Senior Bowl: Tuesday's Tight Ends Rankings

Scout.com's team of writers and analysts compared notes on the six tight ends that are showcasing their skills during Senior Bowl week. Who's at the top of their rankings and who's at the bottom? Check it out inside...

1. Jimmy Graham, Miami

Watching him this week, you'd never guess that Graham had just joined the Hurricanes football program prior to his senior season. The former basketball star has been running the smoothest routes of any of the tight ends in Mobile so far this week. At 6-foot-6, he uses his long legs and arms to his advantage. He uses his hands well to gain separation, and his gliding running style looks effortless. Although he had two early drops on easy passes, Graham became a consistent downfield threat on Tuesday, catching passes while in full stride--including a tough one up around his shoulder pads. He does a really nice job of watching the ball into his hands. He's still a bit raw in blocking technique and his stance, but he's been impressive during passing drills against defenders who are fourth- and fifth-year players.

2. Ed Dickson, Oregon

Dickson struggled a bit early to get separation coming off the line of scrimmage, but it didn't take him long to figure out how he could slip by the linebackers and beat them downfield. He blew by a linebacker and a safety for a deep pass that he caught in stride that would have been an easy score in real game action. He also made some tough catches that showcased his ability to grab the ball with his arms extended above his head or even with a defender on him so tight that the ball was nearly tipped away. He displayed a good physical presence and technique when run blocking, staying engaged and squared-up against defensive ends and linebackers.


Colin Peek keeps his eyes on the ball.
AP Photo/John Bazemore

3. Colin Peek, Alabama

If you watch Peek's footwork, the words "lumbering" and "clumsy" pop into your mind. But what you have to like about the Alabama tight end is that he overcomes that weakness in his skill set with remarkable hands and concentration in the passing game. Peek made a couple of catches by leaping for the ball, but also showed that he can snare a low throw that forced him to the ground to make the play. He showed good ability to turn linebackers to the outside during run plays to create a running lane.

4. Garrett Graham, Wisconsin

Graham has been steady, but not spectacular. He's shown the ability to leave a linebacker flat-footed with a nice fake during routes across the middle, but he's also lost some physical battles with linebackers who lock horns with him close to the line of scrimmage, thwarting his efforts to get out on his route promptly. He's been reliable as a run-blocker.

5. Anthony McCoy, USC

McCoy's inconsistency during the first two days of practice is going to raise doubts about his concentration if he doesn't get on track. He made some really challenging catches, but also dropped simple throws when he was wide open. McCoy also fell once while engaged in tight, physical coverage, but then held his own the next time it happened, resulting in the defender falling instead. Scouts are going to wonder which guy will show up at their training camp if he can't get into a groove soon.

6. Mike Hoomanawanui, Illinois

Hoomanawanui just seems to lack any zip or energy when running routes. Whether cutting to the inside or towards the sidelines, he rolls his cuts rather than using precise footwork to change direction. Hoomanawanui looked good while blocking defensive ends and linebackers, pushing them out of the action or using good leverage to stand them up. He's got good lateral movement as a blocker, but if he wants to improve his stock this week, he needs to show more life when called upon to contribute to the passing game.

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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com.


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