NFL Draft '06: Scouting the tight ends

Were it not for a few major injuries to highly rated prospects at the top of the list, the tight end crop for next April could've been dynamite. Yet even with that the position could offer one super junior who breaks into the first round as well as plenty of depth offered by the senior class that reaches into the draft's middle rounds.

Full Name: Troy Bienemann     School: Washington State

Ht: 6-5      Wt: 260      40: 4.78      Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Solid pass catcher who gives effort blocking. Quickly gets into routes, runs well laterally and adjusts to the errant throw. Looks the pass into his hands and consistent catching the ball. Flashes the ability to make plays down field. Blocks with good pad level and looks for someone hit. Has potential as a long snapper.

Neg: Marginally strong at the point of attack and does not get movement from blocks. Never overly productive on the field.

Analysis: A solid prospect with a good amount of upside, Bienemann is a smart, hard working football player. Solid mid-to-late round pick that could fit in as a number two player at his position.


Full Name: Dominique Byrd         School: USC

Ht: 6-2.5     Wt: 260         40: 4.82    Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Athletic tight end with natural receiving skills. Quickly releases into pass routes, gets vertical and makes the acrobatic reception with defenders draped on him. Extends and possesses soft hands with the ability to pull the ball out of the air. Easily adjusts or contorts to the errant throw. Shields away with his frame and also makes plays down field.

Neg: Not explosive into blocks and marginal strength at the point of attack. Has a history of injuries.

Analysis: A solid offensive threat who consistently makes the reception, Byrd would nicely fit as a second tight end in the NFL. Could effectively play in a west coast or timing offense.


Full Name: Scott Chandler      School: Iowa

Ht: 6-6    Wt: 235      40: 4.81        Yr: 3Jr

Pos: Terrific, pass catching tight end with an outstanding head for the game. Fluid releasing off the line into pass routes, possesses soft hands and plucks the ball from the air. Good eye\hand coordination and a natural receiver. Adjusts to the errant throw or gets low to scoop up the pass. Solid job coming back to the ball and helping out the quarterback. Uses his frame to shield away opponents and makes the tough grab in a crowd. Nicely makes receptions without breaking stride. Leverage player who bends at the knees.

Neg: Must improve his blocking; possesses poor footwork sliding out to protect the edge and marginally strong at the point of attack. Lacks deep speed and ability to run to the long throw.

Analysis: Productive on the football field, Chandler is an outstanding prospect for the future. More of a pass catching threat, he has the frame to add bulk and strength, which will enhance his blocking skills.


Full Name: Charles Davis     School: Purdue

Ht: 6-5     Wt: 263      40: 4.87        Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Pass catching tight end who flashes the ability to make plays downfield. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, runs well laterally and consistently finds the soft spot in the middle of the defense. Makes the reception in stride, catches the pass away from his frame and displays good eye\hand coordination. Extends to catch the high throw, takes a pounding yet holds on to the ball.

Neg: Must improve his blocking strength and intensity. Gets caught peeking at times and looks to run before he's actually caught the ball.

Analysis: Primarily an offensive threat, Davis needs to improve his blocking to complete the deal. His pass catching skills and abilities to make plays into the secondary could push and him into next April's first day.


Full Name: Vernon Davis       School: Maryland

Ht: 6-2.5      Wt: 250      40: 4.55        Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Athletic, pass-catching tight end who also projects to "H-back".  Quick releasing into pass routes, displays sharpness into breaks and gets separation from defenders.  Flashes the ability to make plays downfield.  Good pop at the point as a blocker.

Neg: Lacks consistent, soft hands and does a bit of double-catching.  Marginal playing strength and does not finish blocks.

Analysis: Effective as a pass catcher, Davis needs to round out his game yet offers potential as a third down receiver.  


Full Name: Timothy Day      School: Oregon

Ht: 6-3.5    Wt: 265       40: 4.80        Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Big, imposing tight end effective as both a pass catcher and blocker. Plays with leverage, displays footwork in pass protection and controls opponents once engaged at the point of attack. Works to take defenders out blocking. Fluid releasing into pass routes, consistently finds the open spot in the defense and makes a lot of athletic plays. Finds a way to sneak it downfield. Makes the reception in stride looking the pass into his hands. Tough running after the reception. Can adjust or contort in midair to grab the errant throw, displaying focus and concentration.

Neg: Lacks body control and balance. Over extends and bends at the waist. Does not possess great 40-speed.

Analysis: Neither flashy nor explosive, Day continually produces on the football field. May slide into the late part of the draft's first day and has the ability to develop into a number one tight end at the next level.


Full Name: Anthony Fassano        School: Notre Dame

Ht: 6-3.5     Wt: 257       40: 4.73        Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Terrific pass catching tight end slowly turning into a complete player at the position.  Adjusts to the errant throw easily reaching backwards, then making the reception in stride.  Possesses soft hands and plucks the pass from the air.  Bends knees blocking with good pad level and seals opponents from the action with body positioning.  Displays ability blocking in motion.

Neg: Neither quick nor explosive off the snap.  Average playing strength and does not finish blocks.

