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2021 NFL Draft Preview - Tight End

Sy'56 : 4/19/2021 8:04 am
TIGHT END


Format includes a quick position overview, my grading scale and what the number means, the summary and final grade from my final report on my top 15, a quick additional note on the player, and my ranks 16-25 with grades only.

*I AM NOT DOING NFL COMPARISONS

QUICK POSITION OVERVIEW

The use of a first round pick on Evan Engram in 2017 simply has not panned out. He has made some big plays and he continues to be one of the top athletes at the position in the NFL, but his instability when it comes to catching the ball, making an impact as a blocker, and staying on the field has put multiple speed bumps in the path of this sputtering offense. Engram is a hard talent to completely give up on, as he keeps showing glimpses of a big-time player. He will be a free agent in 2022 and with the signing of Kyle Rudolph in addition to the fact Levine Toilolo and Kaden Smith are back, the chance of an Engram trade still remains. If a team needs a tight end over the course of the summer because of an injury, I expect Gettleman’s phone to ring. If he ends up in blue for a contact year, there is still hope that he could be that threat in the passing game. Long term, however, there is instability and if this offense truly wants to build around Barkley, they need to get stronger here when it comes to presence in the trenches.

GRADING SCALE

90+ All Pro Projection
85+: Pro Bowl Projection
81-84: 1st rounder – should be able to play right away
79-80: 2nd rounder – Should be able to rotate right away – Year 2 starter
77-78: 3rd rounder – Should be able to rotate by end of rookie year – Year 2/3 starter
74-76: Early Day 3 – Special Teams – Future backup/possible starter
71-73: Mid Day 3 – Special Teams – Future backup / gamble starter
68-70: Late Day 3 – Back end of roster / Practice Squad / Development guy
65-67: Preferred UDFA
60-64: Undrafted FA


TOP 15 GRADES AND ANALYSIS

1. Kyle Pitts / Florida / 6’6-245:

Grade: 90


Summary: Junior entry from Philadelphia, PA. Two-year starter that earned 1st Team All SEC honors both seasons. Pitts also earned 1st Team All American honors as a junior and won the Mackey Award. He wasn’t eligible for that award in 2019 because he didn’t play enough snaps in-line. That in lies the only question mark around Pitts and what he will bring to the next level. He needs to add more bulk and develop more core strength if an offense is going to expect him to block pro defensive ends and linebackers. As an athlete and receiver, however, Pitts has all the tools to be a dominant force. His long and twitchy frame shows fluidity and bend when attacking the ball in the air. He has elite speed and leaping ability for the position. He understands route running and displays receiver-type ball skills. Pitts has all the tools to be an immediate force in the passing game and if his lack of in-line presence can be hidden for the most part, he can be a big-time asset in any pro offense.

*The closer the draft gets, the more it seems everyone wants a piece of Pitts. I really don’t see any chance of him slipping through the cracks to #11. I would put that at a less than 5% chance. If it somehow happened, yes NYG needs to take him. It could make the tight end room crowded and it would yet again bring another tight end that may not factor well as a blocker. However, I think this offense would be better suited for that situation and I think Pitts will hold his own against defensive linemen much more so than Engram did. He would be brought in for receiving prowess, though, make no mistake about it. Pitts could change this passing game and make them unstoppable in the red zone. He can be Travis Kelce pr Darren Waller within 2-3 years. His floor is Jared Cook and I m not sure why people think the is a bad thing, as he will end up as one of the top 10-12 tight ends of all time statistically. No brainer if NYG could get their hands on him.

2. Pat Freiermuth / Penn State / 6’5-251

Grade: 80


Summary: Junior entry from Merrimac, Massachusetts. Three-year starter and two time All-Big 10 honoree. The 2019 All American played in just 4 games as a junior, but still won the conference’s Tight End of the Year Award. He was a two-time captain. Freiermuth is a classic Y-Tight End that can stay on the field in all situations. His weaponry will revolve around the ability to make plays in the passing game with his size, contact strength, and toughness. He is a blue-collar type player on the field with developed smarts and intelligence. He reads the field exceptionally well and combined with his plus short area quickness, he has all the makings of being a big time short and intermediate threat that can add production after the catch. Freiermuth will do most of his damage near the end zone and on 3rd and medium, two areas where the best offenses thrive. He isn’t overly explosive, and he won’t move defensive linemen off the ball, but his contributions will be well rounded, consistent, and reliable.

*This is a player that will need the right offense to truly reach his ceiling, and that isn’t a bad thing. There are countless players in the league you can say that about. Freiermuth is a really good football player that lacks the standout trait to his game. Again, that isn’t a bad thing. In relation to NYG, he would have to be taken in round 2 and I’m not sure it is a good fit unless this team unloads Engram. The draft is about long term, but bringing him in wouldn’t be very useful in 2021. He will be the 3rd stringer in a likelihood and the value that pick can present elsewhere will be stronger. All in all, a very good player that should start in the league for a long time.

3. Brevin Jordan / Miami / 6’3-247

Grade: 78


Summary: Junior entry from Las Vegas, NV. Three-year starter that earned All-ACC honors all three seasons, including 1st Team nomination in 2019, a year where he was also a Mackey Award finalist. Jordan is the son of Darrell Jordan, a ninth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1990. Brevin will enter the league as a much higher touted prospect, as he is one of the more explosive prospects at the position in this class. He doesn’t have the desired size or reach radius, but his ability after the catch and competitive mindset will create plays out of nothing. Get him the ball in space and he can break tackles, barrel over tacklers, and run away from the defense like a running back. He is a dangerous player that adds multiple dimensions to a passing game.

