Player, Pos, Team Height Weight Draft Grade
01 Eric Ebron TE, North Carolina 6'4" 245 A 7.0 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Ebron is the first of what will probably be 35–50 underclassmen who declare for next May’s Draft. The third- year junior and former three-star recruit has been a vital part of the Tar Heels offense the last two seasons. In 2012, he caught 40 passes for 625 yards and four touchdowns. To date, this season, he is Carolina’s leading receiver with 50 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns.

Ebron usually plays in the slot but will also line up in tight. He has adequate size for the position at 6’4" – 245. He looks taller because he is so long. With his long arms, he plays like a 6’6" guy. Ebron has good-to-really-good overall athleticism. He has very good speed (4.6 play speed) and shows body control, flexibility, and change of direction. When flexed out, he shows very good initial quickness. He can get into his routes quickly and has the cutting ability and burst to get out of a cut and gain separation. He needs improvement with his route running. He can find open areas in zones, but he can be sloppy with his routes versus man-to-man.

Eric has very good hands. He can snatch the ball and shows the ability to adjust to poorly thrown passes. He has the upper body flex to catch passes thrown to the back shoulder or behind him. He shows courage and toughness competing for the ball in traffic. After the catch, he is a very good runner. While he doesn’t have the quick-footedness of a running back, he can make people miss in the open field and has the burst and speed to turn a short catch into a long gain. He has the power to break tackles, and when the ball is in his hands, he plays bigger than his listed size. Ebron is willing as a blocker. When playing in tight as a “Y”, he can be a little tall in his stance, but he shows good initial quickness and has some snap on initial contact. He can have a tendency to get a little tall, and he doesn’t consistently run his feet, but these should be easily correctable with good coaching.

Overall, Ebron has the traits clubs are looking for a “tight end” in today’s NFL. He is best suited to play as a flexed out or move tight end. He lacks the bulk and overall size to be consistently effective in tight as a “Y” at the next level. He has the frame and length to add some bulk without losing any of his speed or athleticism. Come May, unless he really falters at the Combine, Ebron should be a certain first round pick. Used in the right way, he is a mismatch waiting to happen and could be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

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02 Jace Amaro TE, Texas Tech 6'5" 257 A 6.7 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Jace Amaro – Tight End – Texas Tech

If Webster’s had a definition for “tight end”, Amaro would not fit the description. The way he is used at Texas Tech fits the definition of a slot receiver more than a tight end. In all the tape I looked at, I only saw Amaro lined up “tight” a few times. On most plays, he is the inside slot receiver.

Amaro is listed as being 6050 – 260. If he really is 260, he holds his weight very well. I would guess he is closer to 250. Still, he is very athletic for a big guy and has excellent speed and body control. I would estimate his speed at 4.58 – 4.60. He is quick off the line and is a very good route runner. He can break down and get in and out of cuts very quickly for a big guy. On the shorter one-cut routes, he consistently gains separation. He has the play speed to get open on post and flag routes versus defensive backs. He has very good hands and can adjust to the ball. He is a competitive and tough kid who consistently competes for the ball in traffic. After the catch, he has a quick burst to pull away and has the quick feet and moves to make a defender miss. He uses his size well and can easily break tackles. Jace was Texas Tech’s number one receiver in 2013. He caught 106 passes for 1352 yards and seven TDs. He is an instant mismatch because of his size and athleticism.

As a blocker, he looks like a big wide receiver blocking. He can use his hands and can stay with a block but he is not overly physical. Most of his blocks are in the open field. There were a few plays in short yardage where he lined up tight and showed he can come off the ball and explode into a defender but you don’t see enough of these plays to really be able to grade his in line blocking skills.

Amaro is the type of “tight end” that most NFL teams are now looking for. He has the speed and athleticism to play split out and can really be called a jumbo wide receiver. I see him easily getting drafted in the first round and I expect him to contribute very early in his rookie year.

