Putting together the Big Board: Tight Ends

Tight end may not be a high priority, but there are some lesser known guys I would like to see the Patriots bring in.

Tight end may not be a high priority, but there are some lesser known guys I would like to see the Patriots bring in.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

As I continue to put together my big board, I decided to go with another position that may not be a big focus for the Patriots on draft day.  The Patriots have good talent and depth at the position, so I doubt the team will invest a high draft pick on a tight end.  On the third day of the draft however, there are some names that intrigue me. Check out my thoughts on the this years crop of tight ends.

Current Roster: Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, Michael Hoomanawanui, Tim Wright

Position Need: Low

Position Overview:

The Patriots are in a good situation because there is not a glaring need at the tight end position.  That is a good thing, because this tight end class is weak.  Maxx Williams is considered the best prospect this year, after that, there really is no consensus on who the next tight end off the board will be.  Most draft guru’s will tell you Clive Walford or Devin Funchess, but people can’t even agree on what position Funchess will play in the NFL.  From a Patriots perspective, I don’t have any tight ends on my big board for the first three rounds, but I have some guys that would peak my interest if they fell to the right spot on day 3.

Draftable Players:

Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State (6’5″, 254 Lbs.) 4th round

Heureman was a guy who went largely unnoticed until recently.  In his senior campaign, his main role on the team was as a blocker.  His junior tape however, showed that he was an above average athlete with good hands and good route running skills.  Heureman will never be a game changing tight end from a receiving perspective, but he has a very well rounded game.  He can come in immediately and help an offense both as a run blocker and as a pass catcher.  I think because this tight end class is so weak, Heuerman will be drafted on day 2 and it won’t be by the Patriots

James O’Shaughnessy, Illinois State (6’4″, 245 Lbs.) 5th round

“Shag” as his teammates call him, is probably my favorite tight end prospect from a value perspective.  I gave him a 5th round grade, but he could go later and maybe even undrafted, so there is potential for a steal here.  “Shag” is a very athletic tight end, posting an impressive workout at his pro day (4.68-40, 35″vert., 7.20 3-cone, 4.38 short shuttle.)  He has a very good all around game.  He is a very good blocker in the run game.  “Shag” has soft hands, runs good routes, uses his body well to shield off defenders, and consistently makes contested catches.

Blake Bell, Oklahoma (6’6″, 252 Lbs.) 5th/6th round

Bell is a former quarterback who has one year of experience at the tight end position.  In that year, he showed the raw skills to be a threat as a pass catcher in the NFL.  He improved from the beginning of the year to the end, so it looks like he takes coaching well and is smart enough to continue to improve.  He has great size and plays with great effort.  His run blocking got better as the season went along, but still needs lots of work.  Everything about his game will need to be developed, but with time he could become a legitimate tight end in the NFL.

Interesting UDFA’s:

Jean Sifrin, UMass (6’5″, 245 Lbs.)-27 year old with good size. Didn’t test well at combine, but looked athletic on tape with good hands.

E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State (6’2″, 258 Lbs.) athletic receiving TE with great hands. Does a nice job of finding holes in the D. Not great size. Best years might be ahead of him

Will Tye, Stoneybrook (6’3″, 250 Lbs.) good size, athleticism, and body control. Dominated lower level competition. A bit stiff in and out of routes, but has soft hands and wide frame to make contested catches.

 

30 Responses to “Putting together the Big Board: Tight Ends”

  1. KNOWLEDGE says:

    As far as TE’s go, I think Walford from Miami is going really solid starter in this league. I see alot of Michael Bennett in his game and should be a late 2nd rounder.

    But the Patriots are stocked well at TE right now. Which is why they can afford to develop a raw and talented Blake Bell in the 5th or 6th round. He could make an immediate impact on short yardage situations and in goal line packages. He can be used as in H-Back on occasion and motion opposite of Gronkowski. I also think he can be used as a fullback in those situations as well. And if you watched him at Oklahoma, I am sure you saw how they used him in the gun inside the 5 yard line. If you need 2 yards at 6’6 270 all he has to due is fall forward and you get your two yards. I think he will turn into a solid TE and dual threat as early as his 2nd year. BB has to lusting after this kid with his versatility. Which why I have Blake Bell being drafted by the Pats either with their late 4th or 6th rounder.

    Also, Bill is going to move up this in the 1st round. He is lusting over Devante Parker. But he won’t do what is necessary to get up to the 10th or 11th pick. Parker is the best WR in the draft and will be an All-Pro in the right system (QB). I think the Patriots either move up and trade with KC or Cincinnati at #21 to graft Jaelen Strong. 6’3 215 big body with mid 4.4 speed.

