This year’s draft class has talent to be had in the first three rounds for the tight end position. There is everything in tight end prospects from the new hybrid split out wide tight end that can stretch the field, or ones who can do the dirty work in the trenches, but can still be that safety net for their quarterback. Who knows maybe an NFL team will find the next Rob Gronkowski or the next Jason Witten.
1. Dallas Goedert – By far Goedert is the top tight end in this class. At 6’5″ 255 lbs and can play off the offensive line or split out wide. Has a really smooth stride especially for a big man. Gets off the line quick and has that natural athleticism that defenders don’t expect. Scouts have said he reminds people of Zach Ertz of the Phildelphia Eagles. Even though in a smaller conference he put up 13 games of over 100 yards over his last two seasons.
2. Mike Gesicki – Gesicki was already sitting at number 3 or number 4 overall, but the he had a monstrous combine performance topping it off with 4.54 40 yard dash . I’m pretty sure General Managers and scouts spit out their coffee when he ran that time because I know I sure would have. This guy didn’t have the eye popping stats at Penn State, but draft war rooms have him higher up on their boards just off his high ceiling.
3. Hayden Hurst – Hurst is moved around a lot on the field. He likes to play split out in the spot position. He releases quickly into his routes and has some of the best hands out of the tight ends in this years pass catchers. With a combination of power and balance, Hurst is one of the tougher tight ends to bring down. Has the build be an inline blocker as well, but NFL coaches would have to work on that over time with him.
4. Mark Andrews – Andrews isn’t going to blow you away with his speed. He is going to run routes crisp and knows where and when to adjust to his quarterback. Plays the ball well by knowing how to leveraging his body to shield the defender. Andrews has a nose for the end zone as well with 8 touchdowns. Was voted the nations top tight end with the John Mackey Award along with being a first team All-American.
5. Ian Thomas – If you’re looking for an in-line blocking tight end that can play out of the slot, then your man is Ian Thomas. Very nice instinct to push and bend defensive ends or linebackers to a sealed inside position. Has sneaky speed on the seam routes getting past linebackers or safeties. A high ceiling a coach can work with given Thomas’s athletic ability, but is still very raw. Thomas might be higher on this list if it wasn’t for a couple injuries nagging his last season in college.