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Draft preview: Tight ends

Posted Apr 17, 2014

MIKE MAYOCK'S TOP FIVE

Eric Ebron
6-4, 250, North Carolina

Widely regarded as the best tight end in the draft and expected to be a top-15 pick. ... Set a single-season Atlantic Coast Conference record for receiving yards by a tight end with 973 in 2013. ... Finished three-year career with 112 receptions for 1,805 yards and eight touchdowns. ... Brings wide receiver skills and speed (4.6 40-yard dash) to the tight end position, and many believe he'll be a matchup nightmare for defenses.

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Austin Seferian-Jenkins
6-5, 262, Washington

Won the John Mackey award given to the nation's top tight end in 2013 and is expected to be an early-round selection. ... Set school records for catches (146), receiving yards (1,840) and touchdowns (21) by a tight end. ... Three-year starter emerged as a lethal red zone target with his size. ... Like several current NFL tight ends, played basketball in college.

Jace Amaro
6-5, 265, Texas Tech

Another big tight end with playmaking ability who should be selected in the early rounds. ... Produced a monster junior season in 2013, recording 106 catches for 1,352 yards (an FBS single season record for tight ends) and seven touchdowns. ... Functioned essentially as a wide receiver in a tight end's body throughout his college career.  

Troy Niklas
6-6, 270, Notre Dame

Switched to tight end from linebacker prior to his sophomore season and is slated to be a second- or third-round pick. ... Still very raw at the position with only two years of experience but has intriguing combination of power and athleticism for such a big target. ... Posted 32 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns as a junior in 2013.

C.J. Fiedorowicz
6-5, 265, Iowa

Lacks the production and playmaking ability of the other top prospects but should be a middle-round selection. ... Could be the best blocker of the tight ends listed. ... Possesses ideal size and is a dependable pass-catcher. ... Finished career with 91 receptions for 899 yards and 10 touchdowns.

LOCAL WORTH A LOOK

Asa Watson
6-3, 231, North Carolina State

Rock Hill, S.C.-native may be a Day Three selection. ... Finished career with 29 catches for 351 yards and one touchdown. ... Could find a role on special teams with his athleticism and size. ... Younger brother of New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson.

COMBINE STANDOUT

A.C. Leonard
6-2, 252, Tennessee State

Finished first among tight ends with a 4.5 40-yard dash and a 10'8” broad jump. ... Started college career at Florida before being dismissed from program. ... Expected to be a Day Three pick.