Any questions about his hands?
With the growing demand for mismatch-creating tight ends in the NFL, Fleener looks to be the next in line to fill that role for any team that selects him.
Fleener has the size and strength (27 reps at combine) to be a dominant pass catching tight end at the next level. He has plenty of experience in a pro-style offense with his years at Stanford and should have no problem adjusting in the NFL.
Fleener was often used as vertical threat for Andrew Luck at Stanford and used his elite skill set to take advantage of defensive backs. He has excellent route running skills, especially in deep passing situations, for a tight end of his size. Fleener also possesses large mitts (10-inch hands) which allow him to snag passes with ease across the middle of the field.
What sets Fleener apart as tight end prospect is his superior straight-line speed. At his pro day, Fleener ran a 4.45 forty which is amazing considering his height and weight. NFL scouts will be salivating over Fleener’s potential as a deep threat receiver. He has the speed to cruise past linebackers and the size to abuse defensive backs.
Fleener doesn’t come without his red flags, though. He is definitely a liability as a blocker during in-line offensive schemes. His blocking technique will need to be fine-tuned and his hand placement will need to improve as well at the next level. Fleener does have the strength and frame to become a serviceable blocker in the NFL as long as he is given the proper coaching.
An impressive physical specimen at the tight end position who has all the size and speed requirements to be a productive tight end in the mold of a Jimmy Graham- or Rob Gronkowski-type of player. Has loads of potential as a vertical threat, but must improve his blocking to be a well-rounded tight end at the next level.
Why He Makes Sense
The Giants lost both Travis Beckum and Jake Ballard to ACL injuries during the Super Bowl, which means that they probably won’t be back in action until late in the 2012 season. Martellus Bennett was recently signed to a one-year deal in order to make sure that Bear Pascoe wasn’t the only tight end with experience on the roster.
Clearly, the G-Men lack depth at the tight end position, and with Bennett’s contract for only one year, there is no guarantee he is a lock at the position for the next couple of years.
Plug in Fleener and the Giants now have a productive tight end who can fill the hole as a deep threat receiver left by Mario Manningham’s departure. He has scary potential as an offensive weapon and can develop into Eli Manning’s most trustworthy end zone target given time.