Scouting Combine Preview: Tight Ends

The Packers have a potential superstar in Jermichael Finley and good depth in Donald Lee and Spencer Havner, but who would add pop as a blocker? We pick out several tight ends from the Scouting Combine class of 20.

The NFL's ultimate job interview, the Scouting Combine, begins on Wednesday in Indianapolis, with the first on-the-field workouts starting on Friday.

Packer Report gets you ready for the Combine with a position-by-position look at the 329 players on the invitation list.

Tight ends

State of the Packers

The Packers have about as good a trio of tight ends as any team in the NFL. Jermichael Finley is a budding star, Donald Lee should be a decent backup rather than a co-starter, and all Spencer Havner did was score five touchdowns. If the Packers are in the market to replace Lee, who dropped seven passes last season and will make almost $2.3 million in salary and bonuses, they'll be looking for someone who can make an immediate impact as a blocker.

Combine guest list

Nate Byham, Pittsburgh

Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh

Ed Dickson, Oregon

Jim Dray, Stanford

Brody Eldridge, Oklahoma

Dedrick Epps, Miami (Fla.)

Riar Geer, Colorado

Garrett Graham, Wisconsin

Jimmy Graham, Miami (Fla.)

Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma

Rob Gronkowski, Arizona

Clay Harbor, Missouri State

Aaron Hernandez, Florida

Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois

Jeron Mastrud, Kansas State

Anthony McCoy, USC

Tony Moeaki, Iowa

Colin Peek, Alabama

Dennis Pitta, BYU

Andrew Quarless, Penn State

Who to watch

Rob Gronkowski
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Nate Byham, Pittsburgh: The three-year starter caught just 47 passes in his career, including 10 as a senior. At 6-foot-4 and 268 pounds, he's considered the best blocking tight end in this draft. He was a vital cog on Pitt's dominating ground attack. Could sneak into the second day.

Jim Dray, Stanford: Dray (6-5, 255) has recovered from a horrible knee injury suffered midway through the 2007 season. Three of his 11 receptions as a senior went for touchdowns. He's a fantastic blocker about on par with Byham, which is why he was second-team all-conference despite his modest numbers. A late-round pick.

Riar Geer, Colorado: Geer (6-3, 252) produced a career season with 36 catches, 402 yards and four touchdowns. He's one of the better combo tight ends because he can catch and block, but his lack of quickness will make him a late-round or undrafted target. Could fit in as a fullback, too.

Garrett Graham, Wisconsin: Graham (6-3) weighed only 234 at the Senior Bowl, so he'll need to bulk up and get stronger. A year in an NFL strength program should do just that. At least he's got the willingness to block. Graham was superb receiver at Wisconsin, with 121 catches and 16 touchdowns in his career. Could move to fullback. Scouts' opinions are divided between third round and much later.

Rob Gronkowski, Arizona: At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, Gronkowski isn't a whole lot smaller than an offensive tackle. He's so big and strong and athletic that he figures to go in the second round, even though he missed all of his senior season with a back injury. In two seasons, he caught 75 passes for 1,197 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Clay Harbor, Missouri State: At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, Harbor's best position may be fullback. He was an all-Missouri Valley Conference tight end who caught 40 passes for 457 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. He caught the ball well and excelled at blocking in the Texas vs. Nation game. He figures to go early in Day 3 of the draft.

Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois: Hoomanawanui (6-4, 267) caught 10 passes as a senior and 40 (with four touchdowns) in his career. He's by far a better blocker than receiver but he showed decent hands at Senior Bowl week.

Tony Moeaki, Iowa: Moeaki (6-3, 252) hauled in 30 passes and scored four touchdowns as a senior, leaving his best for last with a four-catch, 85-yard performance in the Orange Bowl that included a 54-yard catch-and-rumble. He's a better receiver at this point but he's got the build to at least be a good combo player Could go late in Day 2.

Colin Peek, Alabama: Peek (6-6, 250) will battle Moeaki for draft position. Unlike Moeaki, he's a better blocker than receiver, though he showed surprising speed in getting up the seem during Senior Bowl week. He caught 26 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns as a senior.

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

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