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2013 DRAFT PREVIEW: TEs

Overview:  After a streak of 11 straight years in which at least one TE was drafted in the opening round, the position was passed over in the opening round of both of the past two drafts. And there are no guarantees  that anyone at the position will be selected in the opening round of the upcoming draft. Notre Dame junior Tyler Eifert, a solid two-way guy, is generally considered to be the top-rated prospect at the position, but he lacks the pure foot speed to be rated as a lock to be a first round selection. However, while it could be touch and go whether any TE is selected in the opening round, there are some quality prospects at the position with at least second-day potential. That group includes Jake Stoneburner of Ohio State and Philip Lutzenkirchen, a pair of quality receivers who will at least put a hat on people; UCLA's Joseph Fauria and possibly Stanford junior Zach Ertz, both of whom are solid all-around TEs who are physical blockers as well as a decent underneath receivers; and Alabama's Michael Williams who is a superb drive blocker and decent receiver. Maybe the most intriguing prospect at the position, though, is Iowa junior C.J. Fiedorowisc, who hasn't played much in his first two years, but has the tools to be the next great player at the position. for good measure, there are also a number of solid veteran collegiate TEs with the ability to find a fit at the next level as a complimentary player.

In fact, what sets this year's TE class apart from those of the past 2-3 years is that each of the top half dozen or so prospects have pretty good size and don't really fit into the new breed of bulked up collegiate TEs who are really more bulked up WRs. At the same time, though, there isn't necessarily a lot of pure foot speed in
this year's TE class.

One player who fits the latter mode that bears watching in the bulked up WR categotry is San Diego State junior Gavin Escobar who emerged last fall as one of the nation's top receving threats at the position when he caught 51 passes for almost 800 yards and 7 scores. Meanwhile, one other junior TEs who could impact the upcoming draft include 6-5, 280-pound Dion Sims of Michigan State, Stanford's Levine Toilolo, and Florida's Jordan Reed. There are also some decent-sized young TEs around the country including 6-5, 260-pound Washington sophomore Austin Seferin-Jenkins and 6-6, 260-pound redshirt freshmen Jay Rome of Georgia and Texas' M.J. McFarland.

Clemson's Dwayne Allen and Orson Charles of Georgia are clearly the class of the junior TE class this year and the only two likely to enter the upcoming draft, but scouts will be keeping an eye a number of other juniors at the position for future reference including Auburn's Philip Lutzenkirchen, Jake Stoneburner of Ohio State, and Michael Williams of Alabama, maybe the best pure blocking TE in the country. There are also a lot of very good young players at the posiyion across the country including sophomores such as Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame, Ted Bolser of Indiana and Arthur Lynch of Georgia, while redshirt freshmen Xavier Grimble  of USC and Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz already has pro scouts excited.  Then there is Michigan State sophomore Dion Sims, who was one of the top freshmen TEs in the country in 2009, but was suspended all of last season after being convicted for his role in a scheme to steal computer equipment from local high schools. Over the past several years, a number of decent second-tier TE prospects have come out of lower-level programs and this year should be no exception with Greg Hardy of Montana, Furman's Colin Anderson, David Cannon of Central Missouri, Joe Don Duncan of Dixie State, and New Haven's Kameel Laskey.

Top 15 TE Prospects
#
Player
H/W
School
CL
1
Tyler Eifert 6-5, 255 Notre Dame JR
2
Jake Stoneburner 6-5, 245 Ohio State SR
3
Joseph Fauria 6-6, 260 UCLA SR
4
C. J. Fiedorowisc 6-6, 265 Iowa JR
5
Philip Lutzenkirchen 6-5, 255 Auburn SR
6
Zach Ertz 6-5, 250 Stanford JR
7
Michael Williams 6-5, 270
Alabama SR
8
Ryan Griffin 6-5, 250 UConn SR
9
Gain Escobar 6-5, 245 San Diego State JR
10
Kyler Reed 6-2, 230 Nebraska SR
11
Chris Gragg 6-3, 240
Arkansas
SR
12
Ryan Otten
6-5, 245
San Jose State
SR
13
Ben Cotton
6-5, 265
Nebraska
SR
14
Cotter Phillips
6-5, 245
Virginia
SR
15
D.C. Jefferson
6-5, 260
Rutgers SR

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