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2014 NFL Draft Rankings and Scouting Reports: Tight Ends

February 11th, 2014 at 12:00 PM
By axr29

The NFL season is finally (and sadly) complete, so now it's officially time to discuss the offseason. Over the next few weeks, Giants 101 will provide draft rankings and scouting reports on all positions — not just the ones the New York Giants are looking to draft. The rankings are a combination of production, skill set, and potential at the NFL level. The third position we will take a look at is wide tight end. It is highly unlikely the New York Giants bring back Brandon Myers, and they could look to add a tight end early on in the draft.

Eric Ebron, JR, North Carolina

  • Good height, a little lean but has the frame to bulk up; above average speed for the position.
  • Gets separation like a wide receiver; more athletic than the typical tight end.
  • Impressive route runner for a tight end; solid at using inside leverage on seam routes.
  • Improving his catching skills; lets ball get too close to his frame at times.
  • Knack for making acrobatic catches; improved from 2012 at catching ball away from frame.
  • Elevates well; opens up and adjusts to throws; fluid in the passing game.
  • Doesn’t shy away from working over the middle; has athleticism to make the first defender miss.
  • Inconsistent blocker; at times shows a good understanding for angles and can put defender on roller skates.
  • Other times he whiffs on blocks; probably most effective in a ZBS.
  • Can be an elite dual threat tight end in the NFL.

Jace Amaro, JR, Texas A&M

  • Excellent height and weight; average speed for the position.
  • Load to tackle; near impossible for cornerbacks to bring down solo.
  • Doesn’t have the elite speed to blow past defenders at the NFL level.
  • Very good open field blocker on defensive backs; could improve on his inline blocking.
  • Soft hands; good concentration; catches ball away from frame; good body control and adjustment.
  • Doesn’t shy away from working the middle of the field and taking a big hit.
  • Quick out of his breaks for a player of his size; definitely not stiff.
  • Understanding of offense could use improvement; seems to not know when he is the hot read at times; needs to learn when to come back to the QB on broken plays.
  • Lacerated spleen/internal bleeding in 2012; Credit card fraud incident his freshman year – has he matured?
  • Tracks ball well over his shoulder.
  • Will never be the elite athlete tight end seen in the NFL today, but can be very productive at the next level.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, JR, Washington

  • Excellent height and weight; average speed for the position.
  • Excellent and separation against zone coverage but will struggle to separate versus man.
  • Fluidity and basketball skillset helps him win in jump ball situations.
  • Soft hands; good body control when adjusting to throws.
  • Matchup nightmare in the red zone.
  • Average vertical ability; average elusiveness after the catch.
  • Size makes ups for lack of speed in the open field; load to bring down in the open field.
  • Size allows him to be an okay blocker at this point; needs to learn how to use angles properly.
  • Needs to be stronger when going over the middle and making plays in traffic.
  • Effort is questionable on some routes.

Troy Niklas, JR, Notre Dame

  • Outstanding height and weight; appears quicker than his listed 4.85 speed on tape.
  • Still a little raw as a pass catcher; lets ball get into his body often.
  • Ran strictly 7,8,9 routes in college; needs to show ability to run the intermediate routes.
  • Struggles in contested catch situations, because he lets the ball come to him instead of plucking it at the high point; fixable with coaching.
  • Needs to work on ball security and tucking closer to body.
  • Tremendous athlete for his size; can line up inline or split out.
  • Excellent inline and downfield field block; gets low in his inline blocks and takes proper angles when blocking downfield.
  • Rarely misses block assignments.
  • Tremendously high ceiling due to height and athleticism.
  • Could be dominant at the NFL level if his catching technique is corrected.

C.J. Fiedorowicz, SR, Iowa

  • Very good height and weight; below average speed for the position.
  • No second gear, poor acceleration; looks like a plodder on tape.
  • Makes up for lack of speed with well executed fakes to gain separation.
  • Shows good soft hands; doesn’t let the ball get into his frame; good in 50-50 jump ball situations.
  • Drops easy catches at times – could be a concentration issue.
  • Runs solid routes; doesn’t have the speed or athleticism to be in explosive and quick in his route running.
  • Shows good technique and excellent effort when blocking; can drive defenders back.
  • Could struggle with faster, athletic defenders at the NFL level due to his lack of athleticism.
  • Won’t be a big play threat but will move the chains.

