Top 20 Tight End Rankings for 2012 NFL Draft

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Updated January 2012:

1. Dwayne Allen, Clemson
2. Coby Fleener, Stanford
3. Orson Charles, Georgia
4. Michael Egnew, Missouri
5. Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
6. David Paulson, Oregon
7. Kevin Koger, Michigan
8. DeAngelo Peterson, LSU
9. Rhett Ellison, USC
10. George Bryan, North Carolina State
11. Brian Linthicum, Michigan State
12. Chase Ford, Miami
13. Josh Chichester, Louisville
14. Anthony Miller, Cal
15. Nick Provo, Syracuse
16. Brad Herman, Iowa
17. Josh Chichester, Louisville
18. Tyler Urban, West Virginia
19. Beau Reliford, Florida State
20.Brad Smelley, Alabama
21. Emil Igwenagu, Massachusetts

Updated: 11/28/2011

The season is just about over and there has been some big changes in the tight end rankings, the biggest riser is Tyler Eifert who is still young and inexperienced but has been the most impressive tight end in this class, second now is Dwayne Allen, a player I like a lot as a pretty complete tight end. The  other huge riser is the inexperienced TE Joseph Faruia, he’s not polished yet and should probably return for another season, but if he does he’s an extremely intriguing tight end prospect.

Tyler Eifert, Norte Dame

Dwayne Allen, Clemson

Coby Fleener, Stanford

Orson Charles, Georgia

Joseph Fauria, UCLA (potential, not there yet)

Michael Egnew Missouri

Ladarius Green, Louisiana Lafyette

Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State

George Bryan, NC State

David Paulson, Oregon

Rhett Ellison, USC

Philip Lutzencracken, Auburn

D.C. Jefferson Rutgers

Josh Chicheter, Louisville

Michael Williams, Alabama

Brian Linthicium, Michigan State

Deangleo Patterson,

Kevin Kroger, Michigan

1. Orson Charles, Georgia, 6’3″ 242 (Junior)

Very young, raw tight end prospect with plenty of room for growth, but perhaps some of the best natural ability of any tight end in the next couple of classes. Charles was a hotly sought after recruit in 2009 when he chose Georgia over USC, and he has been named a 1st Team All SEC selection by Athlon Sports for the 2011 season. As a receiver, Charles is one of the best tight ends in the country, and wasted no time making an impact at Georgia. Caught 23 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns as a true freshman two years ago, and had 26 receptions for 422 yards and two scores last year as a sophomore. Third team All-American selection by Athlon Sports for the 2011 pre-season, and will be on the pre-season watch list for the John Mackey award. Charles is basically a big wide receiver out there on the field, so he is still adjusting to the tight end position in terms of blocking. Should be able to create mismatches in the passing game, and with AJ Green gone to the NFL, he could emerge as the top target in the Georgia passing game overall. If he has a big season, look for him to consider putting his name in the 2012 NFL Draft.

2. Michael Egnew, Missouri, 6’6″ 235 (Senior)

Egnew will likely remind a lot of scouts of Jermaine Gresham, the former Oklahoma Sooners tight end and first round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. Egnew was an absolute beast in the passing game last season, earning consensus first team All American honors after a season where he caught 90 of his 97 career passes for 762 yards and five touchdowns. Three times in 2010 Egnew had 10 or more receptions, including a game where he caught 13 passes for 145 yards. Outstanding student-athlete who will graduate in December, and follows in the footsteps of some big time pass receiving tight ends to come through Missouri in recent years. Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman really paved the way as some of the top targets of Chase Daniel, and now Egnew will do the same, but he is probably the best overall prospect of them all. Tall, lanky receiver with speed in the open field and great body control. Excellent red zone target with big hands, knows how to make the big play. Works the seam really well coming from a spread style offense, and can split out wide in the NFL and create mismatches on nickel defensive backs. Simply dwarfs defensive backs, especially around the red zone, where he will be a nightmare to cover. Will need to work on more sophisticated route running and run blocking skills to make it as a tight end in the league, but in an offense like Indianapolis that utilizes two tight ends all the time, he could be the ideal “Dallas Clark” type of player. Very long arms and a great vertical leap that will make him a fantastic asset in the passing game, and he has the frame to absolutely add 10-15 pounds of muscle and not lose any quickness or agility. Could be a first round pick in next year’s draft, but premiums are typically not placed on tight ends. He will not last past the 2nd round barring injury.

3. George Bryan, North Carolina State, 6’5″ 265 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

4. Dwayne Allen, Clemson, 6’4″ 255 (RS Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

5. Ladarius Green, Louisiana Lafayette, 6’6″ 230 (Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**

6. David Paulson, Oregon, 6’4″ 242 (RS Senior)

Oregon has a great pedigree of sending TEs to the NFL. Paulson has been one of the most key players at Oregon the last couple of years. He doesn’t pull in a ton of catches, but when he does, it’s that 3rd and long conversion. He has knack for making his receptions either first downs or touchdowns. He’s one of the better receivers I’ve seen while in traffic. He’s rated as one of the best TEs in the draft (I’ve seen between 2nd and 4th best TE in the draft).

Big play tight end prospect could really emerge as a top tier guy this year. In 2011, the tight end crop was weak, so hopefully Paulson can lead a group in 2012 that will be one of the stronger areas of the draft. Every team needs a guy who can make a clutch reception on third down, and this guy could be the man for the job.

7. Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State, 6’5″ 245 (RS Junior)

Big, tall tight end prospect with solid athleticism. Had a decent season in his first year as a starter catching 21 passess for 22 yards and two touchdowns, but I expect him to be a big piece of the Ohio State offense in 2011. If he can add some weight and improve as a blocker, he might be one of the best junior  tight ends available in the 2012 crop of players.

8. Coby Fleener, Stanford, 6’6″ 245 (RS Senior)

Get used to hearing this guy’s name, because you will be hearing it a lot in the coming months and years. Fleener is a big tight end prospect that reminds me physically of Tony Scheffler. He has imposing size and excellent speed for his size, and he really broke out as a junior with Stanford when he had 28 receptions for 434 yards and seven touchdowns, three of which came in Stanford’s big bowl game win over Virginia Tech. His numbers won’t exactly jump out at you other than his bowl performance, but this is a guy ready to emerge as one of the country’s top tight ends. His combination of size and speed are scary for opposing defenses. He can line up as an in-line tight end, or possibly also as a wide receiver in some packages. He will be a great red zone threat and a very good target for Andrew Luck in 2011.

9. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn, 6’4″ 258 (Junior)

**No scouting report yet available**

10. Rhett Ellison, USC, 6’5″ 245 (RS Senior)

**No scouting report yet available**