After a day off, we are up to the tight end positional report from the 2011 NFL Combine. I’m usually not big on tight ends as a whole, but I was very impressed with this group. There were numerous guys who really impressed – some I expected, and some I didn’t – but overall I saw several players who look like NFL starters. I don’t know how much need the Rams have for a tight end after drafting two last season, but I wouldn’t be overly shocked if the team took another one this year. Here are my reactions.
Player I Was Most Impressed With: Virgil Green (Nevada)
This guy was easily the most impressive player in this group. He is an absolute freak athlete, as evidenced by 4.64 40, his 10-foot-10 broad jump, and his 42.5 in vertical. Not only was he a monster in the measurables, but I was also impressed with him during the drills. He looked to have nice hands, and his route-running ability was more advanced than I expected. He still has some developing to do, but I love his potential.
Honorable Mention – Jordan Cameron, Rob Housler, Julius Thomas, Luke Stocker, DJ Williams.
I thought Cameron (USC) and Housler (FAU) were very impressive, and if not for Green, either one could have been the most impressive in the group. Thomas (Portland St.) is a former basketball player who is pretty raw, but the potential is there for him to become a very nice pass-catcher. Stocker (Tenn) was solid all-around, and Williams (Ark) might have looked the best out of everyone during the drills.
Player I Was Most Disappointed In – Charles Clay (Tulsa)
I had heard some good things about Clay heading into the Combine, but he really struggled throughout the workout. He didn’t blow me away in any of the measurables, and I thought he really struggled in almost all of the drills. He did some nice work in college, but it didn’t translate to his workout. I still think he could be an NFL tight end, but he’s got a ways to go.
Dishonorable Mention – Cameron Graham, Lee Smith, Allen Reisner.
Graham (Louisville) was about as disappointing as Clay, especially in the drill portion of he workout. Smith (Marshall) doesn’t look like a guy who’s ready to play at the NFL level, and while Reisner (Iowa) wasn’t nearly as bad as the others, I didn’t feel like he did anything really well.
Overall, I really liked this class of tight ends, and I think there are guys with some potential that could be had in the mid-to-late rounds if the Rams are interested. I didn’t even mention the top-ranked player at the position, Kyle Rudolph (ND) because he is injured, but he looks to be the cream of a very nice crop.
Wide receivers will be up tomorrow, and you won’t want to miss it. There were some guys who really blew the roof off the place at that position, so stay tuned.