The tight end class for the 2018 nfl draft features several players who can cause mismatches at the next level, none more apparent than south dakota state’s dallas goedert, who tops the charts on our draft board. between closed wings.
here are the best tight end players for the 2018 nfl draft.
Reading: Best tight ends 2018 draft
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[editor’s note: these rankings were originally published on february 28th, they were edited on april 9th after the combination of 2018 nfl scouting and various pro day workouts, these rankings have evolved by last time on april 23, as it’s just days away from the 2018 nfl draft.]
1. dallas goedert, state of south dakota
Goedert, one of the best offensive playmakers in the draft, is a weapon both before and after the catch. he has the size and body control to make spectacular catches and also the athleticism to create after the catch, having tied for the national lead with 12 forced missed tackles and an eye-popping 8.2 post-catch yards per receiving average last season. pass. Goedert dominated FCS competition, but also looked good when he faced FBS teams during his career, and has next-level offensive mismatch potential.
2. mike gesicki, pennsylvania
gesicki excels at using his long frame to create big plays on off-target shots and in contested situations while using his long strides to slide down the field. His size and body control make him an option against safeties and linebackers when he lines up on the outside. Gesicki has struggled in the running game, not posting a 60.0 run block rating in any year of his career, so he’ll need to be managed at the next level to take advantage of his contested receiving ability.
3. mark andrews, oklahoma
A glorified slot receiver on the Oklahoma offense, Andrews has the quickness to spread and create yards after the catch (6.0 yards after the catch per catch over the past three years). improved his ability to catch deflected pitches and projects as a mismatch weapon capable of lining up in line, in the slot, or on the move. Like many of the best tight ends in the class, Andrews has work to do in the running game, but he’s one of the best receiving options available and a threat to create big plays at all levels of the field.
4. hayden hurst, south carolina
A safe option, Hurst has just three knockdowns in 103 career catchable passes and has the size, body control and skills after the catch to enhance any passing attack. he’s not afraid of contact after the catch where he averaged 7.0 yac/catch in his three years and has the receiving radius to make plays in contested situations (he caught 7 of 11 contested catches last season). Hurst is a boom or bust in the running game that still misses too many screens, but adds a strong element of passing play with the ability to contribute in multiple roles.
5. Troy Fugalli, Wisconsin
fumagalli isn’t special in any area, but he is one of the best tight ends in the draft. he knows how to create plays at the intermediate level, using his body and a good catch radius to give his quarterbacks a chance. he is a safe option with only 12 career knockdowns in 145 catchable attempts, and has improved as a run blocker each year where he can handle defensive ends better than most tight ends in the class.
6. jordan akins, ucf
Another good athlete at tight end, Akins hits top speed quickly and it shows in his ability to spread and create after the catch. he had a terrific performance during senior bowl practice after ranking fifth among draft-eligible tight ends with 1.93 yards per route last season. Akins has shown improvement in the running game where he has the ability to spot second level targets, but it is his ability to stretch the seam that gives him the opportunity to make an impact at the next level.
7. jaylen samuels, state of north carolina
position is just a name for samuels, who is part tight end, part wide receiver, part running back. he did it all for nc state and can play a similar role at the next level as he is excellent with the ball in his hands and able to become a key part of “trick” plays. he has had his problems as a blocker, but they can be mitigated if he is used on the move and in space where his quickness and ability to catch are an advantage in a creative offense.
8. ian thomas, indiana
Thomas, an athletic tight end, can create mismatches on the outside and averaged 8.9 yards after the catch per catch despite not forcing a missed tackle in his 29 career catches.
9. deon yelder, western kentucky
yelder stood out with a strong 2017 season, earning an overall rating of 83.7. he caught 76.8 percent of his targets last season, despite dropping six of his 75 catchable targets.
10. christopher herndon iv, miami (fla.)
herndon showed strong big-play ability last season, forcing nine missed tackles on just 40 receptions and averaging 9.3 yards per catch per catch.
11. tyler conklin, central michigan
conklin has been a solid big-play threat for central michigan, and they were willing to use his size to make plays on the outside. He averaged 13.9 receiving yards during his career, although he dropped eight of his 93 catchable targets.
[editor’s note: These rankings were constantly evolving as we got closer to the draft. comments, questions, or for more information, follow @pff_college.]
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