Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
As important as blocking is, tight ends in the New England Patriots' offense have to be able to get open and catch the football.
Troy Niklas is big and strong; he certainly uses that to his advantage. He is the most physical receiver of the three by far. Niklas is great in the rebound drill—boxing out smaller defenders—and should be a terror in the red zone. That said, he isn't polished as a receiver—he came to Notre Dame as a linebacker—and needs to work on sharpening up his routes.
C.J. Fiedorowicz isn't as dynamic as Niklas—that may be in part to the conservative Iowa offense—but what he does, he does well. He runs curls and outs as good as any tight end in the NFL and is extremely effective at getting open in the red zone. He could have notched a few more touchdowns his senior season if the Iowa quarterback hadn't chosen to run touchdowns in himself.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins has the same physical tools that Niklas does, but he doesn't put them to as good a use. He isn't as physical as he could be with his size and strength and seems to struggle getting off press coverage from linebackers at times.
When he gets out into his route, he exhibits a solid catch-radius and can do some damage with the ball in his hands. Seferian-Jenkins might be a very good receiver in the NFL, but New England might not be the right place for him.
Verdict: C.J. Fiedorowicz, with Niklas a close second