2017 NFL Draft- Tight Ends

1. O.J. Howard (Alabama)– The star of the 2016 National Title game is finally being discussed. He’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Jimmy Graham. He’s 6’6, 251 pounds and stands more as a power forward than a tight end. He shows tremendous quickness and nice balance in gaining a smooth release off the line of scrimmage. He accelerates very smoothly and quickly pulls away from defenders. He displays reliable hands and shows the agility, acceleration, and vision to continue the damage at the second level after the catch. He shows great body control when going up for the ball and he made immense improvements in the blocking aspect the game in 2016.

2. David Njoku (The U)– Let’s look at the tale of the tape. David Njoku is a 6’4, 246-pound guy with the speed of a wide receiver. He’s a loose athlete with a rare ease of movement. He has an explosive release and always seems to accelerate to top speed in his route running. He’s very sure-handed and catches the football in stride with very nimble feet and has a dynamic skillset after the catch (remember, you can catch the football all you want, what you do with it once it’s in your hands says more). He’s a big-play threat with 17 percent of his catches going for 30 yards or more.

3. Evan Engram (Ole Miss)– He is listed as a tight end on the roster, Evan Engram is better described as a versatile offensive weapon, lining up out wide, in-line and in the backfield at Ole Miss. He looks more like a physical wideout than traditional tight end with his size and growth potential, but his athleticism allows him to create mismatches vs. linebackers and safeties. Any one on one he sees with someone who doesn’t primarily cover, he’s targeted and he’s winning that battle each time. If he’s inserted in the right system, he can have an impact.

4. Jordan Leggett (Clemson)– He’s a very athletic tight end who is a playmaking threat because of the size, speed and quickness and he was one of the best red zone threats in all of college football. He was just another target for Deshaun Watson. The versatility he showed really stood out to me when I watched him play. He can line up as a receiver wide and he’s best when he’s in space with a linebacker defending him. The best NFL comparison for him is Jordan Reed. Both guys have the same athletic traits.

5. Gerald Everett (South Alabama)– His acceleration is effortless off the line and his strides are galloping to escape away from the defenders. He plays the position with a very aggressive mentality. A crowd of defenders doesn’t scare him one bit. He has the quick feet to sidestep a defender after the catch and move up the field to gain extra yards.