*Jordan is going to be an interesting kid to follow draft weekend. He is a dangerous weapon after the catch, that isn’t even a question. But snap to snap there are holes in his game and some teams may not even consider him. He plays a little small and there is some tightness in his movement as a route runner. Jordan has good straight line build up speed though and he showed the ability to go up and get it. He is a package-player, maybe not an every down guy, but a good package player that can be a monster if he is drafted into the right situation.

4. Tommy Tremble / Notre Dame / 6’3-241

Grade: 77


Summary: Third year sophomore entry from Johns Creek, Georgia. Two-year starter that earned Honorable Mention All ACC honors in 2020. Tremble was somewhat hidden in a very talented tight end room at Notre Dame. He is a fine prospect in his own right and could finally blossom in the NFL more so than what he showed in college. Tremble is a really good athlete, most notably in the five-to-ten-yard window, that plays the game with a lot of hustle and grit. He is a factor as a blocker because of that effort but he also creates really good pop on contact. His route running and burst give him a high upside when it comes to getting open underneath and intermediate. Tremble wasn’t targeted as much as he could have been with another program, thus his production and overall ball skills can be questioned. He shows interesting traits and the effort is what coaches are looking for. High upside player.

*Notre Dame has a younger stud tight end that has a real shot at being a first round pick in the coming years. Because of that, Tremble was a bit overlooked. I think NFL coaches are going to like what he brings to the table but the question can be asked, is he big enough to play every down. He blocks well but he is best used in space against linebackers and safeties. Not sure he can hang with pro defensive ends. I love him in a two tight end system in a situation where the bigger, more traditional tight end already exists. He can be a 3rd down weapon.

5. Kenny Yeboah / Mississippi / 6’4-250

Grade: 75


Summary: Fifth year senior from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Spent four years at Temple where he started one season but was a key part to their offense for three. He transferred to Mississippi as a graduate student for the 2020 season and nearly doubled his career yard output under Lane Kiffin’s high-octane offense. Yeboah averaged 19.4 yards per catch in the SEC, nearly an unheard-of number from the position. He did play a lot of traditional in-line tight end and was asked to block often. Yeboah still has a ways to go, needing to add power and strength to his game. He is a natural when attacking the ball with a wide catch radius, though. There is an interesting upside here that could fill in backup and/or specialty duty early on with the possibility of being an every down asset down the road.

*This is where the tight end group drops off a decent amount, but there is a cluster of early day three guys that are worth looking at. Yeboah tops that cluster. He is really long and it helps him as both a receiver and blocker. He just needs time to add some bulk and power to the frame. He isn’t enough of a pass catching threat to overlook the lack of true power, if that makes sense. He can be a solid player down the road.

6. Hunter Long / Boston College / 6’5-254

Grade: 75


Summary: Fourth year junior entry from Exeter, New Hampshire. Two-year starter that earned All-ACC honors in both 2019 and 2020. Long led all tight ends in the nation with 57 receptions en route to an All-American nomination in 2020. He is a tall, long, and athletic pass catcher that was the security blanket for the Boston College passing game. He is quick to get his head around and will show his numbers to the passer, making him an inviting and reliable target. He still has a lot of physical development to undergo, as he needs to add bulk and power to his lower body to enhance his stability when it comes to lateral movement. He was not relied on to block in-line often and that won’t be why a team drafts him, but he needs to improve his strength overall. There isn’t enough ability as a pass catcher to overlook the shortcomings in that department. He can create mismatches in the passing game however. That size, vertical speed, and ability to do the little things right will be a great place to start.

*Most are higher than Long than I am. He is likely going to be a day 2 pick. Very traditional tight end here and he can get to the ball in traffic. He shows potential as a blocker. I docked him because I just don’t like the way he moves. He is unstable and off-balance too often. The lack of smooth unplanned movement bothers me. But I think that can be fixed in time with stability and strength work, I just don’t see it in year one and I think the overall upside is limited.

7. Noah Gray / Duke / 6’3-240

Grade: 73


Summary: Senior entry from Leominster, Massachusetts. Two-year starter that earned 2nd Team All ACC honors in 2019. Gray is a chess piece that can be moved around pre-snap in an offense that likes to use motion and versatile skill position players. He is a technically proficient, throwback player that does a lot of the little things right to help him exceed the sum of his parts. Gray may not be a top end athlete, but he is quick enough and has shown soft hands and toughness in traffic to pose as a threat underneath and intermediate. If a team wants a low ceiling-but-sure-thing number two tight end that can also play some fullback, Gray is the guy.

*Gray is the kind of guy that a good team wins with. Not in the sense where he steals the show and makes a ton of big plays, but more in the sense where he just consistently gets the job done and can wear a lot of hats. I see Gray as a tight end that lines up in line, in the backfield, and moves around pre-snap. Not every scheme would use a guy like and to be real, I don’t see Garrett using a guy like this. But he is a pure gamer and will do what he is asked more often than not. You can’t overdraft these guys but they are quality day 3 picks.

