Top TE Prospects: Beyond the Box Score

With Jermichael Finley's uncertain future, the Packers figure to select a tight end. Go in-depth with your analysis of the top tight ends by comparing their big plays, red zone catches, percentage of their team's catches and numerous blocking statistics, too. The final analysis yields a different conclusion.

TIGHT END TALE OF THE TAPE

PLAYERSCHOOL CLASSHEIGHT WEIGHT40-YD
AMARO, Jace Texas Tech Junior6:05.3 2654.74
EBRON, Eric North Carolina Junior6:04.3 2504.60
FIEDOROWICZ, Colton "C.J." IowaSenior 6:05.4265 4.75
LYNCH, Arthur GeorgiaSenior 6:04.5258 4.82
NIKLAS, Troy Notre Dame Junior6:06.4 2704.86
SEFERIAN-JENKINS, Austin Washington Junior6:04.4 2624.71

 

RECEIVING STATISTICAL COMPARISON

PLAYERGP NOAVG RKYDS AVGRK
AMARO13 1068.15 11352 104.001
EBRON13 0624.77 20973 074.852
FIEDOROWICZ 13030 2.316 0299023.00 6
LYNCH12 0302.50 40459 038.254
NIKLAS13 0322.46 50498 038.313
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 12036 3.003 0450037.50 5
PLAYERTD AVGRK SPAVG RKPTS TOT
AMARO07 0.542 231.77 119 1
EBRON03 0.236 151.15 410 3
FIEDOROWICZ 060.46 310 0.775 046
LYNCH05 0.424 181.50 309 4
NIKLAS05 0.385 100.77 506 5
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 080.67 121 1.752 132
KEY: GP indicates games played…NO indicates amount of receptions…AVG indicates average receptions per game…RK indicates rank in that category…YDS indicates yards gained receiving…AVG indicates average yards gained  receiving per game…RK indicates rank in that category…TD indicates touchdown receptions…AVG indicates average touchdown receptions per game…RK indicates rank in that category…SP indicates amount of big plays via receptions that led to the receiver's team capping that possession with either a touchdown or field goal…AVG indicates average big plays via receptions per game…RK indicates rank in that category…PTS indicates points for each ranking category, players receive points based on their finish;-5 points for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, 0 for sixth…TOT indicates that receiver's final ranking vs. the other receivers listed.

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: Amaro rarely lined up at the traditional tight end position, as he was usually aligned wide, creating tremendous mismatches vs. smaller cornerbacks, while his 4.74 speed allowed him to easily navigate vs. second level opponents. What is impressive is the amount of yards gained, as his average is the highest for a tight end in a season since Tulsa's Garrett Mills in 2005 (95.0 ypg)…Seferian-Jenkins did not get anywhere the "looks" he received in 2012 (93 targeted tosses), as only 49 balls were thrown his way, but when it came to operating inside the red zone, that is where the Husky shined, not only scoring eight times on his own, but setting up 13 other drives that led to scores for Washington…Ebron increased his receiving output by more than 50% from the previous season (40 catches in 2012), but for a tight end to not get that many opportunities inside the red zone is an issue. He had only three touchdowns, but enough big catches to help the team reach the end zone twelve other times…Lynch's production came in spurts, as he had no catches or just one reception in five of his twelve appearances, tallying four grabs in each of three games and six more in another…While Niklas shows promise as a blocker, he is a marginal route runner who has been compared to Kyle Rudolph, but that is a very big stretch, as he appears more likely to develop into an Anthony Fasano-type of former Irish tight end…It is hard to fault the decline in Fiedorowicz' statistics (45 catches for 433 yards in 2012), but after having just one touchdown as a junior, he reached the end zone six times in 2013, despite playing for a team that ranked 93rd in the nation in passing (197.1 ypg).
 

