As a group, the tight ends as a whole were all athletic and there should be a few that go in the first round and more on day two of the NFL Draft, more compared to past drafts.
While he wasn’t the fastest, for his size at 6’7″ and 264 lbs., Darnell Washington was just outside the top five with his 40-yard dash time at 4.64 seconds. With the best 20-yard shuttle time (4.08 seconds) for tight ends in the class this year, the Georgia tight end posted the 2nd-best 10-yard split (tied at 1.57 seconds) and the 4th-best bench press with 21 reps.
The freak of nature also has insane physical traits with his size, as he has the largest wing span ever for a tight end (83 3/4″) and the second-largest hands (11″) for a tight end at the Scouting Combine.
Washington was mostly a backup tight end and blocker, as he should be a way better pro than a collegiate player at the age of 21. Essentially, his measurables are of an offensive tackle with catching ability and he finished the tight end drills with this crazy catch, even though he couldn’t get both feet down.
In terms of production and the standard size of an NFL tight end, Dalton Kincaid of Utah and Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer fit the bill.
Although he didn’t test as an amazing athlete, many still think Mayer is the tight end one in this draft, as Hunter Haas, of NFL Mocks, scouted him and sees him as a late first-rounder. Both should see looks late day one or early day two of the NFL draft.
Like Kincaid, Luke Musgrave of Oregon State belongs in the same bucket, as he dealt with injuries in his collegiate career and Kincaid also didn’t test also at the Scouting Combine due to an injury.
Other day two potential options at the tight end include Iowa’s Sam LaPorta and Penn State’s Brenton Strange, who offer above-average athleticism and versatility at the position.
A potential later-round tight-end prospect that showed out athletically includes Old Dominion’s Zack Kuntz, who had top-of-the-line numbers at basically every athletic test. At 6’7″ and 255 lbs, his vertical jump was record-breaking for someone his height at 40″.
Miami’s Will Mallory ran the fastest 40-yard dash at 4.54 for tight ends (along with top three to five numbers for the other events) as well, as teams could draft him and Kuntz late day two or early day three.
Like the tight-end group, we should see a few offensive linemen get taken in the first round like most years, as every team needs this position group as a developmental backup or day-one starter.