03 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE, Washington 6'6" 266 A 6.7x Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Tight End – Washington

Size – 6054e – 275e – 4.70e

Strong Points – Great size, productive receiver, hands, run after catch, play speed

Weak Points – Inconsistent route runner, not the blocker he should be with his size, has a receiver first mentality

Summation – Seferian-Jenkins is a third-year junior who has decided to enter the Draft. He has been a starter at Washington since early in his freshman season and has had a very productive career. For his career, he has caught 146 catches for 1838 yards and 21 touchdowns. His most productive season was 2012 when he had 69 catches.

Seferian–Jenkins has excellent size for a tight end. He is over 6’5" and has a playing weight of close to 275. As big as he is, he is very athletic and runs well. I would estimate his speed at around 4.70, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ran a little faster than that at the Combine.

Seferian-Jenkins flashes good route running ability but can be inconsistent with his routes. On tape, he does not consistently finish his routes and doesn’t seem to go all out all the time when he is not the first or second option. In saying that, he does have the skills to get in and out of cuts quickly and separate. He also has the speed to beat linebackers deep. His hands are very good, and he can adjust to poorly thrown balls. After the catch, he is a strong runner who can break tackles and has the quickness to make some defenders miss.

I'm disappointed in his blocking. With his size and strength, he should be a dominant blocker and he is not. While he shows a willingness, he is more of a position blocker. You seldom see him drive people off the ball. As a pass blocker, he is adequate-to-good. In short, he blocks more like a receiver than a tight end.

Serferian–Jenkins has the natural talent to be an excellent NFL tight end. He has to learn to play with more consistency and become a more physical blocker. He had an off season issue that fellow NFP writer Erik Oehler detailed very nicely in an earlier article that he will have to address with scouts and coaches at the Combine. Assuming he gets through the interview process without any problems, he is very likely to get drafted in the second round.

GRADE: 6.6 A

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04 C.J. Fiedorowicz TE, Iowa 6'6" 265 A 6.6 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

C.J. Fiedorowicz – Tight End – Iowa

Fiedorowicz is a fourth year senior and a two-and-a-half year starter at Iowa. His most productive year as a receiver came in 2012 when he caught 45 passes for 433 yards. This year he had 30 receptions fo 299 yards and six TDs.

C.J. has great size for the position. At the Senior Bowl he measured 6055 – 262 with huge hands (10 5/8). He is a well built kid with good muscular development. As an athlete, C.J. shows good overall athleticism and body control to go along with better than adequate speed for the position. I estimate that he will run around 4.70 at the Combine.

Iowa plays form mostly a pro set with some spread thrown in. They use two tight ends, often, in their scheme. Most of the time, C.J. is lined up in tight as a “Y”, but he does flex out also. As a blocker, he comes off the ball quickly and can stay low. He makes good initial contact and can keep his feet moving to finish. He has the strength and power to turn and seal his opponent and can also gain some movement. He shows he can play with bend but will get tall on occasion. He does a good job with his hands and keeps them inside.
As a receiver, he is used mostly on short routes. He has a good release and can get in and out of a cut with good quickness. He knows his to use his size to shield a defender and has a good receiving radius. With his huge hands, he catches the ball easily and can extend to make the difficult catch. On seam routes, he shows he can get some separation, but I don’t see him as a top deep receiving threat. After the catch, he is a strong runner who can break tackles and get yards after contact.

I see Fiedorowicz as being a “Y” tight end in the NFL. His blocking is good enough to help the run game. He is not going to be the big play tight end that we now are seeing in the league, but he is the kind of player that every team needs and are becoming harder to find. With his size and blocking skills, he is going to play early in his career and probably start as a rookie. Because “blocking” tight ends are becoming harder to find, he has high value and should go somewhere in the second round. If he runs better than I expect, that will only push up his stock.

