Tight Ends


2003 Draft Prospects

 


FIRST ROUND


Jason Witten

6'6" 258 Tennessee (4.75) Junior

Pros: Shows good potential as a blocker. Catches ball like a wideout and has great speed.
Cons: Could improve as a blocker.
NFL Forecast: Witten is not all the way there as a blocker, but he's most of the way there. He is a solid tight end prospect with good athleticism and ability in the passing game. He should be very potent in the red zone as he will be a tough match-up. Witten probably won't have the rookie impact of Jeremy Shockey, but he should be quite good from the start.
Value: Worth a mid-to-late first round. Should go somewhere in the final 10-15 slots of the first round.


SECOND ROUND


Dallas Clark

6'3" 257 Iowa (4.63) Junior

Pros: Has excellent hands and the speed to stretch the field. Is also a capable blocker.
Cons: Lacks size and strength.
NFL Forecast: Clark is built like an H-back, but has all the skills you want in a regular tight end. Because of his lack of size, most teams may see him as an H-back, but he is worth being an every downg guy. Has good athleticism and should be a very potent target in the pros right from the start.
Value: Is worth an early second round pick that could sneak late in the first.


THIRD ROUND


Bennie Joppru

6'4" 272 Michigan (4.78) Senior

Pros: Has soft hands and is a good blocker.
Cons: Lacks speed to stretch the field.
NFL Forecast: Joppru looks basically like a good short-yardage tight end. His lack of speed will hurt him, but he makes up for it in his blocking and receiving abilities. He has great size and strength as a blocker, and should receive most of his accolades in that area. He is a solid receiver, but won't be a go-to guy in the passing game. Will be more like a fallback and crutch for quarterbacks.
Value: Because he does not scare defenses, he is worth only a third round pick.

Robert Johnson

6'6" 278 Auburn (4.77) Junior

Pros: Shows good blocking potential and has good hands.
Cons: Lacks great speed and could improve as a receiver. Has injury issues with his wrist.
NFL Forecast: Johnson is a solid blocking tight end prospect. He has good hands, probably giving him one of the better combinations of receiving and blocking abilities. He has great size and the potential to be a dominating blocker, although he is not there yet. I don't think he's going to be a great receiver, but a player that is capable of catching 25-30 passes a season on a consistent basis.
Value: Because he is a good combo prospect, Johnson is worth a third round pick.

George Wrighster

6'2" 254 Oregon (4.68) Junior

Pros: Complete tight end with good hands and speed, and capable as a blocker.
Cons: Lacks great size and strength as a blocker.
NFL Forecast: Wrighster is built like an H-back and will play that position in the NFL. But he is a good enough blocker to get looks as an every-down guy early on. But he still needs to improve in that area. His biggest impact will be in the passing game where his speed allows him to stretch defenses. Should be an excellent go-to target in the passing game.
Value: He should be a good pro, but is probably about as developed as he is going to get. Worth an early third round pick.

Trent Smith

6'5" 243 Oklahoma (4.78) Senior

Pros: Velcro for hands and a tall frame to add muscle.
Cons: Lacks strength and speed and lacking as a blocker.
NFL Forecast: Smith has excellent hands, possibly the best in the class, but he is not developed elsewhere. He lacks speed and is basically a short and underneath target. It would do him well to add at least 15 more pounds of muscle so that he play at least in the 255-260 range. Basically he's going to have to find a team that doesn't need him to contribute as a blocker, but his lack of speed hurts him as a receiving prospect.
Value: Good enough receiver to get looks in the late third round, but needs a lot of improvement elsewhere.


FOURTH ROUND


Aaron Walker

6'6" 252 Florida (4.73) Senior

Pros: Good hands and blocking ability.
Cons: Raw, and unproven both as a receiver and blocker.
NFL Forecast: Walker shows good abilities to block downfield, but his in-line blocking could improve. He has a great frame and soft hands, but never really got to prove himself a lot at Florida. But his senior year was his best year, and he played in a more traditional pro offense meaning he should adjust well to the NFL. Is not a complete prospect yet, but has all the skills you want and should develop into a solid starter.
Value: Needs some more polish, but good enough to sneak late in the first day, but is really a fourth round prospect.

Mike Pinkard

6'5" 259 Arizona State (4.68) Senior

Pros: Good speed and hands.
Cons: Below average blocker that needs more strength and work there.
NFL Forecast: Pinkard has a good frame to improve as a blocker since he has the size teams love at the position. He is a solid receiver that is good enough to be a 50-catch guy in the NFL. He should fit well in a West Coast offense, or any that puts much more emphasis on receiving than blocking.
Value: A good receiving tight end that is worthy of a fourth round pick.

Mike Seidman

6'5" 261 UCLA (4.85) Senior

Pros: Great size and good speed to stretch defenses. Good hands.
Cons: Lacks pop and strength as a blocker.
NFL Forecast: Seidman has good potential, but needs to improve his blocking. He has the size and frame to put on more weight and he has. He should be a good receiving tight end, but won't be a starter until he proves he is functional as a blocker. He too looks like he could fit well into West Coast offenses.
Value: Not the complete prospect, but a good enough receiving prospect to get a look in the late fourth round.


SEVENTH ROUND


Ray Thomas

6'4" 248 Wake Forest (5.01) Senior

Pros: Nice hands and competent blocker.
Cons: Blocking could use improvement and lacks speed.
NFL Forecast: He is a short-yardage and intermediate target as a tight end. Thomas has the basic skills you like in a tight end, but does not excel in any area. He is a good enough receiver and blocker to get looks off the bench, but won't ever be a starter. Probably best chance of sticking in the NFL is if he can contribute on special teams. Otherwise, he is easily replaceable on a roster. If he does stick as a rookie, he'll become a journeyman.
Value: Has enough skills to get a few looks late in the seventh round.


UNDRAFTED


Aaron Golliday

6'4" 291 Nebraska (5.05) Senior

Pros: Excellent blocker that is like having a third tackle.
Cons: Lacks speed and experience as pass catcher.
NFL Forecast: Golliday is a good blocker that should be able to get a look in the NFL as a blocking tight end. He has great size that may get looks on the offensive line before tight end. He is undersized for the line, but has good strength and quickness as a blocker. He is a bit of a tweener that hurts his draft stock, but if a team can find the right niche for him, he should be a good player.
Value: Is a tweener, and not a good enough tight end or lineman to be picked in the draft.

Frank Misurelli

6'4" 255 Boston College (4.95) Senior

Pros: Has soft pair of hands and is an above average blocker.
Cons: Lacks athleticism and looks stiff.
NFL Forecast: Misurelli's future is as a blocking tight end in the NFL. He has the basic skills to be successful there, but he is not yet an excellent blocker. He has a pair of solid hands so he can be an occasional outlet in the passing game, but his impact won't be there. He lacks upside, and at best will be a No. 2 tight end.
Value: He is solely a blocker and still needs to develop there, he is not worth a draft pick.

Jeff Muenchow

6'4" 240 North Texas (4.85) Senior

Pros: Capable blocker.
Cons: Lacks pop and strength as blocker. Undeveloped as a pass catcher.
NFL Forecast: Muenchow was used mostly as a blocker throughout his collegiate career, but he is not a great blocker. He has the size to be an H-back, and could get a look in the NFL in that role. But he basically is a marginal talent, that will need to impress a team with his work ethic to get a shot in the NFL. At best, he could be an average reserve, but nothing more.
Value: Average skills for a college player makes him marginal talent for the NFL. He might get a few looks as an undrafted prospect.


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