Analysis: A good athlete with terrific size/speed numbers, Fassano has proved himself as a receiving threat while showing progress as a blocker.  Offers a lot of upside and the skill needed to blossom into a starting tight end at the next level.


Full Name: Ryan Hamby    School: Ohio State

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 250    40: 4.95        Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Reliable pass catcher best on the underneath routes. Effectively uses his frame to shield away opponents, offers the quarterback a big target and adjusts to the errant throw. Displays soft hands and makes the difficult catch in a crowd. Works to sell routes. Leverage player who flashes skill as a position blocker.

Neg: Bends at the waist which adversely effects his balance. Lacks a strong base and does not finish blocks.

Analysis: A solid prospect with a consistent game, Hamby is a marginal athlete who could find a spot as a third tight end at the next level.


Full Name: Clark Harris    School: Rutgers

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 242    40: 4.79        Yr: Jrr

Pos: Terrific pass catching tight end and solid future NFL prospect. Finds the soft spot in the defense, extends then plucks the ball from the air. Adjusts in midair to make the difficult reception. Displays timing and anticipation, flashing the ability to get down field and create mismatches in the secondary. Consistently comes away with the important catch in the end zone or on third down.  Blocks with good pad level and makes effective use of angles.

Neg: Possesses a thin build and average strength. Does not explode into blocks.

Analysis: A solid prospect that's fallen under radar screens, Harris consistently makes plays on the football field. Offers the tools to play in the NFL and may be best as a number two tight end.


Full Name: Matt Herian       School: Nebraska

Ht: 6-4     Wt: 245      40: 4.73        Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Outstanding pass catching tight end who will likely spend the entire season on the sidelines. Consistently finds the open spot in the defense, making himself an available target for the quarterback. Displays quickness running routes, coming back to the ball and nicely adjusting to grab the errant pass from the air. Shields opponents with his frame and displays solid eye\hand coordination.

Neg: Not a dominant blocker. Severely broke his leg during the eighth game of the ‘04 season.

Analysis: An athletic target who combines good computer numbers with football intelligence, Herian consistently broke games open during his sophomore and junior campaigns. Quite easily would've been the top senior tight end prospect moving towards the 2006 draft but must now check out medically in March of '07.


Full Name: Darcy Johnson      School: Central Florida

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 246      40: 4.91        Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Nice sized tight end efficient in all areas. Quickly gets off the snap, blocks with leverage and keeps his feet moving in pass protection. Stays square and strong at the point. Fluid releasing into pass routes, plays faster than his 40 time and makes the acrobatic, one-handed catch downfield. Works routes and displays good eye\hand coordination.

Neg: Not effective blocking in motion and must improve his footwork. Not a consistent downfield threat.

Analysis: Relatively productive the past two seasons, Johnson will see his draft grade depressed because of poor 40 times yet nicely fits in as a blocking tight end in the NFL.


Full Name: Marcedes Lewis      School: UCLA

Ht: 6-5   Wt: 250   40: 4.75        Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Outstanding athlete with the ability to consistently make plays down the field. Quickly gets off the line, makes receptions in stride and adjusts to the errant throw. Displays focus and concentration, pulls the ball out of the air or makes the difficult grab with defenders draped on him. Possesses both soft and strong hands. Quickly transitions to running after the catch. Effectively lined up as a slot receiver. Gives effort blocking and displays footwork in pass protection. Bends knees and plays with leverage.

Neg: Lacks overall blocking strength and gets stood up at the point.

Analysis: A tight end who plays significantly faster than his 40-time, Lewis is a tremendous offensive threat and a developing blocker. Must improve the details of his game yet possesses outstanding upside for the next level.


Full Name: Joe Klopfenstein    School: Colorado

Ht: 6-5.5     Wt: 245     40: 4.67        Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Outstanding pass catching tight end who displays natural receiving skills. Quickly gets into pass routes, comes back to the ball and displays excellent focus. Extends pulling the pass from the crowd and displays good eye\hand coordination. Shield opponents away with his frame. Possesses soft hands.

Neg: Marginal blocking strength and overwhelmed by defenders at the point of attack.

Analysis: A prospect with excellent computer numbers and football intelligence, Klopfenstein is a terrific receiving threat. Outstanding prospect for a west coast offense.


Full Name: Tim Massaquoi     School: Michigan

Ht: 6-3.5      Wt: 245      40: 4.73        Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Athletic tight end who is a bit of an enigma. Plays with excellent leverage, quick releasing off the line and runs solid routes. Adjusts to the errant throw displaying good eye\hand coordination and effectively uses his body to shield away opponents. Strong at the point and controls opponents at the line of scrimmage.

Neg: Must become more cognizant of where he is on the field. Lacks soft, consistent hands. Does not finish blocks.

Analysis: Flashing ability the past two seasons, Massaquoi has the size\speed numbers to be a first day draft pick, yet inconsistent play on the field will drop his grade. Will receive mid-to-late round consideration but needs a lot of works on his game.