05 Troy Niklas TE, Notre Dame 6'6" 270 B 6.6x Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Troy Niklas – Tight End – Notre Dame

Niklas is a surprise entry into the draft. This was only his second year at the position and his first year as a full-time starter. He was an offensive and defensive lineman in high school and was recruited by Notre Dame to play on the defensive line. When Niklas got to school his first year, the Irish staff saw what kind of an athlete he was and converted him to outside linebacker. Most of his playing time as a freshman came via special teams. Because of his athleticism, Niklas was moved to tight end in the spring of his freshman year. He played as a backup in 2012, but still started a number of games and got a lot of playing time when Notre Dame went to two tight end sets. Niklas’ role was mainly as a blocker and as a result, he caught only five passes for 75 yards and one score. This year he became the team’s top tight end and upped his receiving production to 32 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns.

Niklas is a huge tight end. He will measure in the neighborhood of 6064 – 265 at the Combine. He is very athletic for a big guy. He has speed, very good change of direction and body control. I would estimate that Niklas will run somewhere in the 4.67 to 4.72 area. In addition to his big size, Niklas is very strong. He is probably the best blocking tight end in this year’s draft. While watching tape, you can see him consistently knock opponents four and five yards off the ball. He is explosive and nasty as a blocker and consistently looks to finish. He shows good pass blocking ability, but gets beat at times only because he still lacks top pass blocking technique.

Niklas has just begun to scratch the surface of his receiving talent. In 2012, you couldn’t trust that he was going to make the catch because he struggled a bit adjusting to the ball while it was in the air. However, Niklas showed great improvement in that area this year and made some very difficult catches. As a route runner he is still raw, but he has good initial quickness and can get in and out of his cuts quickly. He catches the ball well and really knows how to use his body to shield a defender. He is very good with seam routes and corner routes and when in the red zone, Niklas is a nightmare to defend because of his size.

Overall, there is not a tight end in this draft who can block as well as Niklas. He will only get better as a receiver with experience. The team that drafts the Notre Dame tight end will do so because of his high ceiling as a receiver. As a rookie, he will be a regular in two tight end sets and could really help in the running game, but it may take him a year to become a top receiver. In saying that, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him taken as the second tight end in this draft. I see him going in the later part of the first or early in the second round. Once developed, he has to the potential to become a Pro Bowler.

06 A.C. Leonard TE, Tennessee State 6'3" 245 B 6.5c Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:
Size - 6040e - 245e - 4.70e

Strong Points - Athlete, speed, hands, run after catch, willing blocker

Weak Points - Forced transfer from Florida, very raw, pass routes, blocking technique, lacks a consistent effort, always plays from a right-handed stance, plays at a lower level of competition

2013 Stats - 34 catches, 441 yards, 5 TDs

Summation - Leonard is a third-year junior who is entering the Draft early. He originally enrolled at Florida in January 2011 and got playing time as a true freshman the last third of the 2011 season. He had an arrest for battery while at Florida in the spring of 2012 and was asked to leave. He transferred to Tennessee State that summer and was a two year starter. His best season statistically was 2012 when he caught 51 passes for 733 yards and 6 TDs. His production fell off in 2013.
On tape, his athleticism and speed stand out, but he is very raw and not a consistent all out competitor. He lines up in tight and split out. When in tight, he lines up on both sides of the formation but always plays from a right-handed stance. The best thing he does is catch the ball. He has good hands and does a good job adjusting to poorly thrown passes. He is a very inconsistent route runner. You don't see any discipline in his routes and they are sloppy to say the least. While he flashes the ability to get in and out of cuts quickly, you don't see it all the time. He has the speed to get open deep and can be a deep threat. He does not show a feel for getting open versus zone coverage. After the catch, he is a strong runner who will break arm tackles and fight for extra yards.
As a blocker, he shows a willingness but lacks technique. He does not know how to get position, keep that position, use his hands, or finish.
Overall, Leonard has talent but is not ready to play in the NFL. I see him as a late draft choice, but in an ideal situation, needs a year on the practice squad to develop his game. He may get drafted higher than my grade because of his speed and athleticism.

Grade - C 6.3

07 Arthur Lynch TE, Georgia 6'5" 258 B 6.4 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Arthur Lynch – Tight End

Arthur LynchUS PRESSWIREArthur Lynch caught 24 passes for 431 yards and 3 touchdowns last year.

