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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Tight Ends in the 2018 NFL Draft

Top 10 Tight Ends in the 2018 NFL Draft

Top 10 Tight Ends!
Publish Date: 02/28/2018
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

 

1. Dallas Goedert – South Dakota State – 6’5” 255

After a stellar junior year in which he had 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns, Dallas Goedert took a bit of a step back in 2017 catching 72 passes for 1,111 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Goedert has excellent hands and makes more one handed leaping grabs than I can recall seeing any other college tight end make.  He adjusts well to the ball and can contort his body to make catches on poorly thrown passes.  He has the size and speed to be utilized at the traditional tight end position, lined up in the backfield, or spread out wide to create mismatches.  He is tremendous in the red zone and nearly impossible to defend on jump ball throws. While he shows great effort in this area. Goedert is not a dominating blocker and will need to work on his strength and technique in order to become a more rounded player.

Strengths:

  • Great hands – makes some circus catches

  • Adjusts to the ball well, makes great catches on balls thrown behind him and on fades

  • Has the size and athletic ability to be a mismatch nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators

  • Shows nuance in his route running, with great use of bends and stems

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks both the strength and technique to be a dominating blocker

  • Relies on one-handed catches in situations where he may not need to

  • FCS stand-out who will need to prove that he can stand-out at the highest level

 

2. Troy Fumagalli – Wisconsin – 6’6” 248

Over the last two seasons Troy Fumagalli has had 93 receptions for 1,127 yards and six touchdowns for the Badgers.

Fumagalli primarily lines up as an H-back and is somewhat limited in what he has been asked to do in the pass game.  He has excellent hands and can make catches on poorly thrown balls.  He can take a big hit and will still come up with the ball.  He is a tenacious blocker who wins more on will than ability.  He will need to work on lowering his pad level to improve in this area, particularly due to the fact that he projects into a multi-purpose H-back role and not just as a big receiver.  He is a good athlete, but not someone who is going to cause defensive coordinators to lose sleep.

Strengths:

  • Incredible ability to adjust to the ball

  • Great hands

  • Makes contested catches

Weaknesses:

  • Willing blocker, but plays too high

  • Good athlete, but not as fast as others in the class

  • Does not run a complex route tree

 

 

3. Mike Gesicki – Penn State – 6’6” 257

Mike Gesicki was a top performer for the Nittany Lions over the last two years.  In 2016 he had 48 receptions for 679 yards and 5 touchdowns.  In 2017 he had 57 receptions for 563 yards and 9 touchdowns.

With his size and athletic ability Gesicki is a mismatch machine.  He is one of the taller tight ends in the class and can go up and get the ball at will.  He has shown the body control to make sideline catches multiple times.  He is could afford to improve his blocking and route running ability and has trouble running away from defenders.

Strengths:

  • Sure hands

  • Athletic – consistently makes impressive sideline catches

  • Can be moved around the formation

Weaknesses:

  • Not a dominate blocker

  • As stiff in his routes as you might expect a man of his size to be

  • Limited ability to make a man miss in space

  • Runs a pretty basic set of routes

 

4. Mark Andrews – Oklahoma – 6’5” 254

Mark Andrews was an extremely productive member of the Sooners offense over the last few seasons.  In his three-year career in Norman he has caught 22 touchdowns.  2017 was his most productive season with 62 receptions for 958 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Andrews is a multi-purpose tight end who Oklahoma relied on to make plays in the pass game.  He has the athletic ability to move all-around toe formation to create mismatches.  He has good hands and holds on to the ball when he takes a hit.  He is somewhat lackadaisical as a blocker but has the physical traits to develop in this area.  He can lineup as an attached tight end, but has more experience and may be more comfortable detached.

Strengths:

  • Good, reliable hands

  • Athletic enough to move around the formation

  • Makes tough catches when he knows he is going to take a hit

Weaknesses:

  • He is often criticized for not being an inline tight end, but he does have some experience in this area and has done well when attached to the formation

  • Shows poor effort as a blocker

  • A big bodied receiver, but not necessarily one who is going to win in jump ball situations

 

5. Cam Serigne – Wake Forest – 6’3” 240

Cam Serigne has been a consistent performer for Wake Forest throughout his career with the team.  In four years he has amassed 174 receptions for 2,075 yards and 21 touchdowns.  He capped off his career with 44 receptions for 556 yards and 9 touchdowns as a senior.

Similar to former Colts tight end Dallas Clark, Sergne does not have ideal size, but has the athletic ability and skill as a route runner to be an integral part of an NFL offense.  Also like Clark he plays primarily off the ball.  Sergine is a capable blocker but is most impressive as a receiver.

