Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cream of the 2013 NFL Draft crop: Tight ends


This is the first edition of an eight-part series noting the top prospects of the 2013 NFL Draft at their respective positions. (photo: Neon Tommy, Flickr)


Tyler Eifert (6-6, 250 lb.) Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish product looks like the most complete and consistent package of the bunch. He can line up inside, outside, block and make the tough catches when needed. He amassed nearly 2,000 yards in three seasons — despite being underused at times — and was the only good thing about the team’s crushing loss to Alabama in the national championship game. Even if Ertz comes off the board first, I believe Eifert will have the most success as a pro.

Zach Ertz (6-6, 250 lb.) Stanford
Ertz has nearly all the characteristics that Eifert possesses, and he was the most dominant at the position last season, tallying nearly 900 yards and six touchdowns. It’s tough to know just how successful Ertz could have been through his entire college career given the amount of talent Stanford had at the position, but he should nonetheless thrive in an NFL game plan. Via multiple scouting reports, Ertz could stand to better his hands and work in the run game -- two areas in which he showed improvement 2012.

Gavin Escobar (6-6, 260 lb.) San Diego State
An underrated prospect out of the Mountain West, Escobar had more than 1,300 yards combined in the past two seasons with 13 touchdowns. He’s what most NFL coaches have started looking for in a tight end: height, size and agility. He’s impressive on the line and even more impressive in the seam; he might not go third overall of the tight ends available, but he’ll be a huge return for anyone who drafts him.

Nick Kasa (6-6, 271 lb.) Colorado
I’m sure I’ll get a bunch of opinions on others more deserving than Kasa, but his versatility in the roster is what’s most appealing here. Having started off originally on the defensive line, Kasa’s strength is primarily in the blocking game, where he is familiar with the types of looks he'll see. His role in the passing game will likely be a bit of a project, but he shows great potential as a massive target with good speed and could be snagged at great value.

AFC East need meter (Not pressing, mildly pressing, very pressing)
Bills: Mildly pressing
Jets: Mildly-very pressing
Patriots: Not pressing
Dolphins: Very pressing

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