Lynch is listed as a “tight end,” but he rarely lines up in tight as a “Y.” He is used more flexed out, on the wing and even at fullback. It was a hard game to evaluate Lynch because he played in a rotation and was not an every down player. There were times when he wasn’t even in for a series.

Lynch has been productive. Last year he caught 24 passes for 431 yards and 3 touchdowns. In this game he was thrown to once and caught it for an 18-yard gain. The pass was a short curl route but Lynch was able to get about 9 more yards after the catch with a strong run. He also had a very nice lead block when playing on the wing that helped the runner get extra yards. On the punt team he plays as the personal protector.

He looks to be a good athlete and in limited play time showed 4.75 play speed. He has good size for a “move” tight end at about 6-5 and 255. Overall, I need to see more tape on this player before I can be accurate with a grade.

08 Jake Murphy TE, Utah 6'4" 252 B 6.4 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:

Jake Murphy – Utah

Originally signed with BYU in 2008, he went on a Mormon mission for two years and enrolled at Utah in 2010. He redshirted that year. He started two games but played in 10 in 2011 and played in all 12 games and started five in 2012. He played in eight games this year but missed four with a hand injury. He finished the year with 25 catches for 417 yards and five TDs. He is an older player at 24 and is married, with a child.

He looks bigger than his listed 6’4 – 252 and is an average athlete for the position with average play speed. I would estimate he runs no faster than 4.8. He usually lines up as a conventional “Y” tight end but will flex out at times. He is up on his toes in his stance. He has adequate initial quickness, but comes out of his stance a bit tall. He is not explosive off the line of scrimmage. He is an average route runner with average route quickness. He doesn't get much separation with his cuts, has good hands, and can adjust to the ball. He will compete for the ball in traffic and shows strength as a runner after the catch. While he is not fast or elusive, he is strong and can be tough to bring down. He is very willing as a blocker but can get tall and is inconsistent with getting movement. He does not show much “pop” on contact and is not explosive through his hips. He will drive his feet but you don’t see a lot of power.

Murphy has to be an inline tight end at the next level. He'll need to get strong and play with more bend to become an effective blocker at the next level. This is a competitive kid, but he has limitations. I see him as a late round type pick and a backup when he reaches the NFL.

09 Xavier Grimble TE, USC 6'5" 255 C 6.4 Full Scouting Report

Scouting Report:
"Xavier Grimble - Tight End - USC

Size - 6040v - 257v - 4.75e

Strong Points - Size, hands, has long arms and big hands, catches the ball well, good runner after the catch

Weak Points - Plays like a one speed guy, no burst, adequate routes, doesn't show strength or power in his blocking

2013 Stats - 25 catches - 271 yards - two TDs

Summation - Grimble is a fourth-year junior and has shared starts in each of his three years playing. He red-shirted as a true freshman for developmental reasons.

He has excellent tight end size, measuring in at the Combine at 6040- 257 with long arms and big hands (10.25). Looking at tape, I would say Grimble is a good, but not great athlete. He has a little tightness to his movement and is a one speed runner. You don't see a burst while underway. His change of direction is adequate.

As a receiver, he shows a good release. He has the strength to fight off a jam. He is not a fluid route runner, but he can break down to make a cut and is adequate at getting separation. He does a good job finding the open area in zone defenses. He has good hands with the ability to adjust to a poorly thrown ball. With his long arms, he shows a good receiving radius. He is used mainly as a short receiver and is fairly effective in that role.

Grimble is not a strong blocker. He is willing, but he lacks the explosive power to get movement on a consistent basis. He is more of a position blocker. He can get to the second level and adjust on the move but, again, just gets position. In pass protection, he can mirror but has just average anchor.

I do not see Grimble as a starter at the next level. He has enough speed to be a move tight end, but I have doubts that he can line up at Y and be effective. More of a mid-round type of player.

Grade - B 6.4 "

10 Blake Annen TE, Cincinnati 6'5" 250 C 6.4 Stats
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