8. Nick Eubanks / Michigan / 6’5-245

Grade: 73


Summary: Fifth year senior from Plantation, Florida. Three-year starter that earned Honorable Mention All-Big 10 in 2019. A classic Y-tight end that can be an every down player in the NFL, Eubanks will enter the league after years of being under-utilized at Michigan. He has all the tools and skills necessary to be a factor for an offense that has traditional tight end usage. He has tremendous hands as a blocker, he can catch the ball and make things happen via physical nature after, and he plays fast enough as a route runner. Eubanks won’t jump off the screen but there are very few holes in his game. He needs to get more consistent with his lower body usage and mechanics and the athletic upside will put a cap on his potential. When you look at the big picture and how he took advantage of his limited opportunities however, someone is going to get a vastly underrated and overlooked player.

*Eubanks didn’t show much in college, but I think a large part of that was a result of how Michigan used him. He could have done more had he gotten more looks in my opinion. I have to keep his grade down here because he just didn’t prove enough on tape, but I do see a potential starter here. He has heavy contact to him when he blocks and runs with the ball. He caught almost everything thrown his way when he did get looks, and he has a lot of natural ability.

9. Tre McKitty / Georgia / 6’4-246

Grade: 72


Summary: Senior entry from Wesley Chapel, Florida. Spent three years at Florida State, two in which he was the starter, prior to transferring to Georgia. Split starting duties in his lone season with the Bulldogs. McKitty is a plus short-area athlete that can translate his speed into power. He is an effective space-blocker that can be moved around pre-snap. McKitty is a really comfortable pass catcher, one that can get to balls away from his body naturally. He plays a pro’s game that can be used on every down with the upside of being a solid number two tight end at the next level.

*A guy I work with has McKitty as a top 4 TE in this class for what its worth. He has a few really attractive tools and traits. He could have been featured more at Georgia in 2020, but they had a freshman tight end that is on a first round trajectory. He is similar to Noah Gray in that I think he can be a really important role player on a really good team that likes to move a second tight end around a bit. He made some big time catches at Senior Bowl week.

10. Quinton Morris / Bowling Green / 6’2-243

Grade: 71


Summary: Senior entry from Richmond, Texas. Three-year starter that earned All-MAC honors in 2019 and 2020. The former top prep basketball player chose the gridiron over the hardwood. He was number two on the team in catches in 2018 behind current Tampa Bay receiver Scotty Miller. Since then, he has led the team with 75 catches for 897 yards. The next leading pass catcher totaled 34 catches for 458 yards over that span. Morris was the focal point of that passing game and even though he got a lot of attention from opposing defenses, he still produced. Morris is a gamer. He plays through injuries, he puts himself on the line when attacking the ball, and he will make tough catches in traffic. He isn’t blessed with plus-tools and won’t factor as an in-line blocker. He should be able to fit into a number two or three tight end role and offer an extra, accessory-type element to a passing game.

*Morris was a little overweight and sloppy at the Senior Bowl. Stuff like that always bothers me unless there is a significant reason why. He is already on the low end of tools, thus he really needs to stand out in other areas and really work at perfecting his craft if he is going to factor. He is a natural hands-catcher and looks really crafty in traffic. I think he can make some plays on the ball but the question will be his blocking and skill development.

11. Cary Angeline / NC State / 6’6-245

Grade: 71


Summary: Fifth year senior from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. Two-year starter at NC State after transferring from USC, where he redshirted in 2016 and withdrew from a season later. Two-time Honorable Mention All ACC. Angeline is an interesting athlete with an intriguing skill set as a pass catcher. His hands are natural and soft, capable of plucking the ball out of the air with easy coordination. His foot speed and balance stand out when considering his height, as most players at that size struggle to move in and out of traffic efficiently. Angeline won’t offer much as a blocker but two straight years of averaging 15+ yards per catch matched with his size and athletic ability means something.

*There are a few tight ends in the league that Angeline reminds me of. This kind of height and ball skills are attractive. He isn’t, and won’t be, a big-time athlete. He isn’t a very stout blocker right now. But the natural skill set as a receiver and that frame will mean something when it comes to projecting what he can potentially develop into. He has upside that some guys down here don’t.

12. Pro Wells / TCU / 6’3-249

Grade: 69


Summary: Fifth year senior from St. Petersburg, Florida. Two-year starter that was part of a three-way tight end rotation in his two seasons at TCU after redshirting in 2018. Wells’ career began at Milford Academy before a season at Northwest Mississippi Community College. He broke out in 2019, finishing 2nd Team All Big 12 after tying for the team lead with 5 touchdowns. Hamstring issues slowed him down a bit early in 2020, but he began to regain his old form over the second half of the year. Wells will be developmental tight end that will need time to get stronger and clean up his skill set. He has natural receiving ability with big, soft hands and a basketball player’s movement skills in traffic. He can really go up and get it, making him a potential menace in the red zone.

*There is a really interesting skill set here. Wells can naturally catch the ball better than most of the names in this group. He really sees it in and will get through traffic easily. He looks a tad limited when it comes to pure athletic juice and he won’t be a factor as a blocker, thus he will be limited snap to snap. I think he can be a guy that carves a role out for himself though and sticks around.

13. Matt Bushman / BYU / 6’5-245

Grade: 68


Summary: Senior entry from Tucson, Arizona. Three-year starter that led the team in both catches and yards in all seasons in which he played respectively. Missed the 2020 season with a torn achilles. Bushman has noticeably soft and easy hands capable of bringing the ball in from all angles. He has snappy reactions to the pass and will be a reliable traffic-threat. His tools, at the end of the day, will put a low ceiling on what his potential will be. He isn’t a burner and lacks pro-quickness. In addition, he is a very poor blocker that doesn’t have the power or attitude to make any difference in that department. He will be on the back end of a depth chart or practice squad while a team tries to increase his floor along areas outside of catching the ball.

