Chicago Bears 2013 Draft Prospect: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Eifert had a tremendous combine by all accounts, and given the issues the Bears have had at tight end (i.e. the ones they have aren't very good) and the need for another offensive playmaker, he's a good fit.
Now, yes, the Bears have massive offensive line issues, can use more pass-rushers (can you have too many?) and the thorny question of who the next middle linebacker will be post-Brian Urlacher.
So, of course, there are other options (depending on the board).
By the way, I happen to really like Evan Rodriguez. I'm just not sold on him being a very dynamic receiver.
Eifert, on the other hand—well, we'll get to that.
Name: Tyler Eifert
School: Notre Dame
40-yard Dash: 4.68 seconds *5th Overall Performer
Bench: 22 reps *3rd Overall Performer
Vertical: 35 inches *3rd Overall Performer
Broad: 119 inches *3rd Overall Performer
3 Cone: 6.92 seconds *1st Overall Performer
Short Shuttle: 4.32 *4th Overall Performer
Long Shuttle: 11.52 *2nd Overall Performer
As you can tell, from a pure timing/measurables standpoint, Eifert killed the combine.
Mind you, Eifert's tape is very good.
Watch any number of games of his—and I've watched many—and you'll get a sense of how impressive this player's upside is.
We'll start with the receiving skills, which are very sharp. Eifert has the ability to run a seam route as effectively as he can go across the middle. He runs a very sharp route, getting himself in advantageous position over the coverage and attacks the ball in the air.
He's very tough across the middle, and Eifert isn't afraid to be physical and fight for the ball. He has the strength to take the ball away from defenders and a "my ball" mentality which could define his production at the next level.
Why? Because it's the sort of mentality that makes for great receivers—and in this day and age, great tight ends are usually great receivers.
You need to have a player who looks at the ball, looks at the defenders and says "that's mine."
The Bears especially could use this in the offense—beyond Brandon Marshall, there's a lack of it, or at least a lack of it coupled with ability.
It's a little early to call Alshon Jeffery out for it, but even if he pans out (and I believe he will), you just can't have enough playmakers.
Eifert gets off the line quickly, eats up yards with some nice strides and is a potentially devastating mismatch against linebackers and defensive linemen across the middle.
He's also a good blocker, though he still has some developing to do in that area. He has a tendency to sometimes take bad angles and end up reaching on blocks. Eifert is a tough player but not devastatingly strong, so he can be knocked off his routes on occasion by bigger and more physical defenders.
While Eifert has very good hands overall, he will let balls get to his body and has shown the occasional lapse in focus.
Overall, though, he has far more positives than he does negatives.
While the Bears have multiple needs across several areas of this team, Eifert would be an excellent pick, and I actually wouldn't be shocked if he didn't make it to pick No. 20.
Now, to be clear—selecting Eifert doesn't keep Cutler from getting sacked (although Eifert can block), doesn't knock down passes at the line and won't stop the run.
What it does do is help put this offense in a position to step to the next level, something which newly minted coach Marc Trestman was brought in to do.
Should the Bears select Eifert at #20?
Eifert would give the Bears a dynamic tight end who can draw coverage away from Marshall and eventually Jeffery as well as give them a weapon in the style (if not ability, hard to say that) of a Rob Gronkowski.
Ultimately, a selection like this would be a huge win for the offense.
Are there other ways to go? Absolutely—and you can tell me where you'd prefer to spend the Bears first pick instead down in the comments.
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