2010 NFL Draft: Top Five Tight End Rankings
Tight end is one of the deepest positions in the entire 2010 NFL Draft, even though only two prospects may go in the first round.
Quality pass catchers and solid blockers abound and that depth will be found through all seven rounds.
Some of the top prospects are hybrids who will be shifted to the H-back slot or play only in passing situations.
Teams needing a tight end will find themselves with plenty of choices come Thursday.
Here are the top five tight ends in the 2010 NFL Draft.
1. Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
Gresham only started one year at Oklahoma and didn't play last fall—he missed all of last season with a knee injury—but he is the best tight end in the class of 2010.
He will be a matchup nightmare for linebackers because of his size and speed (6'5", 261 pounds and 4.66 in the 40). He runs like a wide receiver and can muscle his way out of would-be tacklers.
Gresham has nice hands and can make difficult grabs in traffic.
He needs to work on his blocking and show NFL teams he's completely bounced back from his injury.
Gresham has a chance to be a starter in the NFL right out of training camp.
2. Rob Gronkowski, Arizona
Another tight end that missed all of 2009. He was out due to a back injury.
Gronkowski has the potential to be a difference-maker at the position, provided he can maintain his health.
In addition to missing all of 2009, the 6'6", 258-pounder was out for three games in 2008.
His size, athleticism, strength, and soft hands, make him a perfect tight end prospect.
Look for him to go in the late first or early second round.
3. Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh
A physical specimen with a ton of upside who's moving up the draft board fast.
Dickerson can play tight end or fullback and he even played some linebacker in college. Look for him to be used as an H-back type in the NFL.
He made a big splash at the combine with 24 reps in the bench press, a 43" vertical, and a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash.
He doesn't have ideal size (6'2", 226 pounds) for the position, but his athletic ability more than makes up for it.
4. Dennis Pitta, BYU
No tight end in the draft was as productive in college as Pitta.
The three-time All-Mountain West Conference standout finished his collegiate career with 221 receptions.
He has decent speed and nice size, but he needs to get stronger. He can be pushed around at the line of scrimmage.
Excellent receiving ability but needs work on his blocking.
Pitta will fall to the third round because most teams see him as a situational pass-catching tight end only.
5. Aaron Hernandez, Florida
Despite being the Mackey Award winner as the best tight end in college football, Hernandez has fallen down the draft board because of his lack of size and strength.
At 6'2", 245 pounds, Hernandez doesn't fit the mold of a prototypical tight end, which is why he'll probably be moved to H-back at the next level.
Even with these shortcomings, there's no denying his offensive capability.
Hernandez displayed his game-breaking abilities by catching more passes (68), for more yards (850), than any other tight end in the nation.
And he put up those numbers in the rugged SEC.
He is one-dimensional. Because of his lack of height and blocking ability, Hernandez will probably fall to the third or fourth round of the draft.
But with his speed, excellent route running, and soft hands, Hernandez may be the tight end who makes the biggest impact right away.
Others to watch: Anthony McCoy, USC; Jimmy Graham, Miami; Ed Dickson, Oregon; Tony Moeaki, Iowa.