*My first few looks at Bushman led me to putting him in the early day 3 tier. He just looked like a pro when it came to going after the ball and bringing it in. Further looks into the details of his game and it was pretty easy to find the holes in his game. He isn’t a top tier talent kind of guy, however he does have natural ball skills and body control. Can he get big enough to handle NFL trenches? If he can be just good enough, he can make a roster.

14. Briley Moore-McKinney / Kansas State / 6’4-240

Grade: 68


Summary: Fifth year senior from Blue Springs, Missouri. Spent three years at Northern Iowa where he started for 2 seasons. After missing 2019 because of an injury, Moore transferred to Kansas State for the 2020 season where he also started and tied for the team lead in touchdowns. Moore is a quick footed, underrated athlete that has a feisty way about him. He excels at finding the windows in coverage, comes to the pass hard, and will create after the catch. He can be a very quarterback-friendly target. He won’t factor much in the trenches, but his effort is there, and he does block well at the second level. He can be a solid backup at the next level with a limited upside.

*This is a player that impressed me each time I watched his film. Not so much with is talent and ability, but more because of his skill set and repeatability. He does a lot of the little things right and even though his actual tool set can put a limit on his impact, he is a nice guy to have on the back end of a roster. He will impact special teams.

15. Tony Poljan / Virginia / 6’7-251

Grade: 67


Summary: Senior entry from Lansing, Michigan. A former quarterback that played three seasons at Central Michigan. Made the part time move to tight end in 2018, full time in 2019. A two-year starter at the position, one of which was following his transfer to Virginia for the 2020 season. Poljan has a thick and long frame with plenty of functional straight-line speed and burst. He can pose a weapon in the end zone, as he shows the understanding of how to find space and box out defenders. His lateral quickness and overall short area athleticism are very limited. He won’t project as a starter, but he could evolve into a solid number two if he can improve his lower body mechanics.

*There are a lot of guys that like Poljan. I don’t see a dynamic enough athlete, but he does impress with straight line burst and at his size, that is going to get coaches excited. Also keep in mind he is relatively new to the position and his potential upside will be viewed as higher than most of the others down here. He has a long ways to go though and that high hipped, lack of balance-type movement bothers me a bit.

16. Miller Forristal / Alabama / 6’5-239: 67
17. Luke Farrell / Ohio State / 6’6-251: 67
18. Jake Stoll / Nebraska / 6’4-257: 67
19. Dylan Soehner / Iowa State / 6’7-268: 66
20. Shaun Beyer / Iowa / 6’5-250: 66
21. Tory Carter / LSU / 6’0-229: 66
22. Zach Davidson / Central Missouri / 6’7-245: 65
23. John Bates / Boise State / 6’5-250: 65
24. Kylen Granson / SMU / 6’2-241: 64
25. Carl Tucker / Alabama / 6’1-249: 63

NYG APPROACH


A big part of how NYG approaches this position may revolve around whether or not they ship Engram out via trade. Because of his performance and financial resources spent this offseason, I just can’t see him being a Giant in 2021. If there is a market for his services and NYG can net a future day 2 pick, I say you have to think hard about pulling that trigger. If, however, Engram plays out the duration of his rookie contract here, I don’t see room for another tight end. They’re already four deep, all four of which I see making the final 53 man roster, and adding another body there seems unlikely. The one circumstance I can see occurring, however, is if Kyle Pitts were to somehow fall into their lap at #11. The odds are slim there but adding him would add something to this offense that can really put the passing game over the top. You bring a talent like that in and figure out what to do with Engram later. Besides that unlikely scenario, the best move would be to wait until the undrafted free agency period begins to add new talent to the position.
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RE: It probably shouldn't...  
widmerseyebrow : 4/19/2021 9:26 am : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.


Funny, he has turned me off to tight ends that can't catch.
Having watched all NC St games, you’re summary on Angeline is spot on.  
Spider56 : 4/19/2021 9:32 am : link
He’s improved as a receiver and blocker every year but I’m not sure his ceiling is much higher. He is good as a red zone threat. Your reads are enjoyable ... thank you!
RE: 90+ All Pro Projection  
Sy'56 : 4/19/2021 9:38 am : link
In comment 15225429 Joey from GlenCove said:
Quote:
Does that mean an all pro the first year or at some point he will be an all pro?


Some point

You almost NEVER see an All Pro year one
RE: Sy  
Sy'56 : 4/19/2021 9:45 am : link
In comment 15225421 Peter from NH (formerly CT) said:
Quote:
Given that some of the best tight-ends have come out of the lower rounds of the draft (does that say something about the difference in the college versus the pro game for TEs and how hard it is to project TEs?), who is the guy you would bet on from down low that would be that guy? Obviously, they wouldn't be day 3 guys if it was obvious or predictable, but just wondering about who would be the flyer that you would take that unlikely bet on?

