Bill's Scouting Combine Research: Tight Ends

Packer Report is telling you about each of the 328 players who will be in Indianapolis later this month. We continue this 13-part series with the 14 tight ends, led by the Mackey Award winner. Take our one-week free trial to see what you're missing!

Packer Report's Bill Huber is getting ready for the Scouting Combine, and is sharing some of his research of the 328 players who will be testing for and talking to the Green Bay Packers and the NFL's other 31 teams. In Part 4, we preview the tight ends. All heights and weights are from the schools and, therefore, not official.

Dwayne Allen, Clemson (6-4, 255): Allen, a consensus All-American and the winner of the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end, declared for the draft with one year of eligibility remaining. He finished the year with 50 receptions for 598 yards and eight touchdowns — all setting school records for a tight end — to help Clemson to its first ACC Championship in 20 years. Two of those touchdowns came in the conference title game victory over Virginia Tech.


Combine Preview

Part 1: 19 Quarterbacks.

Part 2: 30 Running backs.

Part 3: 47 Wide receivers.

Orson Charles, Georgia (6-3, 241): Charles is the only other early entry in this group. A Mackey Award finalist, Charles caught 45 passes for 574 yards and five touchdowns as a junior, and his 1,370 career receiving yards is tops in school history among tight ends. At Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., Charles was a 209-pound wide receiver who caught 21 touchdown passes as a senior. Georgia coach Mark Richt said Charles "blocks like a full-grown man" and "tries to run over people."

Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern (6-3, 235): Dunsmore played "superback" for the Wildcats. The Big Ten's first-team tight end, he caught 45 passes for 522 yards as a senior. Of his six touchdowns, four came against Indiana. His 1,425 career receiving yards are tops among tight ends in school history. Dunsmore jumped onto a national stage during the wild Outback Bowl game against Auburn to cap the 2009 season, when he rumbled for a 66-yard touchdown. His father, Pat, played tight end for the Bears for two seasons.

Michael Egnew, Missouri (6-6, 245): With a pass-happy scheme, Missouri produces prolific college tight ends like hydrogen and oxygen produce water. However, Chase Coffman — the son of Packers Hall of Fame tight end Paul Coffman — has been a bust in Cincinnati and Martin Rucker hasn't done anything in the NFL, either. So, Egnew has that history working against him. As a junior, he was the team MVP and a consensus All-American with 90 catches, even though the Packers' D.J. Williams won the Mackey Award. He caught 50 passes for 523 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. The former high school wide receiver is the eighth of nine siblings.

Coby Fleener, Stanford (6-6, 244): Fleener caught 34 passes for 667 yards — a robust 19.6 average — and 10 touchdowns during a dynamic senior season with quarterback Andrew Luck. His breakout year started when he was a junior, when he caught six passes for 173 yards against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, with touchdowns covering 41, 58 and 38 yards. His real first name is Jacoby. When his mom was pregnant, she was watching a Washington Redskins game and spotted stud offensive tackle Joe Jacoby.

Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6, 236): Green caught 51 passes for 606 yards and tied for the team lead with eight touchdowns during a senior season in which he was a Mackey Award semifinalist for the second consecutive year. He helped the Ragin' Cajuns reach their first bowl game in 41 years. His 22 career touchdowns topped all tight ends nationally. When Green was a sophomore at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, Fla., he was a 5-foot-10 quarterback.

James Hanna, Oklahoma (6-4, 243): Hanna went from 18 catches and seven touchdowns as a junior to 27 catches and two touchdowns as a senior. Hanna provided a shot in the arm to an offense that didn't get a single touchdown from its tight ends in 2009. As a junior, he had a career-long 76-yard touchdown grab against Oklahoma State. Following the theme at this position, Hanna played receiver at Flower Mound (Texas) High School.

Cory Harkey, UCLA (6-4, 270): Remember when tight ends were blockers? That's Harkey. He caught exactly one pass in 14 starts as a senior after grabbing 10 balls in 12 starts as a junior. His father, Michael, is the bullpen coach for the Yankees. A first-round pick by the Cubs in 1987, he pitched in the majors for eight seasons and compiled a record of 36-36.

Emil Igwenagu, Massachusetts (6-0, 245): A halfback, fullback and tight end for the Minutemen, he's listed among the tight ends for the Combine, with National Football Scouting calling him an H-back. Igwenagu caught 38 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns and added another touchdown rushing. Igwenagu won UMass' Fall Scholar-Athlete Award as a kinesiology major and was a captain his final two seasons. In high school, he rushed for 5,037 yards on just 470 carries and scored 54 touchdowns.

David Paulson, Oregon (6-4, 241): Paulson, with 31 catches, 438 yards and six touchdowns, was a second-team all-conference performer as a senior. He was a first-team all-academic selection his final three seasons and will earn his master's in business in June. On an offensive juggernaut featuring running back LaMichael James, coach Chip Kelly called Paulson his most valuable player and "the one guy we can't afford to lose." His position coach compared him to the Seahawks' Zach Miller. Paulson was an all-state linebacker at Riverside High School in Auburn, Wash., who started at quarterback as a senior after playing tight end as a junior.

DeAngelo Peterson, LSU (6-4, 235): Peterson started 10 games in his career, including five as a senior. Put up career totals of 39 catches, 459 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers' run-first offense. Peterson was recruited as a wide receiver; he was a first-team all-state selection at Desire Street Academy in New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Peterson — then 16 years old — rescued his mom and his niece, since neither could swim.

Nick Provo, Syracuse (6-4, 249): Provo was one of eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award. He more than doubled his career output as a senior, with 51 catches for 537 yards and seven touchdowns, giving him 92 for 1,027 and nine for his career. He owns school records for single-season and career receptions and yardage among tight ends. Three of his touchdowns in 2011 came against West Virginia. Already with his degree in information management and technology, if football doesn't work out, he'd like to join the FBI.

Beau Reliford, Florida State (6-6, 260): Reliford caught 36 passes in his career, including seven for 69 yards as a senior. Reliford didn't begin playing football until his junior year at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. As a senior, he was MVP of the state basketball tournament's championship game.

Evan Rodriguez, Temple (6-3, 242): Rodriguez, who's listed as an H-back prospect by National Football Scouting, redshirted at West Virginia in 2007, then sat out 2008 after transferring to Temple. After calling himself "lazy" at the start of his career, Rodriguez was the Owls' leading receiver as a senior with 35 catches for 479 yards and two touchdowns. At North Bergen (N.J.) High School, Rodriguez was all-state at safety along with all-county at quarterback.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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