    KNOWLEDGE ‘S MOCK
    1st RD. Jaelen Strong WR ARIZONA STATE* (Traded pick 32, 2016 2nd and 4th for the 21st pick from Cincinnati)
    2nd RD. Eric Rowe CB Utah
    3Rd RD. Grady Jarrett DT Clemson
    3rd RD. T.J. Yeldon RB Alabama
    4th RD. Laken Tomlinson G Duke
    5th RD. Markus Golden OLB/DE Missouri*
    6th. RD. Blake Bell TE Oklahoma
    7th RD. Shaquille Riddick OLB/DE West Virginia

    * Traded one of this year’s 7th rd. Picks and a future 5th

    I would be very happy if the Pats came away with these players

    • KNOWLEDGE says:

      Martellus Bennett* in reference to Clive Walford

      I had just saw a mock with Michael Bennett being drafted bt the Pats. Got confused. Good player, but not a 1st round talent

  2. Stephen J says:

    Latest Fanspeak Mock Draft

    http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/draft.php?d=esieir

    32: R1P32
    CB BYRON JONES
    CONNECTICUT
    64: R2P32
    DT GRADY JARRETT
    CLEMSON
    96: R3P32
    RB MIKE DAVIS
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    97: R3P33
    OLB BEN HEENEY
    KANSAS
    101: R4P2
    S JAQUISKI TARTT
    SAMFORD
    131: R4P32
    G JEREMIAH POUTASI
    UTAH
    178: R6P2
    WR CHRIS CONLEY
    GEORGIA
    219: R7P2
    OLB ALANI FUA
    BYU
    253: R7P36
    G MARK GLOWINSKI
    WEST VIRGINIA

  3. Out west says:

    I like Eric Rowe but I think he is a much better mid 2nd round pick.

    At 32 Flowers OT
    64 Phillip Dorsett Wr
    96 Darby CB
    97 Gabe Wright DT
    101 Matias OG
    134 Ryan LB
    177 Clayton Geathers SS
    210 Trey Williams RB
    253 ndsu OLB/de

  4. Russell says:

    #32- CB/S Eric Rowe
    #64- OG Laken Tomlinson
    #96- CB/S Adrian Amos
    #97- OLB Davis Tull
    #101- DE Henry Anderon
    #131- DT Kristjan Sokoli
    #177- DT David Parry
    #219- QB/WR Devin Gardner
    #253- OL Brey Cook
    Undrafted players to sign;
    TE Faysal Shafaat
    WR Kevin Vereen jr.
    CB Bernard Blake
    DE Dezmond Johnson
    DT Angelo Blackson

    • acm says:

      Not sure Eric Rowe is a 1st round talent but depending on how things play out, Pats may well like him there. Ideally, they’d want to trade back and then take him with the first pick in the 2nd (don’t think he is there at 64).
      Taking another CB later in the draft would be wise too as Amos is not a CB at the NFL level; he is a SAF.

      The way things stand, I think they need to take more than just one solid pick at OL. I personally like Mitch Morse in that late 3rd/early 4th range (that’s on top of Tomlinson in late 2nd).

      Anderson and Sokoli are very much the same player, imo, so taking both would be overkill and poor allocation of resources. I like Sokoli better as an NFL player down the road. He should be there in late 4th and even early 6th.
      Instead of Anderson, I’d look at a bigger DL – e.g. Walton or Williams – as I don’t think Parry has the physique or talent to grow into a difference maker at the next level. He will likely be a good depth player but that’s not what the Pats need at the position – already have enough of those guys.

      Won’t shed a tear if they selected Amos in the 3rd but if you are gonna pick at a position for depth, I think it would be better to use that pick on a position that is deep and talented in the draft i.e. RB, WR, DT. CB/SAF is not it this year, while in late 3rd, they may well be able to get a quality prospect at RB/WR for the future.

      All in all, I’d midify the mock as follows (assuming no trades but hoping for trading out of the 2st under these circumstances):
      1) CB/SAF Rowe
      2) OL Tomlinson
      3) LB Davis Tull
      3) OL Mitch Morse
      4) WR Bell / RB Cobb
      4) DT Walton / X. Williams
      6) DL Sokoli
      7) a DE/LB/OL for depth
      7) another CB (e.g. Axel Ofori)

      • Russell says:

        Sounds good I like WR Bell very much and Xaiver Williams also, Rowe and Amos are solid looking prospects at CB/S. Tomlinson is my highest ranking prospect on my Patriot board, tho I do like OL Erving and Eli Harold but question thier availablity.
        A later prospect I like at OLB is Kyle Emanuel 6th? Very high on OL Brey Cook, 7th? may go undrafted but a solid prospect. Not sure about OL Morse. A later round CB I like is Brenard Blake, 7th?
        Trading back to get CB Rowe sounds good as well, mid- 2nd to get him , but gone at #64.
        #32 to K.C. for #49, and # 80 sound’s fair for both clubs.

