Lance Zierlein's TE Draft Grades

By Lance Zierlein
April 23, 2013

With the NFL Draft just around the corner, Lance Zierlein drops his final Tight End draft rankings.

This is an exciting group of TEs.  The NFL game is increasingingly becoming a league of matchups and one of the best ways for offenses to create matchup problems is to find TEs who are strong pass-catchers and who can be moved around the field.  The top six TEs in this draft have been used in the slot or out of the backfield or even split out and they all have the talent to come in and start by year two.

LZ Favorites - Vance McDonald and Nick Kasa: To me, there is nothing more dangerous than a bigger TE who can run.  Those types of combination TEs are tougher on defenses because they can be effective in the running game or passing game on any given snap.  McDonald has and outstanding combination of size and speed and is just scratching the surface.  Kasa is a tough blocker who is a former DE and who has the ability to get down the field.  Kasa has issues with catching cleanly, but he's still learning the position.

Tight End Rankings

Tight End School Round
Tyler Eifert Notre Dame 1st/2nd
Travis Kelce Cincinnati 2nd
Zach Ertz Stanford 2nd/3rd
Gavin Escobar San Diego St. 2nd/3rd
Vance McDonald Rice 3rd
Jordan Reed Florida 3rd
Nick Kasa Colorado 4th
Chris Gragg Arkansas 5th
Jake Stoneburner Ohio St. 5th
Dion Sims Michigan St. 5th
Matt Furstenburg Maryland 5th
Levine Tollolo Standford 5th/6th
Ryan Otten San Jose St. 6th/7th
Mychal Rivera Tennessee 7th/FA
Joseph Fauria UCLA 7th/FA
Luke Wilson Rice 7th/FA
Ryan Griffin UConn 7th/FA
Jack Doyle W. Kentucky 7th/FA
DC Jefferson Rutgers 7th/FA
Justice Cunningham South Carolina 7th/FA