Thanks for all you add to BBI


Great question. I always have a bias at a few positions in this way. Guys that I gave late day 3 grades to, but would rather take a chance on over guys that have higher grades in the early day 3 period

This is a crappy TE group, but if I wanted to take a chance on a high ceiling day 3 pick, it would be Zach Davidson from Central Missouri. Really solid athlete on a frame that hasn't seen a legit pro strength program yet. Has made some crazy-level caches on tape. Just has some untapped upside those other late guys don't. Not a good blocker yet though
RE: Sy, on Friermuth  
Sy'56 : 4/19/2021 9:46 am : link
In comment 15225444 Gregorio said:
Quote:
how do you rate his blocking ability? Is it starting NFL caliber, or does it need development?


You rarely see a tight end come out of college ready to block unless that is all they did in college. He won't be a liability the way Engram is, but he is going to have a hard time staying stout. His lower body needs work.
RE: RE: Sy  
Sy'56 : 4/19/2021 9:47 am : link
In comment 15225455 Dnew15 said:
Quote:
In comment 15225421 Peter from NH (formerly CT) said:


Quote:


Given that some of the best tight-ends have come out of the lower rounds of the draft (does that say something about the difference in the college versus the pro game for TEs and how hard it is to project TEs?), who is the guy you would bet on from down low that would be that guy? Obviously, they wouldn't be day 3 guys if it was obvious or predictable, but just wondering about who would be the flyer that you would take that unlikely bet on?

Thanks for all you add to BBI



Love this question. To add on, if you had to pick one position group in the NFL that is the hardest to scout/predict is TE the hardest?

SOrry for the repost - It's Monday.


I think DBs are the hardest to project to the NFL. Most scouts have certain positions they are more comfortable with than others, I've always had a hard time with DBs in comparison to others.
RE: It probably shouldn't...  
Sy'56 : 4/19/2021 9:49 am : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.


Understood. I really do think Pitts will be less an issue.

That said, most big time receiving threats at the position aren't good blockers. That does create the question if it is worth going after a receiving threat there on a team that needs the running game to be a focal point.
Sy  
Mike in NY : 4/19/2021 9:49 am : link
Been watching some tape of Zaire Mitchell from the other Notre Dame. Really raw, but man he is huge and seems like he actually works hard. Any thoughts on him?
Sy, to add into the Pitts discussion,  
robbieballs2003 : 4/19/2021 9:57 am : link
Does he really grade at a 90 for what a TE really does? IMO, as I have stated earlier in this thread, these pass catching TEs seem to almost always bust. With that said, I view Pitts as more of a receiver and because of that I think he stacks up against every player at the position in this draft. If you were to grade him as a WR would he grade the same? If not, higher or lower?

P.S. I don't buy into the labels of players as most others do. For example, when people say just move Engram to WR that doesn't mean anything to me. The Giants will use him as they see fit regardless of what label he gets. But when it comes to Pitts, I look at him as more of a receiver than I do Engram. Engram isn't a guy you just line up wide and say win. He can be used all over the field but the best matchups are when he is closer to the line. I know Pitts has had some great games from a traditional TE position with his releases but the damage he does as an outside threat is just remarkable. To add to this, I have already stated that I am not a fan of 1st round TEs. I'd rather take shots later in the draft. But with Pitts he is great for a WR hence why I have no problem with teams wanting him in the top 10.
RE: It probably shouldn't...  
eric2425ny : 4/19/2021 9:58 am : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.


Agreed Eric. I also get Travis Beckum flashbacks. I realize he was not a first rounder but another who couldn’t block. I’d almost rather see them grab a TE like Tremble in the third round if they really want another TE. He’s the two way TE that I prefer.
RE: RE: Sy  
Jay on the Island : 4/19/2021 10:06 am : link
In comment 15225506 Sy'56 said:
Quote:
In comment 15225421 Peter from NH (formerly CT) said:


Quote:


Given that some of the best tight-ends have come out of the lower rounds of the draft (does that say something about the difference in the college versus the pro game for TEs and how hard it is to project TEs?), who is the guy you would bet on from down low that would be that guy? Obviously, they wouldn't be day 3 guys if it was obvious or predictable, but just wondering about who would be the flyer that you would take that unlikely bet on?

Thanks for all you add to BBI



Great question. I always have a bias at a few positions in this way. Guys that I gave late day 3 grades to, but would rather take a chance on over guys that have higher grades in the early day 3 period

This is a crappy TE group, but if I wanted to take a chance on a high ceiling day 3 pick, it would be Zach Davidson from Central Missouri. Really solid athlete on a frame that hasn't seen a legit pro strength program yet. Has made some crazy-level caches on tape. Just has some untapped upside those other late guys don't. Not a good blocker yet though

Thanks Sy, Zach Davidson is my sleeper pick in the draft. I took him in the BBi mock draft in round 6 and I hope the Giants do the same. He can also punt!
taking a look at Sy's historical TE rankings  
UConn4523 : 4/19/2021 10:09 am : link
its pretty crazy how much better a prospect Pitts is than the next closest player. We have a 0% chance of getting him but if he somehow was there at 11 he needs to be selected.
RE: It probably shouldn't...  
BillT : 4/19/2021 10:15 am : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.

No. It absolutely should turn you off to TE who can’t block. The problem with them isn’t the 10 plays they get thrown to but the 50 plays they don’t. In those 50 plays they are a liability and limit the whole offense. I never want to see another on the Giants.
RE: It probably shouldn't...  
CT Charlie : 4/19/2021 10:19 am : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.


In my opinion a tight end who can't block should be called "a receiver."
RE: RE: It probably shouldn't...  
Angel Eyes : 4/19/2021 10:23 am : link
In comment 15225582 CT Charlie said:
Quote:
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:


Quote:


but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.



