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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
Top 5 Tight Ends in the 2015 NFL Draft
By Matt Horkman

1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota
A sure-handed tight end, Williams is a good red zone target with above average athleticism. He’s a natural pass catcher, catching most of the balls thrown his way. He also does a fine job of adjusting to the ball in the air. His forty (4.78) is just okay, though I still expect him to make an impact between the 20s. Look for him to move the sticks, as a possession target. However, his run blocking needs a lot of work, and could be a liability early in his career.

2. Nick O’Leary, Florida State
The grandson of famous golfer Jack Nicklaus, O’Leary is a natural pass catcher and a great blocker. He works the middle of the field well, and is physical enough to lower his shoulder and pickup extra yardage. He finished the season strong, playing well against Florida and Georgia Tech. His 4.93 forty at the NFL Scouting combine was very disappointing and a bit surprising given that he was often wide open on tape. Overall, O’Leary is more of an H-Back with traits that compare to Dallas Clark. The lack of a solid straight-line forty will scare some teams.

3. Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State
Versatility is Johnson’s biggest strength. He can play receiver, tight end, or even fullback. He operates well over the middle of the field, displaying good hands. He goes up and gets the football. Frankly, linebackers cannot cover him or hang with him in space. His on-field ability compares a bit to St. Louis tight end Lance Kendricks, who recently signed a long-term contract with the Rams.

4. Clive Walford, Miami (FL)
A versatile tight end with good size and production, Walford will likely be a day two pick. He’s a smooth route runner, capable of exposing linebackers in coverage. He’s quick off the ball and a pretty good athlete in the open field. Blocking is his biggest weakness. There’s very little evidence he’ll hold up in that department.
Devin Funchess
5. Devin Funchess, Michigan
A bid-bodied pass catcher, Funchess played both tight end and receiver in college. As a result, teams may move him around often especially in the red zone, where he uses his body to out position defenders.

Honorable Mentions
Blake Bell, Oklahoma
Nick Boyle, Delaware
Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
Ben Koyack, Notre Dame
Wes Saxton, South Alabama


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