1) Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame*
Range: Late 1st – Mid 2nd
Synopsis: The only quality tight end prospect in the draft. Has the size you want and has experience in the slot. As a receiver, he will win jump balls and has a good understanding of routes. He is a willing blocker and has the frame to get bigger and stronger. Durability is a concern.
2) Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin
Range: 2nd – 3rd
Synopsis: Yet another undersized Wisconsin tight end prospect. He’s a real threat in the passing game due to how many positions he can line up in. A willing blocker, but will be overwhelmed at times. Reminds me of Dustin Keller. Best as a receiving tight end or as an H-Back.
3) Luke Stocker, Tennessee
Synopsis: A balanced tight end who is a capable blocker and viable receiver. Stocker has the size you want and has better speed than you would expect. Stocker was also a 38 games at Tennessee. On the downside, he’s not overly athletic and has never put up big numbers.
4) Jordan Cameron, USC
Range: 3rd – 4th
Synopsis: Originally a receiver before getting switched to tight end. He has very limited experience and didn’t see a great deal of time at USC, but his measurable are amazing and what you want from a tight end. He needs experience and to learn how to be a much better blocker (which he has the frame for).
5) DJ Williams, Arkansas
Synopsis: If DJ was a few inches taller, he’d be a 1st-2nd rounder. He’s incredibly tough and a very smart tight end who was Mallett’s favorite target at Arkansas. However, his size is limited and so his potential at the next level is as well. He tested well at the combine, but teams will worry about his upside.
6) Virgil Green, Nevada
Range: 4th – 5th
Synopsis: Yet another athletic undersized tight end who will most likely be looked at as a H-Back. Green has great hands and is a reliable target, but as a blocker he got by trying to overpower people. He’s basically a receiver in a tight end’s body and needs to get stronger.
7) Julius Thomas, Portland St
Range: 5th – 6th
Synopsis: Incredibly raw and lacks experience because he spent time playing basketball in college. Still, he’s incredibly athletic and has an exuberant amount of potential. Big frame and faster than most tight ends in this years draft. Will be a project, but worth the risk.
8) Rob Housler, Florida Atlantic
Range: 6th – 7th
Synopsis: A small school prospect that put up big numbers. Housler has decent size and is a willing blocker, but will get overmatched at times. He tested well at the combine though and his value will come in the receiving game. He’s also a high-character guy and a team player. FAU was log-jammed at tight end and asked him to redshirt after a great junior year and he accepted without question.
9) Charles Clay, Tulsa
Range: 6th – 7th
Synopsis: Reminds me a lot of Dorin Dickerson. He’s undersized, but spent time at Tulsa at FB, WR, and TE so he offers a high level of versatility. He doesn’t offer much in terms of blocking and there are limits as to how he can be used in an offense. Might be best off as a FB or H-Back.
10) Weslye Saunders, South Carolina
Range: 6th -UDFA
Synopsis: Talented, but character concerns like none other. One of the biggest tight ends in this year’s class and a solid athlete for his size. He was kicked off of South Carolina’s team mid-season after having been suspended previously. The question teams have to ask: is he worth the risk?