clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft: Which Of These Anonymous Tight Ends Could Help The Rams Most?

New, comments

Using only analysis from the 2016 PFF Draft Guide - with no names - vote for the Tight End you think could most help the Los Angeles Rams in 2016.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

As we near the onset of the 2016 NFL Draft, we here at Turf Show Times are continuing to find potential fits for Los Angeles Rams. And we need your help.

Using analysis from the 2016 draft guides of Pro Football Focus and CBS Sports' draft analyst Dane Brugler - which can be purchased here and here - we’re relying on your input to help identify the player[s] that best suit the Rams’ needs. 

Many mock drafts you’ll read these days have the Rams selecting players like Laquon Treadwell or Paxton Lynch with the 15th overall pick. But, when names are taken out of the equation, and you’re left with only analysis to find the best fit for the team, those players aren’t necessarily the ones deemed the right pick.

In case you missed it, we’ve already covered a few positions. We kicked the series off with wide receivers...and of the five receivers listed, Laquon Treadwell got the least amount of votes. Next, we took a look at QB’s.  Jared Goff got the most votes. But it may surprise you to know that Cody Kessler is second in the poll, and not that far behind.  Yesterday we covered cornerbacks.  It was, by far, the closest of the polls, and three players [William Jackson, Xavien Howard, and Vernon Hargreaves] currently share the lead with 21% of the votes.  The draft’s top corner, in the eyes of most, Mackensie Alexander received the fewest votes.

And today, we’ll take a look at the tight end group; a position the Rams are very much in need of upgrading. For this exercise, we’ll utilize the PFF Draft Guide. I’ll anonymously list their Top 5 TE’s, providing strengths and weaknesses for each. All you have to do is vote for the one that sounds like the best fit for the Rams. Like the QB class, I’ll be adding a sixth/bonus option outside of their Top 5...just because.

After we receive a sufficient amount of votes, I’ll reveal the prospects in the comment’s section below. Again, please be kind enough not to mention the names of the players, should you already know them from having purchased the Draft Guide.

*******

Player 1


What He Does Best:

*  Freakish athlete. Runs better than any tight end in the class. Few linebackers can stay with him up the seam

*  Wide-receiver-type ability after the catch. Broke 10 tackles on only 38 catches in 2015

*  Already has a feel for where and when to sit down in zones. Made a living on spot-routes over the middle

Biggest Concern[s]:

* Limited experience at the position

*  Frame to grow into the position, but looks undersized at the moment

*  Not a polished blocker by any means, although he is willing and graded out positively in that regard the last two seasons. Weight and strength concerns don’t help in this area

Player 2


What He Does Best:

*  His ability to stop and start is off the charts. Very sudden in his routes. Will be deadly at the next level on double moves against linebackers

*  Smooth, smooth athlete for a big man. Moves like someone 20 pounds lighter. Pretty much an oversized wide receiver at this point. Eight broken tackles last season

*  Speed to win up the seam on go routes, corners and posts.

Biggest Concern[s]:

*  Close to zero experience playing in a traditional tight end role or split wide. 32 snaps in-line in 2015, 14 split wide, and 747 from the slot. Blocking will have to be taught, but with his frame and inexperience it will be a struggle

*  Inconsistent hands. Seven drops on 87 catchable passes the last two seasons. Usually an issue when he’s forced to adjust to a pass

*  Doesn’t create matchup issues split with his size at the moment. Not tall enough to be a red-zone guy and not big enough to outmuscle safeties

Player 3


What He Does Best:

*  Rare natural coordination for a man his size. Born to play tight end. Attacking the ball looks like second nature

*  No issues whatsoever adjusting to balls outside of his frame and only had one drop in 2015. Very strong hands. Made some nice catches in traffic

*  Was productive despite an awful quarterback situation. Was forced to adjust to a lot of throws

Biggest Concern[s]:

*  Awful run blocker at the moment. No power whatsoever at the point of attack. Let's defenders into his body far too much

*  Athleticism is nothing special. Won’t outrun most linebackers and doesn’t seem to leave the ground when asked to high point balls

*  Potential may be maxed out already

Player 4


What He Does Best:

*  Graceful runner; can put pressure on safeties with his speed up the seam and runs away from linebackers on drags

*  Some of the best hands in the class—only two drops on 90 catchable passes the previous two seasons

*  Ultra-consistent player—zero games with a receiving grade below -1.0 the previous two seasons

Biggest Concern[s]:

*  Limited upside as a run-blocker. Does much better on the move than head- up with defensive ends

*  Not sure he has "jump ball" type athleticism at the position; rarely see him boxing out defenders

*  Played in a college offense that featured the tight end heavily and helped initiate his production relative to others

Player 5


What He Does Best:

*  Impressive effort and hands as a run-blocker. One of only tight ends at the top of this class you’d feel comfortable blocking defensive ends routinely. Hits his target zone, latches on, and doesn’t let go (although that might lead to some holds)

*  Above-average straight-line speed. Can create space up the seam against linebackers on go’s and posts

*  Body control is impressive. Has a large catch radius and seems more sure handed when forced to adjust to a ball than ones thrown perfectly to his chest

Biggest Concern[s]:

*  Frustrating drops. Five on 33 catchable passes in 2015. Too often catches with his body instead of plucking it out of the air with his hands. Could have issues in traffic at the next level

*  Very limited receiving production (albeit in a poor passing o ense). +1.0 receiving grade and 749 yards over past two seasons

*  Slight build compared to most successful blocking ght ends in the NFL. Could benefit from even more mass on his frame

Bonus Player


What He Does Best:

*  Rare athlete. Blessed with a combination of size and speed.

*  Good burst off the line of scrimmage to challenge the seam and can throttle down, sink his hips and create separation against even athletic defenders.

*  Flashes natural hands for the reception. Can snatch passes outside of his frame due to his long arms and big hands.

Biggest Concern[s]:

*  Often lined up wide in college, he may struggle to acclimate to a more pro-style offense

*  Relies on his athleticism rather than technique to get off the line of scrimmage

*  Marginal effort and effectiveness as a blocker, especially in close quarters.

*******

Settle in armchair GM’s, and make your selection for tight end for the Los Angeles Rams.