Biggest Weapons at TE in the 2013 NFL Draft Class
The 2013 NFL draft class has a slew of fresh, young tight ends vying to be picked in the first or second rounds.
For NFL teams seeking a strong, quick and big receiver who can also handle blocking duties, this year’s draft class has plenty of talent to choose from.
Here are the top five TEs, listed from No. 5 to No. 1, entering the 2013 NFL Draft this April.
5. Dion Sims
One TE who will be playing on Sundays before we know it is Michigan State’s Dion Sims. Even though he was plagued with injuries throughout his college career and had to sit out a few games, he was still a premier playmaker for the Spartans.
In 2012, he was out for three games and still managed 36 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns.
Sims is frequently used on the line of scrimmage for his blocking ability, but standing at 6’5”, he creates mismatches for opposing defenses.
Weighing in at 285 pounds, Sims has the body and strength of a lineman but the agility and catching ability of a great TE.
4. Travis Kelce
Travis Kelce out of Cincinnati will join his older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, in the NFL next year. Although the Bearcats are not necessarily known as one of college football’s powerhouse teams, Kelce stands out in the 2013 draft class.
Ever since Brendon Kay took over the starting quarterback gig at Cincinnati, Kelce has been the go-to receiver. Last season, he had a notable 45 receptions for 722 yards and eight touchdowns. Standing at 6’5”, the 260-pounder is known for his versatility when it comes to both receiving and blocking.
Kelce was suspended for the entire 2010 season after an undisclosed violation of team rules. While the suspension may seem like a red flag to some, it shows that even after taking an entire season off, he was able to come back stronger than ever and prove to be a remarkable TE.
3. Jordan Reed
The former quarterback is known for his quick feet, agility and elusiveness when it comes to receiving and running the ball. Reed is an all-around athlete and has the ability to pick up yards after contact.
Reed led the Gators this year with 45 catches for 559 yards and three touchdowns. These statistics may not be the most impressive, but Reed did earn conference honors when he was named to the First Team of the 2012 Associated Press All-SEC Football Team.
2. Tyler Eifert
Tyler Eifert is another force to be reckoned with in this draft class. If he is not selected in the first round, Eifert will likely become the fourth Notre Dame TE since 2006 to be drafted in the second round.
This season, he led the Irish in receiving with 50 catches for 685 yards and four touchdowns. According to Dane Brugler, Senior Analyst of NFLDraftScout.com:
Eifert looks the part for the position and has always been a reliable receiver, but he really improved as a blocker the past three seasons. He has strong hands and does a nice job making contested catches in traffic with the smooth body control and footwork of a wide receiver.
On top of all that, Eifert was awarded the prestigious Mackey Award, which is given to the nation’s best TE.
1. Zach Ertz
Stanford fans were sad to hear the news of Zach Ertz choosing to forego his senior year as a Cardinal to enter the NFL Draft. I can’t blame him, considering he is projected to be one of the top TEs drafted this year.
During his junior year, Ertz led Stanford (12-2) to the Rose Bowl with 69 receptions for 898 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 64.1 receiving yards per game.
Not only can Ertz use his long arms to snatch balls from the air, but also his stout 6’6” frame is beneficial when it comes to blocking.
He played in a BCS bowl game every season while at Stanford. In the 2010 Orange Bowl, the freshman had two receptions and a touchdown. At the Fiesta Bowl the next year, Ertz had four receptions and a touchdown. This year at the Rose Bowl, he had six receptions for 61 yards.
This goes to show that Ertz is capable of performing on an even bigger national stage next year.