STATISTICAL COMPARISON, PART TWO

PLAYERNO/TM PCTRK YDS/TMPCT RK
AMARO106/453 23.401 1352/5107 26.472
EBRON062/283 21.912 0973/3606 26.981
FIEDOROWICZ 030/21314.08 50299/2562 11.675
LYNCH030/263 11.416 0459/3644 12.606
NIKLAS032/226 14.164 0498/3313 15.033
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 036/24714.57 30450/3060 14.714
PLAYERTD/TM PCTRK SP/TMPCT RKPTS TOT
AMARO07/35 20.003 23/7729.87 216 1
EBRON03/28 10.716 15/6124.59 312 3
FIEDOROWICZ 06/1931.58 210/53 18.875 074
LYNCH05/28 17.865 18/7623.68 403 6
NIKLAS05/27 18.524 10/5916.95 607 4
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 08/2334.78 121/69 30.431 152
KEY: GP indicates games played…NO indicates amount of receptions by each athlete/TM indicates amount of receptions for the entire team…PCT indicates percentage of catches by each athlete vs. total amount of catches for the entire team…RK indicates rank in that category…YDS indicates yards gained receiving by each athlete/TM indicates amount of receiving yards gained by  the entire team…PCT indicates percentage of receiving yards gained by each athlete vs. total amount of receiving yards by the entire team……RK indicates rank in that category…TD indicates touchdown receptions by each athlete/TM indicates amount of touchdown catches for the entire team…PCT indicates percentage of touchdown catches by each athlete vs. total amount of touchdown receptions by the entire team…RK indicates rank in that category…SP indicates amount of key receptions by the  athlete that led to scoring drives (either a touchdown or field goal)/TM indicates amount of scoring drives generated by the offensive unit (either a touchdown or field goal)…PCT indicates percentage of scoring drives each athlete was responsible for vs. the  total amount of scoring drives generated by the offensive unit…RK indicates rank in that category…PTS indicates points for each ranking category, players receive points based on their finish;-5 points for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, 0 for sixth…TOT indicates that receiver's final ranking vs. the other receivers listed.  

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: With the Red Raiders splitting playing time between two quarterbacks, both of those inexperienced passers took great advantage of the size mismatches created by Amaro, leading to his 106 receptions, five shy of the NCAA FBC season-record for a tight end (111 by James Casey of Rice in 2008), as his 1,352 yards topped Casey's previous national record for tight end (1,329 in 2008)…Seferian-Jenkins' productivity came from using his basketball player-size to win jump ball contests, as six of his eight touchdown catches came with the tight end elevating to pull down the ball. His eleven catches inside the red zone resulting in either Seferian-Jenkins or another teammate scoring on ten of those throws…Ebron was an effective table-setter for the team, but just three touchdowns for a player claiming to be the "best in the business" at his position does nothing to back up his statement…While his reception figure dropped from the previous season (45 in 2012 and 30 in 2013), his "bull in a china shop" running style saw him top his previous career scoring output (four touchdowns the first three seasons combined and six as a senior), Fiedorowicz might be the best tight end product the Hawkeyes have produced since the days of Dallas Clark (2000-02)…Niklas is rawer than sushi as a route runner and anyone that buys into the talk that he is another in a "great" line of Notre Dame tight ends might end up with just an Anthony Fasano clone… Lynch's low figures might be the result of quarterback Aaron Murray's outstanding ability to distribute the ball, as the Bulldogs featured six players with at least twenty receptions each, with Lynch's total ranking fourth in that group. For the 2013 season, a total of 19 Georgia players came up with a reception.

BIG-PLAY BREAKDOWN

PLAYER1st AVGRK 3/4PCT RKRZ PCTRK
AMARO069 5.311 2826.42 315 14.154
EBRON036 3.002 0914.52 605 08.065
FIEDOROWICZ 0191.46 610 33.331 0620.00 3
LYNCH023 1.924 0826.67 209 30.002
NIKLAS024 1.855 0721.88 402 06.256
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 0252.08 307 19.445 1138.89 1
PLAYERPCT RK20+ PCTRK PTSTOT
AMARO57.55 216 15.095 152
EBRON40.32 612 19.354 076
FIEDOROWICZ 50.005 0206.67 609 5
LYNCH63.33 110 33.331 201
NIKLAS56.25 310 31.252 104
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 52.784 0822.22 314 3
KEY: 1ST indicates receptions resulting in first downs…AVG indicates average first-down receptions per game… RK indicates rank in that category…3/4 indicates conversions of third- and fourth-down receptions…PCT indicates percentage of third- and fourth-down receptions vs. passes caught…RK indicates rank in that category…RZ indicates receptions caught inside the red zone/goal-line plays…PCT indicates percentage of red zone receptions vs. passes caught…RK indicates rank in that category…10+ indicates amount of  receptions that gained at least 10 yards…PCT indicates percentage of 10-plus yard receptions vs. passes caught…RK indicates rank in that category… 20+ indicates amount of  receptions that gained at least 20 yards…PCT indicates average of 20-plus yard receptions vs. passes caught…RK indicates rank in that category…PTS indicates points for each ranking category, players receive points based on their finish;-5 points for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, 0 for sixth…TOT indicates that receiver's final ranking vs. the other receivers listed.  

