Jeff Cumberland, TE, Illinois

Scouting reports of tight ends in the 2010 draft.
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Jeff Cumberland, TE, Illinois

Postby Pudge » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:30 am

Jeff Cumberland
Illinois Senior

PROS: Has capable hands and can make the catch in traffic. Gets a decent release and shows some speed and quickness. Is an effective blocker that finishes his blocks and uses his hands well. Shows some pop off the snap.
CONS: Lacks the speed to stretch a defense. Needs to get stronger, particularly in the lower body in order get more push at the point of attack as a blocker.
OVERVIEW: Plays a bit of a hybrid wide receiver/tight end position in Illinois spread attack. Started 10 games during the course of his career, but saw plenty of playing time in passing situations. Best year was 20 catches and 4 scores as a junior.
NFL FORECAST: He's more of the receiver to Hoomanawanui's blocker, but he doesn't really stand out there. He has a chance to impact as a reserve tight end, but he'll have to improve his strength and ability as a blocker to stick in the pros since he lacks the athletic upside one looks for in a receiving tight end. He has the potential to make it as a blocking tight end, but he'll need some time. I think give him two or so years to develop on the bench, and you might have a nice No. 2 tight end. He won't ever be one of the premier blockers in the league, but can be an effective guy that contributes on a good team. He can provide a bit as an outlet receiver and intermediate target. More than likely however, I see him spending most of his career as the third guy on the depth chart though.
ATL FORECAST: Cumberland could challenge down the road as a successor to Peelle as the No. 2 tight end. But I'm not optimistic unless he makes significant improvements in his strength and technique as a blocker that he can unseat Zinger in that role. He definitely has more receiving potential than Zinger does, so that would be a bonus, but probably won't ever be as effective a blocker which will be his primary duties. He could stick in Atlanta, but not until the team gets rid of Peelle. So he'd be hard-pressed to do anything more than land a practice squad for the next year or two until either him or Zinger show enough improvement to make Peelle expendable.
VALUE: He's a decent option in the late rounds for a team looking for a blocking tight end with some potential to have limited offensive output. Probably the earliest he should go off the board is in the seventh.
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