Draft 2002: Looking at the tight ends

<P>Jeremy Shockey, Miami (6-5, 252 lbs., 4.63) -- Shockey transferred from<BR>Northeast Oklahoma A&amp;M after only one season, but became an instant hit in<BR>the Big East.</P>

Jeremy Shockey, Miami (6-5, 252 lbs., 4.63) -- Shockey transferred from
Northeast Oklahoma A&M after only one season, but became an instant hit in
the Big East.

He led the team in catches with 45, while gaining 604 yards and scoring eight touchdowns. His Rose Bowl effort highlighted to the nation that he was the best player at his position.

Shockey caught five passes for 85 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to help lead the Hurricanes to the National Champions. At only 21 years old, he has a wealth of talent. His hands, speed, route-running and ability to gain extra yardage after the catch are the primary reasons he will be selected in the first round.

He has gotten better as an in-line blocker, but could stand to increase his play strength, especially at the point of attack. He shows a lot of desire and ability to become a downfield threat.

Shockey will likely fall somewhere between the 12-to-20 picks of the draft with New Orleans, the NY Giants and Oakland Raiders being three potential suitors.

Daniel Graham, Colorado (6-3, 248 lbs., 4.53) -- Graham has above-average speed and excellent hands for a tight end. He does a good job getting off the line and has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Ideally, he would go to a West Coast style offensive team that could exploit his pass catching skills. If Shockey is selected in the mid-first round -- you should expect to see Graham gone be the early portion of round two.

Jerramy Stevens, Washington (6-6, 259 lbs., 4.77) -- Stevens was an All-American in 2000, but missed the majority of his junior season with a broken foot. The highlight of this past year came in the Holiday Bowl against Texas, he had nine catches for 109 yards. His primary assets are his athleticism and hands, but questions still surround his blocking ability and off-field character. In a lot of ways Stevens' talent and inconsistency will remind you of Ricky Dudley (Browns).

Chris Baker, Michigan State (6-3, 258 lbs., 4.75) -- Baker is a very good all-around senior tight end. He is an above-average blocker, although he needs to become more of a finisher at the line of scrimmage. His physical tools are such that he could advance with more coaching. He is a solid receiver that runs good routes and can get separation. Baker would be an ideal fit for a team like the NY Giants.

Doug Jolley, BYU (6-4, 251 lbs., 4.60) -- Jolley is an excellent receiver, but more of a finesse blocker that lacks the functional strength to be an effective in-line blocker. He is one of the best pure athletes at this position and can hurt teams once the ball is in his hands. A former quarterback he showed dramatic improvement this season. In addition to his prowess as a pass-catching threat he also has the added value of being a competent deep snapper.

Keith Heinrich, Sam Houston State (6-5, 255 lbs., 4.77) -- Heinrich was a three-sport star in high school and played basketball during the early portion of his college career. He has showed continued if not dramatic improvement -- catching 45 passes for 595 yards and seven touchdowns this season. His impressive totals helped him be chosen for the Blue/Gray All-Star Classic, where he showed impressive size and hands during the practices. He lacks great strength and seems to be built more for the H-Back role. Heinrich comes off the ball too high and lacks great balance on his blocks, but he has long arms, soft hands and the potential to be a steady red-zone receiving threat.

Terry Jones Jr., Alabama (6-3, 268 lbs., 4.80) -- Jones lacks the ideal height that most NFL teams want, but is a solid blocker that runs very well after the catch. He is a well-built, extremely strong prospect that can avoid being jammed at the line of scrimmage and also does a fine job of sealing off defenders when called upon to block. The depth of this class could cause him to fall into the 3rd or 4th round.

Matt Schobel, TCU (6-5, 263 lbs., 4.68) -- Schobel was a better blocker than receiver entering his senior campaign. However, although he was limited to only seven games this year he started to show impressive potential as a receiver. He was recruited to Texas A&M as a quarterback before transferring to TCU. His brother, Aaron, currently plays defensive end for the Buffalo Bills. Schobel is a fine-looking athlete that can also hold on field goals and extra points. Potential alone will get him selected around the 4th round.

Randy McMichael, Georgia (6-3, 247 lbs., 4.82) -- McMichael is clearly more of an H-Back than pure tight end prospect. He lacks ideal measurements for the position, but more than makes up for it with his soft hands and ability to separate from defenders. His ability to make clutch catches on third down and create big plays in the middle of field should instantly allow him to find a niche on his new team. Look for a West Coast style offensive team to pursue McMichael come round 3 or 4.

 Justin Peelle, Oregon (6-4, 255 lbs., 4.77) -- Peelle is an outstanding receiver with soft hands and the ability to hurt teams that fail to contain him. He lacks great strength on his blocks and is more of a finesse blocker. Pac-10 foes found out that he has the keen ability to find the open spot in an opposing teams defense. Peelle also played linebacker earlier in his career, so that could aid in him being a solid special teams performer.

 "Sleeper" -- Jeb Putzier, Boise State (6-4, 248 lbs., 4.65) -- Putzier has develop from an oversized receiver into a solid tight end prospect. He has good speed for a tight end and excellent hands. His improvement this season was accompanied by an impressive growth spurt that now has him close to 250 pounds. He is mostly a finesse blocker to this point, but has room to improve. Putzier's hands and work ethic give him the opportunity to be this year's Eric Johnson (49ers).

John Murphy, is the editor of www.draft2002.com and Director of Scouting and Evaluation for NL Sports. Be sure to check out the most in-depth, up-to-the-minute 2002 NFL Draft website and you can also email your draft questions to John from the www.draft2002.com website.

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