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: Even with 19 different Bulldogs pulling down Aaron Murray's passes in 2013, Lynch made the most of those limited opportunities, as 76.67% of his grabs (30 catches) resulted in first downs. Considering he had only 30 grabs, five for touchdowns, his ability to move the chains is one of his best assets. He was near perfect on third-down plays, converting 8-of-10 of those throws…With his young quarterbacks showing heavy reliance to locate Amaro in the short-to-immediate passing game, most of his yardage came after the catch, but while his 28 third/fourth-down conversions are impressive, he failed to deliver on 19 other third-down tosses…69.44% of Seferian-Jenkins' catches produced first downs and he helped set up 10 scoring drives based on eleven catches inside the red zone, exactly what is required from a big, physical tight end. What makes his season more complete than the other tight ends is that the UW junior has better tackle-breaking ability than any other listed in this comparison chart. On 19 of his receptions in 2013, Seferian-Jenkins defeated the initial tackle to record his first down…Even though he is not a polished route runner, Niklas did convert 75% of his receptions (24-of-32) into first downs and he did have a decent amount of grabs for double-digit yardage, but with just two catches inside the red zone, it was obvious that the Notre Dame coaches did not feel comfortable calling his number in tight quarters….After having just eight catches through Iowa's first five games, it took a late season splurge for Fiedorowicz to close out his career with decent numbers, as 10 of his 30 catches came in his last three appearances, good for 129 yards and two scores. Without that late performance, he had just 18 catches through ten games, seven coming in combined clashes vs. Michigan State and Ohio State during midseason…While his 62 receptions were impressive figures, Ebron was his own self promoter, as he might have had nine third-down conversion, but failed to record a first down on 15 other third-down throws and three fourth-down snaps. On his 62 grabs, he broke the initial tackle for a big gain just six times, which is mysterious, considering he has valid strength (produced 24 reps in the 225-pound bench press test at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine).
 

SCORING OPPORTUNITY BREAKDOWN

PLAYERTDR AVGRK PTSTM PCTRK
AMARO16 1.232 042442 09.503
EBRON14 1.083 018365 04.936
FIEDOROWICZ 100.77 5036 30711.73 1
LYNCH13 1.083 030425 07.065
NIKLAS09 0.696 030333 09.014
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 181.50 1048 41811.48 2
PLAYERPRF TMPCT RKPTS TOT
AMARO145 44232.81 112 2
EBRON101 36527.67 306 4
FIEDOROWICZ 070307 22.805 073
LYNCH106 42524.94 406 4
NIKLAS066 33319.82 602 6
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 135418 32.302 131
KEY: TM figures are for offensive performance only and only for games played in by that athlete.  

KEY: TDR indicates receptions that resulted in touchdowns (total caught by the receiver and big plays that set up touchdown drives only)…AVG indicates average touchdown drives responsible for per game…RK indicates rank in that category…PTS indicates points scored by the receiver during the season…TM indicates total points scored by the receiver's offense during the season…PCT indicates the percentage of points scored by the receiver compared to the total points scored by the offense…RK indicates rank in that category…PRF indicates total points responsible by the receiver via receptions only during the season (based on touchdowns scored, big plays on touchdown drives and big plays that set up team field goals)…TM indicates total points scored by the receiver's offense during the season…PCT indicates the percentage of points responsible for by the receiver compared to the total points scored by the offense…RK indicates rank in that category…PTS indicates points for each ranking category, players receive points based on their finish;-5 points for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, 0 for sixth…TOT indicates that receiver's final ranking vs. the other receivers listed.  

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: Tight ends used to do the "grunt work" so other teammates can get the media glory by scoring based on the tight end setting up the drive. Now, the tight end is often seen dunking balls, flipping them to fans or flexing their muscles regularly like Hulk Hogan on steroids after they found nirvana in the end zone themselves…While Washington's offense was built around franchise ball carrier Bishop Sankey, Seferian-Jenkins did his part to make sure the Huskies scored often, thus walking away with Mackey Award honors (nation's top tight end), despite the lofty pass catching figures recorded by Amaro and Ebron. Half of his 36 receptions were good for first downs and in addition to his eight touchdowns, his clutch receiving led to ten other touchdown drives and on three possessions that produced field goals…Amaro was also called upon often, but while Seferian-Jenkins scored on 22.22% of his receptions (8-of-36), Amaro only managed to score on 6.61% of his grabs (7-of-106). Twelve other touchdowns by Tech were set up by their flexed-out, over-sized, glorified receiver in tight end's clothing though…Fiedorowicz scored four times during his first three seasons at Iowa, but went for six points six times as a senior. He also set up four other touchdown drives by Hawkeyes receivers, giving him a hand in ten of the nineteen touchdowns posted by the receiving unit…Ebron might have caught a lot of passes, but they did not translate well for many scoring opportunities for the Tar Heels. In fact, eight of the fifteen drives he had a hand on UNC scoring came vs. competition with losing records…Niklas is still a neophyte playing tight end, as he has just 26 games playing tight end, including twenty as a starter. He is a highly effective blocker and with 10-inch hands and 34 1/8-inch arms, he is the type that will combat for balls in a crowd, but his route running leaves a lot to be desired.
 