        • Brian says:

          Patriots are having DL Leterrius Walton in for an official visit. So I think we can scratch him off the draft board. One DT I’d like us to select in the later rounds is Terry Williams from ECU, a 6’1 350lb wrecking ball. Potentially could be had with our 6th due to some team suspensions and a marijuana run in. However he could be a poor mans Danny Shelton at a much lower cost. Moves well for such a large man and would be insurance for a Siliga injury.

        • acm says:

          According to NEPD, Pats had official visists with Easley and Garoppolo last year:

          http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2014-patriots-draft-contacts

        • Jim R says:

          They drafted 3 OL last year and none of them are on the list. Take the contacts list any way you mant

      • Jim R says:

        ^^^^^want

        • Brian says:

          In 2013 we drafted one player that came in for an official visit (Josh Boyce) and the year before that I don’t believe we drafted a single player that came in for an official visit. The 2014 draft seemed to be the anomaly with BB taking Easley and Garappolo, but your right that it’s open to individual interpretation.

        • acm says:

          The only conclusion of substance one can reach based on these “pre-draft contact” lists is that having (official) contact with the Pats brass doesn’t mean you are getting drafted.
          Everything else is a speculative reach.

  5. GM-in-Training says:

    Overall, I doubt the Pats draft a TE. There doesn’t seem to be a move-TE that is so gifted as to create consistent mismatches with linebackers or DBs. There doesn’t seem to be a tall Y-TE that can catch and block and will fall to them. That leaves looking for a cheaper version of Hooman. Apparently they took a visit from a 6’4″ 250# USC TE who is considered a blocking prodigy, but is nursing a foot injury so he may not be draftable.

  6. Rusty says:

    32. Kevin Johnson CB
    64. Ali Marpet G
    96. Marcus Hardison DT
    97. Eric Rowe CB
    101. Tony Lippett WR
    131. Trey DePriest ILB
    177. Josue Matias G
    219. Zach Wagenmann OLB/DE
    253. John Crockett RB

  7. Greg says:

    Hey guys, help me with some doubts in my mock:
    Kevin Johnson or Jalen Collins?
    Laken Tomlison or Jarvis Harrison?

    • Jeff says:

      LT over JH for sure. Better football player.

      JC vs. KJ is tough. JC’s injuries make him riskier, though he should be a stronger, more physical player. Both have high ceilings though. Ranking some of the top CBs is a tough exercise in this draft.

      • Thomas says:

        Let’s not forget that Harrison is way more athletic, pro bowl caliber. Tomlison can only play in a power running offense

        • MM-II says:

          If by “power running scheme” you mean man-blocking (as opposed to zone-blocking), I wouldn’t necessarily rule out Tomlinson on that basis. I suspect that, under Gudge, the Pats >may< be shifting – gradually – toward more power/man-blocking.

          Last year's selections of Fleming and Stork (and even Halapio) were a distinct departure from the lighter, more agile types that were consistently acquired when Scar ran the OL in a predominantly ZBS. The last of those was probably Kline. Note that Scar scouted Fleming and Stork, too, so it's not as if he wouldn't be on board for such a transition. The guy knows his OL, regardless of scheme.

          James White was also drafted out of a very successful power/man scheme at Wisconsin. Blount and Gray seemed to be at their lowest effectiveness on zone-stretch plays. Really, the only guys out of last year's RB corps who were relatively consistent on zone runs were Ridley and Vereen, and they're both gone now.

          Just sayin'.

  8. Dan Sullivan says:

    I very much think Chandler from Bills will be a strong addition. I would draft Tight End very late if at all.
    Patriots Mock Draft
    1 A.J. Cann G South Carolina
    2 P.J. Williams CB FSU
    3 Denzyl Perryman ILB Miami Fla
    3 Xavier Williams NT Northern Iowa
    4 Xavier Cooper NT Washington St.
    4 Alani Fua OLB BYU
    6 James Sample S Louisville
    7 Chaz Green OT Florida
    7 Zach Zenner RB S.Dakota St.

