February 23, 2013 in 2013 Combine
Top Tight Ends to Watch:
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame:
-Eifert is fighting to be the top tight end drafted and should showcase well with his speed and physicality. Expect him to catch the ball well and continue his ascent into the first round.
Zach Ertz, Stanford:
-Ertz is battling Eifert on being the first tight end taken and this should be a good showdown. Like Eifert he offers good size/speed combo and should catch the ball pretty well.
Vance McDonald, Rice:
-McDonald should be a darling of the Combine, he's already had an impressive weigh-in with some of the longest arms and biggest hands in the draft as well as doing the most bench press reps among tight ends. Expect him to look well in all the drills, though the pass catching ones will be watched a bit more closely as he's had some drop issues in the past.
Other thoughts on the tight ends:
-Sad to see that D.C. Jefferson from Rutgers tore a muscle while doing the bench press. He wasn't a lock to be drafted, but he was an intriguing late round option with his size/speed combo. Now he's going to be looking at a camp invite and will face long odds as he recovers from this injury.
-Neither Travis Kelce or Gavin Escobar participated in the bench press, given that they are considered top 5 TE's it shouldn't hurt their stock too much if they can't do any of the drills, but they would have been interesting to watch.
-Jordan Reed came into the Combine pretty light and shorter than expected. He really needs to run well and show a lot of quickness to ensure he doesn't slide too much.
-Dion Sims and Nick Kasa are two of the more intriguing mid-round tight ends. Both have excellent size and look to be good inline tight ends with some movement potential. Neither has a big track record so good showings will be key.
-Chris Pantale and Mychal Rivera are two late round tight ends to watch today. Rivera put on 5lbs since the Senior Bowl which should only help his draft stock. Pantale is a borderline draftable guy, but he's got great size and upside.
Check back later for a recap!