Photo credit: Thomson20192 / Foter / CC BY


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Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Eric Ebron, Football, Jace Amaro, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Troy Niklas

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15 Responses to “2014 NFL Draft Rankings and Scouting Reports: Tight Ends”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    Depending on the defenders (CB/DE/DT) or offensive linemen still on the board the choice is EBRON. Nicks can keep right on walking. This kid can turn your offense into a nightmare of ANY defense. Slot wide or tight the kid can deal.

    The issue with the Giants is due to the lack of ofensive linemen, there may be noone to throw the ball to him. I’d hate to see Eli on injured reserve.

  2.  fanfor55years says:

    The last three are possible options in the second and third round. I just cannot see Reese using #12 on Ebron, and someone WILL pick him long before we get to our second pick.

    I have seen a lot of Sefarian-Jenkins. Good player but seems a little tentative on balls in traffic. But he could turn into a very solid NFL tight end, better than any we’ve had since Mark Bavaro.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    There is absolutely no way I’d pass on a top offensive tackle at #12 if he’s there just because we have Will Beatty on the roster. Beatty played his way out of being a position lock this season and the tape on him has made its way around the league so every defensive end will know that bull-rushing him is a pretty useful approach.

    So I am not going to rule out Lewan as the pick. He comes from a program the Giants like. He has a mean streak. He isn’t a “great” athlete but he is capable and tough. I keep mentioning that he reminds me of a better version of David Diehl, the kind of guy who may not make a lot of Pro Bowls but will anchor his position for a decade and give you good production.

    I think Baas is going to be here in 2014 because they save very little money by cutting him. I think Mosley may just be a pretty decent possibility at guard (or right tackle), and we know Pugh is going to play somewhere on that offensive line in 2014 and beyond. I assume Reese is going to sign a quality interior lineman in free agency. I also assume we are going to draft two interior linemen in May, one of whom should come from one of the first three rounds.

    If all of that happens there may be no starting spot for Beatty in 2014. So what? You don’t let contracts rule your decisions. If Beatty is good enough he will beat out his competition. If he cannot, then he’ll have to win a position other than LT, or sit on the bench and wait for the inevitable decision to decrease his salary or cut him loose.

    So, no, I won’t rule out the selection of a LT with the #12 pick. I’m not advocating it, but I would not be at all troubled by it. If we don’t get the offensive line headed toward excellence then the rest of the moves to improve our offense are just about irrelevant. This is Job #1 in 2014, as John Mara has made pretty plain. Thank goodness we have an Owner who sees what any intelligent fan sees but that the coaching staff and General Manager and his minions apparently failed to notice over the past three or four years. (How many years ago was it that kujo and I started banging the drum about this issue? I think it has now been at least three years.)

    Speaking of which, where is kujo, and all the others who seemingly have disappeared? Are they all strictly on Facebook now? That would be too bad. Many of us just don’t want to deal with that website.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      I took a little break, was spending way too much time on here. I don’t even have a Facebook account, too much effort to keep up with it.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I just don’t see it as realistic that Beatty is starting the year on the bench if healthy. So if we draft a LTat 12 that player has to play so it involves moving Pugh inside which I’m not a fan of because I think Pugh can be an elite RT. But for an elite talent like robinson or mathews it would be worth it, I just don’t see the other tackles as worth it. I wish the FSU LT would have entered the draft.

      •  jerseyrich says:

        I like the idea of tough guy lineman…robinson, lewan, and martin all fit that mold. Stupid question…but can Beatty ever transition to guard?

    •  jerseyrich says:

      Zack Martin from ND is also flying up the boards after his senior bowl performance.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      personally, i just don’t see Lewen as the pick. The last thing JR needs on his resume is a BUST of an Offensive lineman (see Gabe Crimin i or Robert Gallery).

      There are going to be some very good players at #12, and ready to play day 1 as well.

      Not sure if a project olineman is the way to go.

