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2013 NFL Draft: Unusually Strong Tight End Class Making an Impression

February 10th, 2013 at 10:27 PM
By Donald Lappe

If you're an NFL team looking for a tight end, the 2013 NFL Draft has you covered. This year's class of tight ends is a deep group with some nice high-end talent. There are future contributors to be found late in the draft, from big and small schools. Big, athletic players with speed and solid hands is par for the course with this group. Names like Zach Ertz, Tyler Eifert and Jordan Reed are the headliners.

Teams will be snatching up tight ends after the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft and getting good values that would probably be drafted in other classes. The group is deep, but here are some important names to know:

Zach Ertz: Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert will battle it out for the spot as the most coveted tight end in this year's class. Both are big, athletic targets that can create matchups issues for opposing defenses. Zach Ertz gets the early nod as a slightly better blocker with a bit more speed than Tyler Eifert. He was Stanford's leading receiver in 2012 with 69 receptions for 898 yards and six touchdowns.

Tyler Eifert: Tyler Eifert doesn't;t have the same numbers as Zach Ertz, but a big part of that was the quarterback play of Everett Golson. Perhaps the thing that stands out most about Tyler Eifert is that he was one of the few Notre Dame players who looked like he belonged on the field with Alabama during the BCS National Championship Game. He has worked hard on his blocking and has made strides in that area, which will endear him to NFL talent evaluators.

Jordan Reed: Jordan Reed might be the most explosive playmaker in the bunch, but he needs to work on his blocking to be a premier tight end. He's not really ready to contribute as a blocker on the line of scrimmage, but can make plays in the passing game as an h-back. Think Aaron Hernandez. 

Jack Doyle: Jack Doyle needs to get stronger, but he has good size and produced as a senior at Western Kentucky. He's a small school product and he was exposed a bit at the Senior Bowl. That's not a huge surprise, but he can be an NFL contributor.

Gavin Escobar: Gavin Escobar has good size at 6'6", 255, and has produced well over his sophomore and junior seasons. As a sophomore, Escobar caught 51 passes for 780 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore, his production dipping slightly to 45 catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.

There are plenty more to keep an eye on. Some, like Dion Sims Vance McDonald, Joseph Fauria and Travis Kelce will go before some of the names listed above. Others, like Michal Williams and Jake Stoneburner will be seventh round picks or undrafted free agents. As we move forward, we will examine each tight end prospect individually. Be sure to check out our Tyler Eifert profile.

Also…

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Gavin Escobar, Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed, NFL, NFL Draft, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tight End, Tyler Eifert, Zach Ertz

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