RECEPTION CONSISTENCY BREAKDOWN

PLAYERTG CTPCT RK
AMARO156 10667.95 3
EBRON094 06265.96 5
FIEDOROWICZ 045030 66.674
LYNCH039 03076.92 1
NIKLAS052 03261.54 6
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 049036 73.472
PLAYERPB DPPN FMTFL NGTOT PCTRK PTSTOT
AMARO21 0104 0301 0131 19.873 063
EBRON16 0510 0301 0034 36.176 015
FIEDOROWICZ 0400 0200 0000 0613.33 107 2
LYNCH04 0003 0000 0007 17.952 091
NIKLAS07 0004 0000 0011 21.155 015
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 0300 0401 0002 1020.41 406 3
KEY: TG indicates total passes targeted to the receiver…CT indicates amount of those targeted passes the receiver caught…PCT indicates the percentage of targeted passes caught by the receiver…RK indicates rank in that category… PB indicates passes the opposition deflected that were targeted to the receiver…DP indicates amount of passes thrown to that the receiver dropped…PN indicates amount of times the receiver was penalized…FM indicates amount of times the receiver fumbled the ball…TFL indicates amount of times the receiver was tackled for a loss…NG indicates amount of times the receiver was tackled for no gain at the line of scrimmage…TOT indicates total amount of negative plays (pass deflections/dropped passes/penalties/fumbles/ tackles for loss/tackled for no gain)…PCT indicates percentage of passes targeted to the receiver that resulted in negative plays…RK indicates rank in that category…PTS indicates points for each ranking category, players receive points based on their finish;-5 points for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, 0 for sixth…TOT indicates that receiver's final ranking vs. the other receivers listed.  

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: No one player is mistake free and even with the tight end position getting more and more pass-catching opportunities every year, most will still not reach the high amount of chances that a wide receiver might be accorded…Lynch had just a quarter of the passes targeted to him than Amaro did, but managed to pull down more than three-quarters of those throws. On a ratio basis, if he would have had the high amount of chances like Amaro, Lynch would have gone home with 120 grabs. Lynch has always made the most of his pass-catching opportunities. In 2012, he caught 24-of-33 tosses, improving his two-year totals to 54-of-72 (75.0%) targeted passes resulting in positive yardage for the Bulldog…Fiedorowicz also displayed solid ball-security skills and in 109 passes targeted to him the last two years, he was never tackled for a loss and just once failed to gain yardage after a catch. Much like Lynch, he had the strength to break arm tackles and has never put the ball on the ground, displaying excellent ball security ability…What makes the figures compiled by Seferian-Jenkins even more impressive was the fact that he unknowingly played the year with a stress fracture in his foot. He claims the injury had nagged him since 2012, but just thought it was normal "bumps and bruises." He did have some penalty issues though, as three of his four infractions were holding penalties…Since Amaro was often aligned wide, he was more of a receiver and rarely ever a traditional tight end. Can he play that position at the next level? The jury is out on that, as what really should bring up some flashing lights is that he's 6:05.3, but had 21 passes batted away from him by those assigned to cover him. One look at the Texas Christian (four break-ups), Kansas (three deflections), Iowa State (five deflections) and Oklahoma (three break-ups) makes one wonder if he might be a lion needing to visit the Wizard of Oz (needs courage in tight areas). He has also had ball-security issues (three fumbles came without securing the ball after the catch) and like Ebron, he "jumps the gun" quite a bit, and has to do a better job of reducing those false starts… Niklas showed poor timing on jump balls, as seven of those attempts led to smaller defenders knocking the toss away. At 6:04, players 3-4 inches shorter should not have that success. He also needs to listen to the cadence count better in order to cut down on his false start penalties…Ebron is finally exposed for what his "real numbers" actually display. He seems to be intent on making the spectacular grab and has to show more hunger going for off-target throws. How else can you explain a 6:04.2, 250-pound receiver with 32-inch vertical jump and 10'00" broad jump numbers having a 16 passes deflected away from him. His turn-&-go penchant before properly securing the ball led to those five fumbles and seven of those 10 penalties were the result of false starts.