  4.  GOAT56 says:


    I share many of the same thoughts as BBG on Sam. I happened to catch Missouri a lot this year and they have a few players who could be fits for us. Sam I didn’t see as a fit because I thought he projected to a 2nd or 3rd round type pick. But if this kid is there in the 4th and especially the 5th he’s a good fit. I saw some comparisons to Sintim and Tracy but I think he’s different. Sintim was a college 3-4 OLB who we tried to convert to a 4-3 OLB. Tracy was a small 4-3 DE who we tried to convert to OLB before realizing he was just an undersized DE. Sam just seems to be an undersized 4-3 DE and many of those have been successful including a similarly sized player in Osi.

    All that said I still think his DE counterpart Ealy could get a strong look from us at #12. With his SEC production, classic size and possibly testing really well I think his stock will rise into our range. If don’t re-sign Tuck we really to have a need at DE. And I think the lines will be heavily invested in. The simply key to improving our team is to get back to rushing their QB and protecting our QB.

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      It’s funny… I’ve watched Mizzou alot this year, and i scratch my head as to why Kony Ealy is ranked so far ahead of Michael Sam. Is it because he’s 3 inches taller than Sam? IMO, Sam was more productive out of the two, and in all honesty won’t have trouble converting to any position on the field the coaches decide to play him in. In fact, i think he should stay at DE.

      It’s just a shame the media cares so much about these stories. It’s garbage.

  5.  GOAT56 says:


    I just don’t think beckum can play. He was signed as TE depth that’s unlikely to make the team. I don’t see his fit on Seattle who’s a power running team. Maybe Beckum will just lose 10 pounds and convert to WR.

    Not a huge fan of Finley coming here but I can see a one year bargain type deal not being bad. The problem with Finely or a TE like Ebron in my view is that you still need another pretty good TE that can block. But maybe without Nicks much more 2 TE sets are part of our offense.

  6.  JBeast3 says:

    I love these posts very informative and lets us get to know potential targets!

    I agree that we could use a TE next season but to be honest i can’t justify taking a TE before round 4 or 5. I am ok giving Robinson a real chance to play next season with or have him compete with a back up from another team like Quarless. I like Ebron and ASJ but i can’t justify taking them in the 1st and 2nd respectively. Unless Dennard, Gilbert, Watkins, Mack and the other top 10 players are all taken then i’ll go Ebron. We can’t afford to not pick and OL in the first 2 rounds and 2 OL in the first 4 rounds.

    1. CB Dennard
    2. OL
    3. OL or OLB
    4. OLB or OL based on the third pick.

    Even if the Giants sign the two top OL FA we still have to pick one in the first 2 rounds we are that depleted on the OL. Drafting a TE at 12 is a luxury we dont have this offseason.

  7.  jerseyrich says:

    I think that no matter who we pick in the top 3 rounds, we are going to be a better team because the draft is so deep with talent…but so is everyone else. Where the Giants are going to determine how good they are is going to be in how successful they are in free agency.

    I think going in we will be better than the skins, even though they have to be better than they showed last year. The boys, thanks to JJ not knowing how to control the cap, are going to be taking a step back so we should be able to pass them. The eagles though….they have a good coach, a better team than us going in, and they have more cap room than us. Catching them next year will be tough.

    •  rlhjr says:

      I hear you. In a perfect Reese could take Ebron (if available) and take a kid who could be coached up to play G/T. But the ball club right this minute has but one legitimate offensive lineman. This is disgraceful and a black eye on the organization.

      Like I said, no use having a talent like Ebron if the QB can’t have 3 seconds to get the ball down field. And certainly if he doesn’t have enough protection to allow him to climb the pocket. Even with two or three step drops, the QB needs room to operate. And we all know we need a running game.
      That all starts and ends with the O-line.

  8.  rlhjr says:

    I initially liked Lewan because he IS a genuinely good athlete.
    The issue with Lewan is his play against the best (SEC) type defensive linemen.
    He does not fare well against them. Check his film. He has his way with lesser players, and is nasty right up to and a bit after the whistle.

    So he need to be watched closely at the post season East vs. West type games where he will be asked to block some high caliber defensive ends in a pro type environment.

    Again, if nothing else the need at offensive line could dictate that Reese take Yankey at 12. No one here would/should be mad at that.
    And if Cyril Richardson should survive until the Giants next pick Christmas would come early IMO. The remaining picks and free agent market could be devoted to defense, running back, receiver and other O-line concerns.

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