Strengths:

  • Excellent route runner with a knack for finding holes in coverage

  • Able blocker

  • Reliable hands

Weaknesses:

  • Does not have ideal size for the position

  • Primarily played in an H-back role and may not be comfortable putting his hand on the ground

  • Has neither the size nor the speed to create the vertical mismatches teams look for from tight ends

 

6. Hayden Hurst – South Carolina – 6’5” 250

Over the last two seasons Hayden Hurst has had 92 receptions for 1,175 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Gamecocks.

Hurst is a good receiver who can make plays in the passing game with his excellent hands, physical prowess, and surprising shiftiness.  Often he will watch a teammate catch the ball only a few yards away from him and simply stop running rather than trying to pick up a block.  At times he looks good as a run blocker, but other times he gets bullied by defenders.  He was used fairly often as a pass blocker, which is inexplicable because he is not good at it.  Hurst can be moved around the formation, but may be best in an H-back role.

Strengths:

  • Hard to tackle

  • Adjusts well to poorly thrown balls

  • Can use speed or power moves to run after the catch.

Weaknesses:

  • Good blocker at times, but can be tentative

  • Does not always show great effort when the play does not come to him

  • Somewhat robotic as a route runner

 

7. Dalton Schultz – Stanford – 6’6” 242

Over the last two seasons Dalton Schultz has totalled 25 catches for 234 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Cardinal.

Schultz has a skill set that may not make him the star of any highlight reels, but gives him great value to NFL teams.  He can be moved around the formation to be used primarily as a blocker.  This allows teams to get a different type of mismatch, as it can create an extra gap or simply put a better, larger blocker over a player who may not be accustomed to defeating that sort of block.  Shultz shows some ability in the pass game, but has been asked to do so in a limited capacity.

Strengths:

 

  • Multi purpose tight end who was moved around the formation

  • Excellent run and pass blocker

  • Great size and strength

Weaknesses:

  • Limited pass game usage

  • Good athlete, but only a mismatch in terms of his size

 

8. Adam Breneman – U Mass – 6’5” 255

After transferring from Penn State, Adam Breneman has had two impressive seasons for U Mass combining for 134 receptions 1,572 yards and 12 touchdowns over the that time period.  The story of Breneman’s transfer is pretty unique.  He suffered a major knee injury that cost him nearly two years on the field.  He graduated from Penn State while recovering from his injury and enrolled in graduate school at U Mass after getting cleared.

Unlike many in the class, Breneman is at his best when lined up as a traditional tight end.  He is a talented athlete who can run and adjust to the ball in the air.  He is a reliable redzone target who can go up and make the play in jump ball situations.  He seems somewhat disinterested in blocking and as a result struggles in that area.

Strengths:

  • Works best from a three-point stance as an attached tight end

  • Great hands and ability to adjust to the ball

  • Good, but not great athlete – has speed but is not going to do anything particularly impressive after the catch

Weaknesses:

  • Reluctant blocker

  • Decent athlete, but not someone who is going to blow people away

  • Past knee injury is cause for concern

 

9. Ethan Wolf – Tennessee – 6’6” 258

Ethan Wolf was a consistent four-year starter for the Vols who totalled 91 receptions for 996 yards and 7 touchdowns over the course of his career and topped it off with 24 catches for 246 yards and 3 touchdowns as a senior.

Every aspect of Wolf’s game is pretty strong, but he does not stand out in any particular area.  He is a big body and does well as a blocker most of the time, but he can struggle to stay on blocks.  He is a good pass catcher who gets open largely because of his size, but he is not a special athlete with the ball in his hands or in the process of running route.

Strengths:

  • Reliable pass catcher

  • Good size

  • Long strider who can get down the field in a hurry

Weaknesses:

  • Does not move very well in space – can have trouble making blocks downfield

  • Average athlete

  • Can struggle to stay on blocks getting tossed or falling off at times

 

10. Durham Smythe – Notre Dame – 6’5” 257

Durham Smythe had 15 receptions for 244 yards and a touchdown for the Irish in the 2017 season.

Smythe is a skilled tight end who is utilized mainly as a blocker.  He is a finesse blocker who has the tenacity to stay with his opponent and can get some movement on down blocks.  He is never going to dominate his opponent, but he will stick with him.  He has had success in pass game when asked to contribute in that area.

Strengths:

  • Good blocker

  • Can play on or off the ball effectively

  • Runs good routes and is skilled in the pass game when utilized

Weaknesses:

  • Can get overpowered and pushed back at times

  • Stays with blocks, but does not get major movement or bury opponents

  • Not heavily used in the passing game

 

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