In my opinion a tight end who can't block should be called "a receiver."

So what do you call a receiver who can't catch?
RE: RE: RE: It probably shouldn't...  
Mike in NY : 4/19/2021 10:27 am : link
In comment 15225596 Angel Eyes said:
Quote:
In comment 15225582 CT Charlie said:


Quote:


In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:


Quote:


but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.



In my opinion a tight end who can't block should be called "a receiver."


So what do you call a receiver who can't catch?


A Pro Bowler! :)
RE: RE: RE: RE: It probably shouldn't...  
Angel Eyes : 4/19/2021 10:29 am : link
In comment 15225607 Mike in NY said:
Quote:
In comment 15225596 Angel Eyes said:


Quote:


In comment 15225582 CT Charlie said:


Quote:


In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:


Quote:


but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.



In my opinion a tight end who can't block should be called "a receiver."


So what do you call a receiver who can't catch?



A Pro Bowler! :)

Evidently.
RE: RE: RE: RE: It probably shouldn't...  
Danny Dimes : 4/19/2021 10:33 am : link
In comment 15225607 Mike in NY said:
Quote:
In comment 15225596 Angel Eyes said:


Quote:


In comment 15225582 CT Charlie said:


Quote:


In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:


Quote:


but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.



In my opinion a tight end who can't block should be called "a receiver."


So what do you call a receiver who can't catch?



A Pro Bowler! :)



LOL
Sy  
Jay on the Island : 4/19/2021 10:35 am : link
The reason why Zach Davidson isn’t a good blocker yet is because of his inexperience at the position. He was recruited as a punter but due to a growth spurt he began playing TE.

Davidson said that he focused more on adding lean muscle than size. He has changed his workout program to bulk up in order to improve as a blocker. This is a type of kid that Joe Judge will love. He does whatever the coaches ask of him.

Davidson was also the punter for Central Missouri. He still works on his punting so you have a rare legit backup option in the event of an injury.
Thanks Sy'56  
M.S. : 4/19/2021 11:01 am : link

Always a great read.

Below are Sy'56's average grades by position, versus year ago for the eight positions he has reviewed so far.

To make the averages comparable, please note that I've chosen the top 25 out of 30 grades for 2021 since there were only 25 grades for the positions below in 2020.

Quick note of caution:

I wouldn't draw any hard-and-fast conclusions with these averages, since they mask the variation in Sy'56's grades. That said, 2021 does not look quite as strong as 2020 for Defensive Tackle and EDGE (although Chase Young's 91 Grade is pulling last year's average upward.)

Offensive Tackle looks stronger in 2021, but please note this Draft does not have the Big 4 OTs like last year's Draft, and this year's Draft has Penei Sewell Draft Grade of 91 pulling the average upward.

(If there is something wrong here, it is definitely my mistake.)

Offensive Tackle
2021 74.6
2020 72.5
Diff +2.1

Cornerback
2021 76.9
2020 75.6
Diff +1.4**

Linebacker
2021 74.4
2020 73.5
Diff +.9

Guard / Center
2021 74.2
2020 73.4
Diff +.8

Tight End
2021 70.5
2020 71.0
Diff -.5

Safety
2021 72.7
2020 73.5
Diff -.8

EDGE
2021 75.2
2020 76.4
Diff -1.2

Defensive Tackle
2021 71.5
2020 73.0
Diff -1.4**

**Spreadsheet Rounding



I bet Lawrence gets a 90  
Dave on the UWS : 4/19/2021 11:08 am : link
they will make 4 guys with 90 + ratings from Sy. Don’t think I remember that happening before.
I can't see NOT trading Engram...  
BillKo : 4/19/2021 11:45 am : link
...even if he plays well this year, are we really going to pay him premium money he'll be looking for after that?

Long term - meaning the next 4 years - I don't see him as part of this program and growing the team into a perennial playoff contender.

Trade him now and get what you can........and draft a prospect to backup Rudolph.

get back to basics...  
BillKo : 4/19/2021 11:48 am : link
..draft a TE who looks like a TE. Not these hybrids who are tweeners.

Rumbles, bumbles, and stumbles over tacklers. The classic, prototypical TE who doesn't look like he's moving but really is.

Like....Mark Bavaro or Gronk lol............
Pitts  
stretch234 : 4/19/2021 11:50 am : link
I have no problem picking him, but what confidence does anyone have to think this staff would use him to maximize what he offers. Engram has elite speed and yet the current OC loves to run short curl routes with him. They don’t even put a TE in motion. Is any of that going to change

You don’t need the 11th pick to get a guy at TE who can run and create mismatches. See how the Raiders use D. Waller and his 197 catches last 2 years
RE: I can't see NOT trading Engram...  
robbieballs2003 : 4/19/2021 11:51 am : link
In comment 15225759 BillKo said:
Quote:
...even if he plays well this year, are we really going to pay him premium money he'll be looking for after that?

Long term - meaning the next 4 years - I don't see him as part of this program and growing the team into a perennial playoff contender.

Trade him now and get what you can........and draft a prospect to backup Rudolph.


Depends on the value. The Giants need to start winning and that is their number one goal. This staff obviously feels he can help. They have to balance out how much does he help and a potential comp pick next year for him (I can't see us being big players next year in FA) vs. what a team has offered this year. You have to believe that if a team has offered something significant for him the trade would have been completed by now.
RE: I can't see NOT trading Engram...  
UConn4523 : 4/19/2021 11:56 am : link
In comment 15225759 BillKo said:
Quote:
...even if he plays well this year, are we really going to pay him premium money he'll be looking for after that?

