Tight-Ends To Show Promise

Jeremy Shockey in New York is the latest and greatest talent coming out of the tight-end position that is being utilized as more than a blocker.<br><br> There are a few other players at the tight-end position that should shine in the 2003 season.

Heading into every season, a group of players are presented that have potential, but have never reached the lofty opinion that has been placed upon them. Training camp 2003 will be no different as The Insiders take a look at some players that may be in position to make a statement in the league this upcoming season.
 
Tight End

Alge Crumpler of the Atlanta Falcons: Alge Crumpler is the starter and coaches believe he's destined for the Pro Bowl because he's very physical after the catch, has better than average speed, and is extremely strong. Late in the 2002 season, Crumpler became a favorite of quarterback Michael Vick.
 
The Falcons would like to see Crumpler become a consistent threat in the passing game downfield. An imposing target, Crumpler has the ability to become a significant contributor in a balanced Atlanta offensive attack. The addition of  wide receiver Peerless Price should provide the Falcons and namely Crumpler to have an opportunity in the middle of the field. Additionally, Crumpler should be effective in the readzone due to his size.

Mikhael Ricks of the Detroit Lions: A knee injury sidelined what was a promising run in the 2002 season Ricks. Having good size and speed, indications are that Ricks will be a favorite target of younf quarterback Joey Harrington.
 
Due to off-season knee surgery, Ricks was unable to participate in mini-camp drills, but once healthy Ricks could be a factor due to his athleticism.

Eric Johnson of the San Francisco 49ers With the San Francisco 49ers wanting to stretch the field and become more of a vertical passing team, Johnson could be a key contributor in the 49ers plan. Johnson was injured last season, sufferring a disc injury to his back and was limited for over half the season.
 
Johnson has good size and speed, his best quality is his ability to get downfield, making him a fit and potential player in the San Francisco offense.

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