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NFL Combine: Scouting the Tight Ends

Posted Feb 22, 2014

An in-depth analysis of the tight ends who worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine.


Ricky Henne’s Take: I had high hopes watching this crop of tight ends, but I have to admit I came away a tad disappointed for a number of reasons.  Mainly it had to do with the number of players I was looking forward to observing skipping the majority of the workouts.  I was excited to watch Eric Ebron with my own two eyes, but it appeared he injured himself after running the 40-yard dash and did not take part for the rest of the day.  The injury is apparently very minor, so that is a piece of good news.  This is a kid who is a natural pass catcher and a dynamic weapon, so the rest of the day felt like it was missing something.  Another prospect I was looking forward to seeing was Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but at the very last moment he was not able to perform as he recovers from a minor foot injury.  He is a player who has major upside but is coming off a disappointing season, so I thought he had a lot to gain.  I’m definitely going to pay close attention to his pro day now.  A big name tight end I was eager to see was Jace Amaro, and he performed as expected.  I wouldn’t say he blew anyone away, especially as he dropped a number of balls, but he looked the part and I think he will be a force in the NFL immediately in his rookie season.  Colt Lyerla is an extremely talented player who has some baggage with character concerns and the fact that he quit Oregon due to personal reasons.  Everyone knows his physical gifts, and they were on display as he caught the ball well and ran a 4.61 40-yard dash, but I imagine the interview process will be critical to his evaluation. As for a sleeper who caught my eye, I’d have to go with the obvious choice in Tennessee State's A.C. Leonard.  He turned in the fastest 40 time with a 4.50 and had the longest broad jump at 28.0 inches. Leonard appears to have the necessary athleticism to make waves at the next level.

Jordan Beane’s Take: Neither Eric Ebron or Jace Amaro did anything to hurt their draft stock, continuing to earn those first round grades that they’ve been receiving.  Although Ebron ended up not taking part in the pass catching drills, he showed his athletic ability by performing well in the rest of the drills.  He ranked second in the 40-yard dash (4.60) and third in the broad jump (120.0 inches). Amaro had some noticeable bad drops during the pass catching portion, but overall he was still impressive.  Like Ricky, I was looking forward to watching Austin Seferian-Jenkins but unfortunately he didn’t take the field.  Some have Seferian-Jenkins among their top two tight ends, mostly in front of Amaro, and I was curious to see him live and in person.  One small school tight end I took notice of was Dixie State’s Joe Don Duncan. At 6’3’ he may not have the height of some of the other tight ends in the draft, but he dominated the bench press.  He led his position with 35 reps, which bested the next closest number by seven.  That raised a few eyebrows of teams that don’t scout the Great Northwest Athletic Conference quite that closely. Another tight end from a small school that impressed many in attendance was Tennessee State’s A. C. Leonard, who finished with a 4.50 40-yard dash.


TOP PHOTOS OF THE TIGHT END PROSPECTS WORKING OUT

HEAR DIRECTLY FROM SOME OF THE TOP TIGHT END PROSPECTS


TOP FIVE PERFORMANCES

40-Yard Dash

1. A.C. Leonard, Tennessee St. – 4.50
2. Eric Ebron, North Carolina – 4.60
3. Colt Lyerla, Oregon – 4.61
4. Trey Burton, Florida – 4.62
5. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech – 4.74

Bench Press

1. Joe Don Duncan, Dixie St. – 35
T-2. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech – 28
T-2. Arthur Lynch, Georgia – 28
4. Troy Niklas, Notre Dame – 27
5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa – 25

Broad Jump

T-1. A.C. Leonard, Tennessee St. – 128.0 inches
T-1. Colt Lyerla, Oregon – 128.0 inches
T-3. Eric Ebron, North Carolina – 120.0 inches
T-3.Crocket Gillmore, Colorado St. – 120.0 inches
5. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech – 118.0 inches

3-Cone Drill

1. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa – 7.10
T-2.  Trey Burton, Florida – 7.14
T-2. Jordan Najvar, Baylor – 7.14
4. Jake Murphy, Utah – 7.18
5. Reggie Jordan, Missouri Western – 7.22

 

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