Full Name: Joe Newton          School: Oregon State

Ht: 6-6        Wt: 250            40: 4.81        Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Outstanding tight end with a complete game. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, quick to top speed and runs well laterally. Effectively makes the difficult reception with defenders draped on him. Comes back to the ball using his frame to shield away opponents then looks the pass into his hands. Nicely adjusts to the errant throw and effectively uses the sidelines. Makes a good amount plays down field. Quick into blocks and strong at the point of attack.

Neg: Must develop a nasty attitude and learn to finish blocks. Injured a knee prior to the season and on the sidelines all of 2005.

Analysis: Quite possibly a top three tight end coming into the season, Newton must return next September and prove he is healthy. Possesses the tools to develop into a number one tight end at the next level.


Full Name: Leonard Pope         School: Georgia

Ht: 6-6     Wt: 250      40: 4.53        Yr: 3Jr

Pos: Immense athlete with incredible upside for the next level. Fluid releasing from the line of scrimmage, consistently gets into the secondary and creates mismatches. Easily makes the reception in stride, pulling the errant throw from the air running full speed. Stays focused, makes the difficult grab in a crowd then picks up positive yardage afterwards. Consistently finds the open seam in the defense. Displays good eye\hand coordination. Shields opponents away with his frame or gets vertical in traffic to make the reception. Flashes footwork in pass protection.

Neg: Must learn to block with leverage. Rarely finishes blocks and thrown to the ground by opposing linebackers.

Analysis: Easily the number one tight end in the nation, Pope is a game breaking player and the type of prospect NFL teams are looking for. His size\speed numbers and football abilities give him first round potential next April.


Full Name: Tony Scheffler     School: Western Michigan

Ht: 6-5     Wt: 251      40: 4.71        Yr: 5Sr

Pos: Outstanding pass catching tight end who consistently makes plays down the field. Explodes off the snap into routes, consistently works to make himself an available target and extends, then looks the ball into his hands. Fast laterally and makes the reception in stride. Creates mismatches in the secondary and extends for the tough grab in traffic. Sells routes and displays adequate footwork into breaks. Keeps the play in bounds working to pick up positive yardage running after the reception.

Neg: Marginally strong at the point of attack and has trouble controlling opposing linebackers.

Analysis: A pass catching threat every time he lines up on the field, Scheffler has a place at the next level. The ability to run a good 40 time prior to April's draft will dictate where he is ultimately selected.


Full Name: Matt Spaeth     School: Minnesota

Ht: 6-5    Wt: 265     40: 4.81        Yr: 4Jr

Pos: Athletic prospect showing continual progress on the field. Big, imposing target that finds the open seam in the defense. Extends to make the reception away from his frame. Relatively soft and consistent hands. Solid position blocker with good awareness.

Neg: Must improve his playing strength and learn to finish blocks.

Analysis: A solid receiving threat also effective as a blocker, Spaeth could be one of the top tight end prospects moving towards the 2006 season.


Full Name: David Thomas     School: Texas

Ht: 6-3     Wt: 238      40: 4.83        Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Hard working prospect effective in all areas of the game. Quickly gets into pass routes, runs well laterally and effectively finds the open spot in the defense. Offers the quarterback a nice target and possesses soft hands. Shields opponents with his frame and quickly transitions from making the reception to running after the catch. Tough, stays with blocking assignments and displays good recognition.

Neg: Marginal blocking strength and does not finish. Average speed and not a downfield threat.

Analysis: Lacking the top size\speed numbers, Thomas makes plays with tenacity and football intelligence. Just a late round draft pick, he is a prospect who will be tough to keep off an NFL roster.


Full Name: Cooper Wallace     School: Auburn

Ht: 6-3      Wt: 262      40: 4.82        Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Consistent tight end efficient in all areas of the game. Adjusts to the errant throw, displays good eye\hand coordination and extends to pull the ball from the air. Offers the quarterback a big target and possesses soft and sure hands. Bends knees playing with leverage and quickly gets into blocks. Explosive at the point of attack and removes linebackers from the second level.

Neg: Not a true downfield threat who consistently makes plays into the secondary. Average blocking strength and has difficulty finishing.

Analysis: A hard working prospect with solid size\speed numbers, Wallace has shown consistent improvement on the football field. Has the ability to develop into a productive second tight end.


Full Name: T.J. Williams       School: North Carolina

Ht: 6-2.5       Wt: 253       40: 4.83        Yr: 4Sr

Pos: Athletic, pass catching tight end developing a well rounded game. Plays with leverage, quick releasing into pass routes and contorts to the errant throw. Effectively uses hand technique to get off jams at the line of scrimmage. Occasionally flashes the ability to make plays into the defensive secondary. Disciplined, stays with assignments and offers ability as a position blocker.

Neg: Marginal strength at the point and does not finish blocks. Loses focus and drops catchable passes.

Analysis: A solid athlete and consistent receiver, Williams potentially fits into the late part of next April's first day. Needs to run good 40-times prior to the draft yet has the tools to play in the NFL.

 

 


Scout NFL Network Top Stories