Long term - meaning the next 4 years - I don't see him as part of this program and growing the team into a perennial playoff contender.

Trade him now and get what you can........and draft a prospect to backup Rudolph.


Because the team thinks he can help us in 2021. We don't have to pay him if he does well, we can let him walk. Nothing wrong with that, not every impending FA should be dealt for picks.
I know it’s asking a lot, but can Tremble be a George Kittle type  
shockeyisthebest8056 : 4/19/2021 12:09 pm : link
as far as being a severely underutilized talent in college who surprises as a pro? His testing seems pretty good, even if he was a few inches shorter than you’d like.
RE: RE: I can't see NOT trading Engram...  
BillKo : 4/19/2021 12:17 pm : link
In comment 15225786 UConn4523 said:
Quote:
In comment 15225759 BillKo said:


Quote:


...even if he plays well this year, are we really going to pay him premium money he'll be looking for after that?

Long term - meaning the next 4 years - I don't see him as part of this program and growing the team into a perennial playoff contender.

Trade him now and get what you can........and draft a prospect to backup Rudolph.




Because the team thinks he can help us in 2021. We don't have to pay him if he does well, we can let him walk. Nothing wrong with that, not every impending FA should be dealt for picks.


UCONN, we tend to agree on many things....but on this I don't simply because Engram has not over the majority of his career demonstrated being that player. If was just a good player, I'd say your logic works.

But I don't consider him a good player, I'd call him a very inconsistent player now in year 5. To me, that's called average.

That's why I say trade him now, because percentages say he'll underachieve again in 2021........
RE: I know it’s asking a lot, but can Tremble be a George Kittle type  
BillKo : 4/19/2021 12:27 pm : link
In comment 15225816 shockeyisthebest8056 said:
Quote:
as far as being a severely underutilized talent in college who surprises as a pro? His testing seems pretty good, even if he was a few inches shorter than you’d like.


Thats the type of TE we need.....a guy who wants and looks for contact. Pass catching and blocking......

Has Engram ever showed the slight bit of nastiness?
RE: Sy  
BH28 : 4/19/2021 12:49 pm : link
In comment 15225421 Peter from NH (formerly CT) said:
Quote:
Given that some of the best tight-ends have come out of the lower rounds of the draft (does that say something about the difference in the college versus the pro game for TEs and how hard it is to project TEs?), who is the guy you would bet on from down low that would be that guy? Obviously, they wouldn't be day 3 guys if it was obvious or predictable, but just wondering about who would be the flyer that you would take that unlikely bet on?

Thanks for all you add to BBI


I think this is a really good point, it looks like the last first round TE that really lived up to potential was Tony Gonzalez in '97. If Pitts is the next Gronk, it seems like a no-brainer at 11. But the track record of first round TEs in the past 20 years is not great.

Similar to RB, it seems you can get really good value/production in the later rounds by taking a guy who needs some refinement.
link - ( New Window )
RE: It probably shouldn't...  
shocktheworld : 4/19/2021 12:57 pm : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.


1000% agree
RE: RE: It probably shouldn't...  
WillVAB : 4/19/2021 2:50 pm : link
In comment 15225514 Sy'56 said:
Quote:
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:


Quote:


but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.



Understood. I really do think Pitts will be less an issue.

That said, most big time receiving threats at the position aren't good blockers. That does create the question if it is worth going after a receiving threat there on a team that needs the running game to be a focal point.


Who are the big time receiving threat TEs that can’t block? Because off of the top of my head the top TEs in the league are guys who are all pretty solid blockers and it opens things up for them in the receiving game.
RE: It probably shouldn't...  
bw in dc : 4/19/2021 3:25 pm : link
In comment 15225449 Eric from BBI said:
Quote:
but the whole Evan Engram situation has turned me off of tight ends who can't block.


I would think a TE who can't catch would bother you more...
Gee, it's the Pitts, the Giants can't get Kyle! ;-)  
TC : 4/19/2021 3:31 pm : link
Thanks, Sy!
A 90 grade means draft Pitts for certain if there at #11.  
chick310 : 4/19/2021 3:54 pm : link
But unfortunately that means he is unlikely to be there though.

Whether or not Engram is on the roster makes no difference. Presume some type of deal could be had with another club to shed his salary.
the tension is building  
Ron Johnson : 4/19/2021 4:15 pm : link
for the WR report
RE: RE: Sy  
Mike in NY : 4/19/2021 4:59 pm : link
In comment 15225869 BH28 said:
Quote:
In comment 15225421 Peter from NH (formerly CT) said:


Quote:


Given that some of the best tight-ends have come out of the lower rounds of the draft (does that say something about the difference in the college versus the pro game for TEs and how hard it is to project TEs?), who is the guy you would bet on from down low that would be that guy? Obviously, they wouldn't be day 3 guys if it was obvious or predictable, but just wondering about who would be the flyer that you would take that unlikely bet on?

Thanks for all you add to BBI



I think this is a really good point, it looks like the last first round TE that really lived up to potential was Tony Gonzalez in '97. If Pitts is the next Gronk, it seems like a no-brainer at 11. But the track record of first round TEs in the past 20 years is not great.

