I continue on with my previews of the upcoming 2009 NFL draft.
As I've said in all of my other previews, you aren't going to read about shuttle runs, 40 times, weight-lifting reps or anything of that nature, just what I personally saw on the football field. I knew these notes would come in handy after the season for something, maybe after we do our draft evaluation I can finally just get rid of them.
Before I throw all of the spiral notebooks down the garbage chute, here's what we saw from the tight ends.
Travis Beckum, Wisconsin, 6'3", 239
I thought Beckum was one of the best tight ends in the country going into this past season, if not the top tight end, until he suffered a brutal leg injury in October. I didn't see Beckum return to the field this season but if he's healed he may turn into a value as he was probably a second-round pick at the worst. In any event, he's well worth taking a chance on even if he needs time to rehab.
Kevin Brock, Rutgers, 6'5", 255
Brock is more the size and speed of the typical traditional tight end rather than the wide receiver-type we see today. Wile Brock appears to have the tools, he lost his starting job at Rutgers as the coaches were concerned with his quality of play. Not a good sign.
Steve Brouse, Connecticut, 6'4", 252
Brouse was slow and didn't have much of chance of playing at the next level and breaking his leg doesn't help matters. He was a nice fit as a college tight end on a decent team and we'll leave him at that.
Carson Butler, Michigan, 6'5", 250
I'm not sure if NFL teams are looking at Butler as a tight end or a defensive end because he plays both. Like most players, diversity and the ability to play more than one spot is a good thing and while I think another year of college would help, the coaching and system change at Michigan was pretty major so we'll be seeing a lot of players leaving a little earlier than even they expected.
James Casey, Rice, 6'3", 246
Speaking of versatility, Casey was a fireballer in the White Sox system a few years ago at this time. Casey is an all-around athlete who can play a variety of positions and I bet he can throw it a mile too. He's going to be one of the first tight ends off the board on draft day and one of those guys whose names we hear an awful lot on Sundays.
Tripp Chandler, Georgia, 6'5", 263
Chandler is big but slow and got injured. I don't think he has a chance of making an NFL roster at the TE position.
Chase Coffman, Missouri, 6'6", 244
Coffman would have probably been one of the first tight ends off the board in the draft as he has all of the ideal things NFL teams are looking for in a tight end and he is prolific at catching the ball. Unfortunately, Coffman broke his foot in the Alamo Bowl and from what I have heard it hasn't healed yet. Injuries are always a tough thing to gauge and it is going to cost a team a lot of financial commitment to see how this one plays out.
Jared Cook, South Carolina, 6'5", 246
All we ever heard about Cook is about his speed and how athletic of a player he was but what we didn't hear were roars of the crowd from him taking over a game or being an unstoppable force that someone of his size and speed has the ability to do. He'll go high but he'll be a bust. We have seen this combination all too often and personally I would rather have a guy who is good at football.
Andrew Davie, Arkansas, 6'4", 256
Some players come out early and we wonder why. Is it academic or are we just missing something? Could the coaching change be that big of a deal? Personally I don't get this one; I hope he got a degree.