    • Hoxeng says:

      Love me some Zack Zenner. Faster than you think. In pads when it counts. Smart. Pre-med. Going to be a Dr. Never fumbles the ball. BB would love him.

  9. Gecko says:

    What is your thoughts on A.J. Derby?

  10. Mike Gerken says:

    Koyack was the one guy I struggled with to put on this list or not. Him and C.J. Uzomah. I graded out Koyack as a 5th round grade, but for this exercise, trying to create a board at or around 75 players, I had to makes some tough decisions.
    Koyack really needs time to get bigger and stronger.
    For me to draft a TE, I need to know they have a shot to beat out someone on the team. If I draft Koyack, I don’t see him doing that and I don’t think he would make the P.S. because another team would pick him up.
    I chose Bell as my flyer I would draft because I like his potential as well as Koyack but I can get him later in the draft.
    I hope that makes sense. I have watched other players and given them draftable grades, I just have to narrow that down when I feel the position is not a major need.

    • Jeff says:

      Fair enough. It seems like with Gronk, Chandler, and Wright penciled in, a TE probably only sticks if they can block right away and give the team the option of moving on from Hooman. I can see that with the depth chart the way it is, Koyack and Uzomah might have trouble cracking the roster.

      • carlo strada says:

        People acting like if Hooman was a great TE, Koyack would definitely beat him out for a roster spot. He blocks better and has better hands than the former.

        Lets also remember that newly acquired Scott Chandler is not either an eminent blocker nor a fast guy, so bringing some new blood to the competition wouldnt be bold at all. Instead a great idea IMO.

        Jesse James, Heuerman, Koyack or even “Busta” Anderson could have a shot with the team if founded later.

        On the other hand, do you guys think that the Scott Chandler signing proclaims the return of the 2 TE set as regular formation (taking away snaps from Amendola) or is Chandler a strictly red zone target?

        • GM-in-Training says:

          Scott Chandler means something new for the Pats; they get a backup Y-TE, and they can run two-Y-TE sets, where both of them can catch the ball. The AFC East is going to be tougher this year, and part of how you deal with the DB is by going up.

      • MM-II says:

        Not really sure why so many folks are so eager to “move on” from Hooman.

        He’s an experienced #3/#4/utility TE making $1.2M for probably about 500 snaps per season.
        He’s only 26 and has been very reliable, health-wise. He missed a total of five games his first two seasons with the Pats, and none in 2014.
        He’s a consistently solid special-teamer.
        He’s made a lot of very good blocks and failed on some, but I’ve never seen him actually miss an assignment.
        He knows the offensive system very well, having worked in it the past three seasons with the Pats and for a year before that in STL when McD was their OC.
        On the rare occasion that he’s sent on a route and is one of Brady’s early reads, he’s usually wide open, catches 75% of what’s thrown his way and almost always gets the first down and then some. I think I’ve seen him actually drop maybe two out of 30-something targets. Vereen’s drop % was about double that.

        Seriously, if you look around the league, there really isn’t any vastly superior #3/#4 TE, and I don’t know what anyone could reasonably want from a cheap role-player, anyway. Still, I’m sure there will be some competition in Camp, as always – and as it should be – for Wright and Chandler, as well as for Hooman. But I think the Pats will be putting a lot more effort into developing upgrades for other roles. If Hooman makes the roster for another year, or doesn’t, I won’t be crushed either way.

        BTW, it seems to me that signing Scott Chandler”signals” a return to the Gronk-Aperp style two-TE attack ONLY IF Chandler actually works out, or Wright learns how to block better, and there’s no absolute guarantee that either of those things will happen.

        • GM-in-Training says:

          Why wouldn’t Chandler work out? Maybe his past productivity was because he was the best TE on a middling team, so he got lots of touches, but the Pats clearly think they can make him successful or they wouldn’t have acquired him.

        • MM-II says:

          -> GM-in-Training:

          Well, excluding obvious Camp-bodies, I’d have to guess that the Pats don’t bother to acquire someone if they don’t think they can make him successful. But a lot of them don’t work out anyway. They gave Chandler $2M guaranteed, which might be considered a measure of how confident they are that he’ll work out well. However, not all of the previously-productive vets to whom they’ve given similar contract guarantees in the past have worked out, especially with offensive players.

          I’m not saying that Chandler WON’T work out, and I can’t offer any specific reason why he wouldn’t. I just won’t COUNT on him becoming a sufficiently significant contributor in 2015 to “signal a return to the 2-TE attack” until I see it actually happening. Chickens before they’re hatched, and all that.

  11. Jeff says:

    No love for Ben Koyack?

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