BLOCKING CONSISTENCY PERFORMANCE CHART

PLAYERGP KDAVG RKTD AVGRK
AMARO13 03903.00 505 0.385
EBRON13 03802.92 603 0.236
FIEDOROWICZ 13061 04.694 060.46 3
LYNCH12 07506.25 209 0.752
NIKLAS13 07605.85 306 0.463
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 12084 07.001 121.00 1
PLAYERDF AVGRK GD90 RKPTS RK
AMARO09 0.695 83.8800 504 5
EBRON06 0.466 81.2500 600 6
FIEDOROWICZ 131.00 485.88 044 153
LYNCH22 1.831 86.8803 316 2
NIKLAS21 1.623 87.5404 114 4
SEFERIAN-JENKINS 221.83 187.51 052 191
KEY: This chart lists the statistics compiled by each player during their respective season…KD indicates Knockdown/Key Blocks registered by the blocker…AVG indicates average per game… RK indicates the offensive tackle's ranking vs. the other four offensive tackles used for this evaluation…TD indicates Touchdown-resulting blocks registered (run and pass)…DF indicates Down field blocks… GD indicates player's Blocking Consistency grade…90 indicates amount of games blocker registered 90% or higher for blocking consistency… PTS for each ranking category, players receive points based on their finish-5 points for first, 4 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, 0 for sixth…FINAL indicates that player's final ranking vs. the other players listed.  

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: It has become a dying breed in the NFL – the complete tight end, one that can make the clutch catches in traffic, move the chains one link at a time, combat for the ball in the corner of the end zone and, most importantly, be a highly capable second level blocker for the ground game while supporting the offensive tackles in sealing off edge rushers in pass protection... As a member of the Mackey Award selection committee, it was Seferian-Jenkins' overall game as a receiver and blocker that secured him the 2013 honor over pass-catching types like Amaro and Ebron. The Husky is like a head-seeking missile attacking linebackers and safeties down field, as he recorded 22 downfield blocks…Lynch is another fine second level blocker and you can see with his quick feet, he excels at getting back to protect the pocket from edge rushers…Niklas still has that defensive player's mentality, but also that experience, so few opponents are going to fool him much with their counter moves…Fiedorowicz is a much better in-line blocker, as he really does not have the feet or great balance to block on the move…Amaro will make an effort vs. smaller opponents, but like Ebron, neither of them will mount much of a battle vs. the more physical defenders and will quickly yield way.
 

FINAL RECEIVING ONLY REPORT CARD

PLAYERGP REC1RK REC2RK BPRK
AMARO, Jace 1319 116 115 2
EBRON, Eric 1310 312 307 6
FIEDOROWICZ, Colton "C.J." 1304 607 409 5
LYNCH, Arthur 1209 403 620 1
NIKLAS, Troy 1306 507 410 4
SEFERIAN-JENKINS, Austin 1213 215 214 3
AVERAGE12.7 10.2  10.0  12.5
KEY: This chart lists the statistics compiled by each wide receiver during their respective seasons… REC1 and REC2 indicate points scored in the above Receiving Statistical Comparison categories…BP indicates points scored in the above Big Play Statistical Comparison category…SO indicates points scored in the above Scoring Opportunity Breakdown Comparison category…RC indicates points scored in the above Reception Consistency Breakdown Comparison category…PTS indicates total points scored from all of these categories…RK indicates final ranking, based on total points scored.

FINAL RECEIVING AND BLOCKING REPORT CARD

PLAYERGP REC1REC2 BPSO RCBK PTSRK
AMARO, Jace 1319 1615 1206 04072 2
EBRON, Eric 1310 1207 0601 00036 6
FIEDOROWICZ, Colton "C.J." 1304 0709 0707 15049 4
LYNCH, Arthur 1209 0320 0609 16063 3
NIKLAS, Troy 1306 0710 0201 14040 5
SEFERIAN-JENKINS, Austin 1213 1514 1306 19078 1
AVERAGE12.7 10.210.0 12.57.7 5.011.3 56.3
KEY: This chart lists the statistics compiled by each player during their respective season… REC1 and REC2 indicate points scored in the above Receiving Statistical Comparison categories…BP indicates points scored in the above Big Play Statistical Comparison category…SO indicates points scored in the above Scoring Opportunity Breakdown Comparison category…RC indicates points scored in the above Reception Consistency Breakdown Comparison category…BK indicates points scored in the above Blocking Consistency Comparison category… PTS indicates total points scored from all of these categories…RK indicates final ranking, based on total points scored.  

ANALYZING THE RESULTS: Whether your team is looking strictly for a pass catcher, or a tight end that is also capable of blocking, the two charts above show that the most complete tight end in the 2014 draft class might not be the first one taken, but if healthy, Seferian-Jenkins could be this year's blue chip prospect to emerge from this group.

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