Monday, September 14, 2009

2010 NFL Draft Top 10 Tight End Prospects

NFL Draft Guru Justin Van Fulpen ranks his Top 10 tight ends for the 2010 NFL Draft.

1. Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma - Gresham is out for the whole season this season with a knee injury, but he is expected to be back at 100% by April, the question will be will he use this as a red-shirt year and come back next season or will he enter the NFL Draft. If he entered last year draft he would have been a top fifteen pick if he would have entered this year draft. He has the size and speed that teams look for in a receiving tight end. He is a better receiver then Brandon Pettigrew would was a first round pick in this pass year NFL draft, but in not as good of a blocker and need to get better in that aspect of his game. He could use to get stronger and add some bulk and I think that would help his blocking come along. Last season Gresham has 66 catches for 950 yards, and lead the team with 14 touchdowns. His 14 touchdowns is more touchdown grabs during the season than any TE in school history.

2. Ed Dickson, Oregon -
Dickson had a proactive junior season with 35 catches for 508 yards and 3 touchdowns, with three guys playing quarterback. Dickson is a big receiving tight end at 6-5 243, and has good hands, and is a good overall athlete. He needs to working on his blocking ability to become more of a complete tight end, but has the ability to do that. If Oregon has a quarterback that can stay in the starting line-up, Dickson will have the ability to show his skills and can move up teams draft boards.

3. Jeron Mastrud, Kansas State -
Last season Mastrud had 38 catches for 435 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has great size at 6-5 246 and good size and does a nice job in his inline blocking, but also a good enough receiver to get down the field and makes plays in the passing game. He has the ability to be a good tight end at the next level and should put up good stats as senior for Kansas State.

4. Dennis Pitta, Brigham Young -
Talk about a receiving tight end, Pitta caught 83 passes for 1,083 yards and 6 touchdowns last season. He has good hands, and a very good route running and can be used spilt out in the slot to stretch the field. He has good size at 6-4 246, and can block when asked, but catching the ball is his best skill as a tight end. He needs to get better as an inline blocker, and add some strength to become a complete tight end at the next level, but he isn’t that far off now.

5. Anthony McCoy, USC -
McCoy has great size at 6-5 255 pounds, and last season caught 22 passes for 256 yards and only one touchdown. NFL scouts like he size, and think he is a good athlete, he just needs to be more consistent in his route running ability. He has the ability to become a bigger threat in the passing game this season, and if he improves on his blocking, McCoy has a large upside.

6. Nate Byham, Pittsburgh - Byham is a good all-around tight end who can block well and make plays downfield, and last season had 20 catches for 260 yards and scored a touchdown. He underwent off-season knee surgery after sustaining a patellar dislocation in last year's 11th game, and should return 100% healthy but that is something to watch.

7. Michael Hoomanawanui, Illinois - Hoomanawanui is just a big strong tight end at 6-3 270 pounds and can move. He has very good blocking skills and is able to move and could be asked to be an H-Back at the next level. Last season he had 25 catches for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns, which is good for a team where they are run first in Illinois. He could improve his route running ability to become more of an offense weapon.

8. Andrew Quarless, Penn State -
Quarless is another typical Big Ten tight end who is asked to block first and then become a receiver second, and last season only caught 11 passes for 117 yards and 1 touchdown. But Quarless is not just another added offensive linemen, he is a good athlete with good size at 6-5 250 who can move. He should be more involved in the passing game this season, allowing scouts to get a better look at his receiving and route running skills.

9. Nathan Overbay, Eastern Washington -
Overbay has good overall size for a tight end at 6-5 270 pounds and is a very good blocker in both the running and passing game. He has 28 catches for 364 yards and 2 touchdowns last season and has the ability to put up better stats as a senior. He is a good receiver, but doesn’t have great speed to be able to stretch the field and could improve on his route running but is a good overall athlete.

10. Richard Dickson, LSU -
If Dickson wasn’t only 6-2 240 pounds he would be higher on the list, because he does everything well for a tight end, he is a good blocker and a good receiver who had 31 catches for 324 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. Despite his size he has shown the ability to block defensive linemen and can get down the field as a receiver. He isn’t a blazer, but has good enough speed for a tight end, and might end up moving to an H-Back position or FB at the next level.

Photos Courtesy of OU Athletics Department, University of Pittsburgh, SEC Sports Media