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Quotebook: Top Tight End Prospects
Here are a handful of quotes from some of the top tight end prospects here at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Jace Amaro – Texas Tech
On if he considers himself more a wide receiver than a tight end….
“I think I’m a mixture of both. I think that’s why I’m so unique. It’s kind of a revolution to the game now with what tight ends can bring across the board. I like to see myself as both a tight end and as a receiver.”
On the strengths of his game ….
“I think just my overall pass catching ability, my route running and I think people underestimate that. The scheme we ran we had two true freshman quarterbacks throwing me that ball. If that’s not ignored, I caught 106 balls and people are going to say it’s the scheme of the offense, but at the same time, you have to be able to get open and you have to be able to run good routes and you have to do different things to disguise your route running and I feel like that’s the best thing I do as a receiver and as a tight end.”
On if he feels he is the top tight end available…
“Yeah, I think if you think otherwise, you’re not really in it for the right reasons. I’m coming in here knowing that I’m the best guy out here and I’m the best available and if it’s something that I have to prove on Saturday. I think it’s going to be a great challenge for me. I’ve made friends with all these guys. They’re great guys and they’re great athletes. So think it’s going to be a lot of fun. My coaches did a great job at Texas Tech breaking down Rob Gronkowski’s film, Jimmy Graham, players like that. Kingsbury played with the Patriots so he knows their system, he knows what they’re doing. He helped me become a much-more polished receiver and a better receiving tight end too.”
Eric Ebron – North Carolina
On what he’d tell teams about him…
“I'm not going to sell myself but I'm very fast, I'm very different. I play the tight end role like no one else. Things I need to work on is everything. I'm about to step into a professional career, professional level of grown men that do this for a living so I feel like I need to work on everything. Everything will help me be, hopefully eventually an elite tight end in the NFL."
On who he compares himself to…
"Vernon Davis because (of the) similarities. His speed, he's powerful, he's very strong at the line of scrimmage. Love everything about him."
On teams asking about his blocking skills…
“They ask a lot. Every team wants a complete tight end, an all-purpose tight end not one that can just run down the seam and catch passes. They want a guy that can block too. I tell them that I've been working hard on it, which I have, and that I'm not bad at it, which everyone thinks but we'll see."
C.J. Fiedorowicz - Iowa
On who he emulates….
“A lot of tight ends in the NFL are either blocking tight ends or receiving tight ends. I like watching Rob Gronkowski, someone I look up to. He can dominate both the line of scrimmage and down the field. That's who I kind of want to be like.”
On evolution of TE position…
“I think it's evolved more as a receiving guy. You have a Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis. He does a little bit of both but those are guys who are pretty good receivers. Like I said earlier, you get a guy who can do both, that's a big asset to a team.”
On establishing himself as a red zone threat…
“I feel like last year I established that a little bit. At Iowa we ran the ball about 70 percent of the time, but when we were down in the red zone our offensive coordinator was trying to look toward me. I think I did a fair share of catching the ball in the end zone.”
Xavier Grimble – USC
On what he does best…
“Athletically, create some good matchups between me and linebackers and safeties. I block pretty well, run good routes, good hands. I just think I’m very athletic for my size.”
On his decision to leave a year early…
“It was more so just I think it was a good decision for me, myself and my family. Having been at Southern California for four years, started for three, coming out pretty healthy and in good condition, I just felt like it was a good time, took my chances.”
On where he thinks he’ll go…
“I’m not sure. I’m just really happy to be here, honestly. I think I’ve got around third or fourth round projection, possibly lower. I’m just excited about wherever I go, pretty much.”
Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Washington
On what separates him from the other tight ends…
"I think there are a lot of talented guys in this draft class at every position, and specifically at the tight end position you've got a lot of great players. But what I think I do is if you watched me play I split out and played receiver. I've done fullback. I've played in-line. I think I have showed I'm very capable of being a playmaker down the seam and run regular routes as a receiver and I've shown the capability of being a blocker and I'm an every down guy who can get out there immediately on the field.”
On how his game translates to the NFL…
“My game translates to the NFL because I'm very versatile whatever you need me to do I can do, so you say it's very pass-happy now, I've played receiver and I've run routes, I've run in the slot. I've played almost every single position receiving the ball at the University of Washington and people still run the ball and I still take pride in run blocking and that's something I can do very well.”
On the value of the TE position currently…
“I think it's always been a valuable position, I think maybe people who don't watch the game as much might think it has a higher value now. The tight end has always been a guy that's going to block and be that extra tackle, offensive linemen, but a guy who can catch the ball in the red zone, in the open field. Now you see more with how the NFL has changed that guys are split out, they are in the slot, so the value has changed because the tight end is being asked to do more.”