The position isn’t sexy, and even in a passing league, we’re all having trouble adjusting to the tight end dominating. But it happens and it’s realistic. But do you ever wonder what would have happened if Kellen Winslow and Vernon Davis would have been able to do coming into rookies in 2015 instead of 5+ years ago?
The NFL is recruiting/scouting/hoping/drafting athletic tight ends that can also act as wide receivers. But they won’t find many in this draft. No Julius Thomas’ to be had here. But don’t write them all off. They play a bigger role than people believe. Let’s take a look at the five best tight ends heading into April:
1. Maxx Williams (Minnesota)
Solid ability after the catch, Williams has pure receiving abilities that advance the ball down the field. Can he block? David Cobb didn’t seem to need him blocking much.
2. Jeff Heuerman (Ohio St)
Heuerman is just a plain leader. He’s a locker room guy that may end up being the best blocking tight end of the next five years if utilized properly. He can do so much offensively able to catch the ball and convert third downs, while also sealing the edge.
3. Clive Walford (Miami FL)
People want to rate him higher because of his combine performance, but I still see a guy that’s a second tight end on a team running a Jim Harbaugh offense. He can catch the ball, but won’t be able to separate. But he wins the 50/50 balls.
4. Ben Koyack (Notre Dame)
Another run blocking specialist, Koyack should see a third round draw for his ability to catch down the seam. He’s got decent athleticism for a Notre Dame tight end, but he’s no Kyle Rudolph.
5. Nick O’Leary (Florida St)
The Seminoles do-it-all guy, O’Leary was a halfback, fullback, tight end, ball-boy and hot-dog vendor. He can run routes for a big guy, but has no true position. He’d be the utility guy for most teams as well as special teams ace.