Our “Red Dot” Tight Ends
Kyle — Jerell Adams, South Carolina
When the Packers picked up Jared Cook in free agency it immediately lowered the need for a field-stretching tight end to be drafted. However, the Packers still only have Cook on a one-year deal. With a 4.64 forty time and a 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame, Adams is a guy that needs some development, but has all of the pieces to become an elite NFL tight end.
Dan — Nick Vannett, Ohio State
Vannett may not have the college production as his contemporaries, but it’s widely known he was underused in Ohio State’s offense last season. Not to mention, the Buckeyes quarterback carousel also limited the opportunities in the passing game for several players on their offense. Whether Vannett’s available in the second, third, or even fourth round, I’d love to have him on my team. First, he’s probably the most polished and physical run blocker of this year’s tight end class. He’s also an underrated athlete who knows how to work the middle of the field and can box out defenders on jump balls. Expect his receiving numbers to really shoot up if he’s paired with a compreble quarterback in the NFL.
Freddie — Hunter Henry, Arkansas
This may seem like the obvious pick, but Hunter Henry could be the future at tight end for the Packers. He’s far and away the best prospect in what is a weak tight end class. Henry has the size and receiving ability to become a big-time threat in the middle of the field, and he is also a good enough blocker. The Arkansas product has the athleticism, and could be the perfect move tight end for Green Bay in the future, and one who can compete with Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers for snaps as a rookie.
Our “Black Dot” Tight Ends
Kyle — Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky
Tyler Higbee is a prospect that I initially really liked. Undervalued because of an injury, I thought he could be a guy you could draft in the fifth round and develop into something special. However, with Higbee’s recent trouble with the law, his potential doesn’t outweigh the risk. Even a middle round pick seems like a lot to risk on a player who can’t keep himself out of trouble in the weeks leading up to the draft. I’d find a talented tight end elsewhere.
Dan — Thomas Duarte, UCLA
After spending a majority of his time at UCLA split out wide, Duarte makes for an intriguing tight end at the next level. He brings some speed (4.72) and athleticism (33-inch vertical) to a tight end class that lacks explosive players that can stretch the seam. However, there are two major red flags to Duarte’s game, in my opinion. First, he lacks size for the position, listed only at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds. This doesn’t go a long way in creating mismatch problems for the defense. Secondly and even more importantly, Duarte offers very little as a blocker in the run game. Not only does his size not aid him in this aspect, he also doesn’t seem all that willing to stick his nose in the action and take on defenders. I’d rather have my tight end be a willing contributor in the run game.
Freddie — Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky
A few weeks ago, Tyler Higbee was one of my favorite tight end options for the Packers. He is a former wide receiver with the speed and route-running ability to stretch the middle of the field and become an excellent pass catcher for Aaron Rodgers. But with news emerging of his arrest for second-degree assault, I would throw him off the draft board completely. This couldn’t come at a worse time for Higbee and unfortunately he may go undrafted.
Next: Red/Black Dot Offensive Linemen