NFL Draft Report: Tight End Rankings

Seferian-Jenkins (Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY)

Atop a weak class of tight ends is the best all-around player at the position, Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

The Green Bay Packers are as tight end-needy as any team entering this year's draft.

With Jermichael Finley's uncertain health and unlikely future in Green Bay, the Packers can't possibly feel comfortable with Andrew Quarless as the leader of their tight end pack.

Unfortunately for Green Bay, tight end is the one shallow spot in an exceedingly deep draft. In the tight end rankings put together by Dave-Te' Thomas, who has been scouting for the NFL for more than 40 years and is part of the committee that selects the winner of the John Mackey Award that goes to the nation's top tight end, only four or five tight ends will go in the first two days of the draft.

Leading the tight end pack is Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who Thomas has ranked ahead of North Carolina's Eric Ebron.

"When it comes to taking on double- and triple-team coverages, he is more than up for the challenge, almost daring opponents to ‘bring it on' (see the way he destroyed California's strong safety Sean Cattouse in 2011)," Thomas writes in one of 15 categories of his 4,000-word scouting report provided to Packer Report. "For a player relied upon for his big plays as a pass catcher, he does not hesitate in doing the ‘grunt work' by looking for second-level defenders to block for the ground game, sort of making the downfield block just as important as a touchdown catch, in his mind. He shows good nastiness after the catch, but his blocking skills are becoming almost as sensational as his receiving skills, especially when impacting the action with his edge- and backside blocks for the running game."

Among the sleepers are Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz, Utah's Jake Murphy, Cincinnati's Blake Annen and Dixie State's Joe Don Duncan. If he can stay healthy, Duncan has a chance to emerge as one of the top tight ends in this class.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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