Tight end rankings for the 2013 NFL Draft

2013 NFL Draft Rankings: Tight Ends

3/18/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

November 17, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans tight end Dion Sims (80) against the Northwestern Wildcats during the 2nd half at Spartan Stadium. Northwestern won 23-20.   Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports6. Dion Sims (Michigan State): Sims is a load of a tight end at 6'5'', 262 (played the 2012 season about about 280), and has shown a lot of promise as a blocker. He also provides a nice target for quarterbacks, and almost never drops a well thrown pass. His size, however, sometimes limits him from making tough adjustments to catch an off-target pass. He has lost about 20 pounds since we last saw him play, so he may find it easier to make adjustments at his new weight. He has good speed for his size, running a 4.75 forty at the combine (better than Ertz and Escobar). Not particularly explosive after the catch, but is tough to bring down once he catches the ball - something you could easily guess by looking at him.

7. Vance McDonald (Rice): This guy had a great showing at the combine, posting the sixth fastest forty time (4.69) and most bench reps among tight ends. He also finished top-five in broad jump, three-cone drill, and sixty-yard shuttle. He's really just as much of a slot receiver as he is a tight end. As his combine performance suggests, McDonald moves very well for his size (6'4'', 267). He's most effective on short routes when he can take an accurate pass and make a move after the catch. Struggles adjusting to make difficult catches, but has shown strong hands in traffic. Hasn't shown much blocking as an in-line tight end.

8. Levine Toilolo (Stanford): Toilolo was once the top tight end at Stanford, ahead of Zach Ertz and Coby Fleener (a 2012 second-round pick). Ertz and Fleener emerged when Toilolo went down with a season ending knee injury in 2010, but he still remained part of the offense when he returned to the field. He's ranked this high based very much on potential. His 6'8'', 260 pound frame could create miserable mismatches in the secondary, and he has shown flashes of great high-point catching ability, suggesting he could become a lethal red zone option. His arm length is more similar to a tackle than a tight end, which gives him the potential to become a very strong blocker. He has been way too inconsistent over the past two seasons at Stanford, but has shown flashes of everything you want to see out of a tight end.
Sep 1, 2012; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks tight end Chris Gragg (80) runs after a catch in the game against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Jacksonville State 49-24. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
9. Chris Gragg (Arkansas): Injury prone and undersized, Gragg is a boom-or-bust prospect. He impressed at the combine with a 4.50 forty (best among tight ends), while also showing his explosiveness by posting the best numbers in both vertical and broad jump. He has strong hands and can adjust to the ball in the air like a wide receiver. His size (6'3'', 244) has scouts questioning his potential as an in-line blocker. He could make a difference in the pass-happy NFL, assuming he stays healthy. Gaining some weight/strength to improve his blocking could go a long way.

10. Michael Williams (Alabama): Alabama's dominant offensive line wasn't just a result of tackles, guards, and a center - tight end Michael Williams was a bulldozer on the outside. He's a giant at 6'6'', 278, and is almost like having another tackle out on the field, though he also possesses adequate receiving ability. He confirmed his inability to be a downfield threat at Alabama's pro day by running a 5.19 forty, but field stretching simply isn't part of his game. Williams is a mauling blocker who provides a big target with strong hands. He could be a nice asset for a run-first team as a No. 2 tight end who comes in for run packages and provides a threat in the red zone.

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