Similar to RB, it seems you can get really good value/production in the later rounds by taking a guy who needs some refinement. link - ( New Window )


T.J. Hockenson is turning into a nice TE although there are many directions his career can go. That being said, with the exception of George Kittle or Rob Gronkowski in his prime, a stud TE rarely can carry an offense like a stud WR can. I think that was one of the biggest knocks on Barkley, sure he may be an elite RB but how many elite RB's suddenly make everyone else around them better.
RE: the tension is building  
blueblood : 4/19/2021 5:16 pm : link
In comment 15226086 Ron Johnson said:
Quote:
for the WR report


bout to explode !!!!
RE: RE: the tension is building  
robbieballs2003 : 4/19/2021 7:21 pm : link
In comment 15226127 blueblood said:
Quote:
In comment 15226086 Ron Johnson said:


Quote:


for the WR report



bout to explode !!!!


Yep. Last year was a historic WR class due to the depth of it. This year's class has better top end talent imo but I am curious to see how the depth is with Sy's writeups. Hopefully he gives us a few more WR like last year (🤞) since he didn't give us 30 TEs. Haha.
Sy'56: Assuming the Giants make it at least as far as...  
Milton : 4/19/2021 10:01 pm : link
...the NFC Championship game next year, would you trade next year's 1st round pick to move up for Kyle Pitts? I think of Pitts as the prospect with both the highest ceiling and highest floor of all the non-QBs (nobody has a higher ceiling than Trevor Lawrence). Short of finding out that your wife had a sex-change operation before you met her, there's nothing more depressing than being without a first round pick in the draft, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. The last time the Giants were without a first round pick they landed Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, and Brandon Jacobs in rounds 2, 3, and 4, so we know it can be done!
RE: Sy'56: Assuming the Giants make it at least as far as...  
eric2425ny : 4/19/2021 11:38 pm : link
In comment 15226377 Milton said:
Quote:
...the NFC Championship game next year, would you trade next year's 1st round pick to move up for Kyle Pitts? I think of Pitts as the prospect with both the highest ceiling and highest floor of all the non-QBs (nobody has a higher ceiling than Trevor Lawrence). Short of finding out that your wife had a sex-change operation before you met her, there's nothing more depressing than being without a first round pick in the draft, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. The last time the Giants were without a first round pick they landed Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, and Brandon Jacobs in rounds 2, 3, and 4, so we know it can be done!


“Short of finding out that your wife had a sex-change operation before you met her, there's nothing more depressing than being without a first round pick in the draft.”

LOL!!!
RE: Sy'56: Assuming the Giants make it at least as far as...  
Sy'56 : 4/20/2021 5:52 am : link
In comment 15226377 Milton said:
Quote:
...the NFC Championship game next year, would you trade next year's 1st round pick to move up for Kyle Pitts? I think of Pitts as the prospect with both the highest ceiling and highest floor of all the non-QBs (nobody has a higher ceiling than Trevor Lawrence). Short of finding out that your wife had a sex-change operation before you met her, there's nothing more depressing than being without a first round pick in the draft, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet. The last time the Giants were without a first round pick they landed Corey Webster, Justin Tuck, and Brandon Jacobs in rounds 2, 3, and 4, so we know it can be done!


I'm not a huge fan of trading up in general. For a prospect in the 90+ tier though, I would likely give up a 1 and 3 for one of them. A future 1? Probably not.
Our future TE is in college still  
adamg : 4/20/2021 6:59 am : link
OSU TE Jeremy Ruckert is the guy I want.
RE: Our future TE is in college still  
robbieballs2003 : 4/20/2021 7:00 am : link
In comment 15226476 adamg said:
Quote:
OSU TE Jeremy Ruckert is the guy I want.


Is that the kid that went to Lindenhurst HS on LI?
RE: RE: Our future TE is in college still  
adamg : 4/20/2021 7:01 am : link
In comment 15226477 robbieballs2003 said:
Quote:
In comment 15226476 adamg said:


Quote:


OSU TE Jeremy Ruckert is the guy I want.



Is that the kid that went to Lindenhurst HS on LI?


Yep.
RE: Our future TE is in college still  
Klaatu : 4/20/2021 8:44 am : link
In comment 15226476 adamg said:
Quote:
OSU TE Jeremy Ruckert is the guy I want.


+1
Difficult to project Pitts lasting until #11 but if he does  
NYGgolfer : 4/20/2021 9:10 am : link
would like to think Giants would jump. Unfortunately for fans yearning for him I think the team might be satisfied with keeping Engram on board another year if it came to that.

Their heavy interest in Hunter Henry was notable though so maybe NY still grabs a TE on Day 2 and still tries to unload Engram.

Wells from TCU is interesting.  
Pete in MD : 4/20/2021 9:43 am : link
He's already a Pro.
Sy  
Jay on the Island : 4/20/2021 11:55 am : link
With the Giants having two 6th round picks you wouldn’t select Nick Eubanks, Kenny Yeboah, or Zach Davidson there? I’ve seen a few highlight videos of Eubanks and I was very impressed with his speed and receiving ability. He just seems like one of those TE’s that blow up in the NFL when they are paired with a legitimate QB.
RE: Our future TE is in college still  
Jay on the Island : 4/20/2021 11:57 am : link
In comment 15226476 adamg said:
Quote:
OSU TE Jeremy Ruckert is the guy I want.

I also really like Michael Mayer aka Baby Gronk from Notre Dame. Unfortunately, it will likely take a top 5 pick to land him when he’s eligible.
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