some development, he could grow into a reliable option in both the running and passing game.







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