Jeff HeuermanOhio St.6-5254
MyCole PruittSouthern Illinois6-2251
Jesse James*Penn St.6-7261
Ben KoyackNotre Dame6-5255
Nick O’LearyFlorida St.6-3252
Wes SaxtonSouth Alabama6-3248
Casey PierceKent State6-3244
Sleeper: Jean Sifrin*, Massachusetts, 6-5, 245
Williams and Walford are the consensus top two, but both reportedly turned teams off with their attitude at the NFL Scouting Combine. Nevertheless, they are the safest bets in what is considered a weak class. Williams is leaving school as a redshirt sophomore. His father, Brian, played 11 seasons in the NFL. … Walford comes from an impressive line of tight ends from Miami. He’s a willing blocker and the best threat down the seam at the position. He has struggled with drops, though.
Heuerman made only 52 catches in his college career, but scouts think he’ll be a better pro than college player. He struggled with injuries and quarterback changes in 2014. … Pruitt was a two-time FCS All-American with big-time production (school-record 81 catches for 861 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2014). He’s untested against elite competition. … An easy comparison for James is Scott Chandler, given that they are both 6-foot-7. The comparison also works in that James is a decent receiver and doesn’t offer much as a blocker. … Koyack was underutilized as a receiver with the Fighting Irish, with just two career catches for 25 or more yards. … O’Leary, the grandson of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, is an old-school tight end who plays without receiving gloves. He’s an average athlete, but did win the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end in 2014. … Bell is a converted quarterback who will need grooming time, but is an intriguing prospect. … Boyle is the top blocking option at nearly 270 pounds.
– Jay Skurski
Very real possibility no tight ends get taken in the first round. After the top two, everyone else is considered a project.