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Draft preview: Tight ends

Posted Mar 18, 2013

MAYOCK'S TOP TEs

Tyler Eifert
6-6, 250 pounds, Notre Dame

The draft's top tight end prospect won the John Mackey award as the nation's top tight end in 2012 – a year in which he had 50 receptions for 685 yards and four scores… Eifert, who has consistently shown the ability to win battles for the ball in the air, made 33 starts in three seasons and finished with 11 career touchdowns… Eifert is expected to be the first tight end off the board in round one.

Zach Ertz
6-5, 249 pounds, Stanford

Ertz was dominant as the Cardinal's starting tight end in 2012… He had 66 receptions for 837 yards and six touchdowns… Ertz led the nation in receiving yards by a tight end… Ertz was a consensus All-American and is projected to be taken somewhere in the first two rounds.

Gavin Escobar
6-6, 254 pounds, San Diego State

Escobar led the Aztecs in every receiving category in 2012, posting 42 catches, 543 yards and six touchdowns… His 2011 season was even more impressive, posting 51 catches for 780 yards and seven touchdowns… Escobar is slated to be a mid-round selection. 

Travis Kelce
6-5, 255 pounds, Cincinnati

Kelce exploded onto the scene in 2012 after performing in a reserve role earlier in his college career… He recorded 45 receptions for 722 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior… Kelce was named to the 2012 All-Big East first team and is projected to come off the board in the middle rounds. 

Vance McDonald
6-4, 267 pounds, Rice

McDonald – who some say could go as early as round two – was a major contributor for the Owls for three seasons… His highest touchdown total (8) came in his sophomore year, and his 43 catches and 532 yards as a junior were career highs… McDonald was a consensus All-Conference USA selection as a senior, when he had 36 catches for 458 yards and two scores.


COMBINE STANDOUTS

Chris Gragg
6-3, 244 pounds, Arkansas

Gragg is expected to be a late-round selection, but his combine effort put him on top of several drill stations. Gragg led all tight ends with a 4.5 40-yard dash and a 37.5-inch vertical jump, and he placed second in the broad jump (10-5).

Michael Williams
6-6, 269 pounds, Alabama

Williams – a member of three Crimson Tide national championship teams – was the top tight end with a 10-6 broad jump and tied Gragg with a 37.5-inch vertical jump. He finished second to Gragg in the 40-yard dash with a 4.52. 

Vance McDonald
6-4, 267 pounds, Rice

MacDonald ran away with the top bench press mark among tight ends. His 31 reps were seven more than second place finisher Ertz, who had 24.