This year’s crop of tight ends is unusually strong, and may be the most well-stocked skill position on offense this year. There are rumors swirling that a tight end might go in the top 10 for the first time since Lions legend Eric Ebron in 2014. The top two prospects are clear, but after that things get interesting. Here are the top 10 tight end prospects in this year’s draft.
1. T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
Hockenson has all the makings of a true dual-threat tight end. He has the prerequisite size and competitive edge to be a force in the run game while using his above-average athleticism to make plays in the passing game. He needs to work on his route running to become a truly great pass-catcher, but he”ll make an instant impact wherever lands. His ceiling is dependent on how far he can come as a receiver, but Hockenson will start off his career as a versatile player who will give his team plenty of options on offense. Top 10 might be a bit high for a tight end, but if it’s going to be anyone, you truly cannot go wrong with Hockenson.
2. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Hockenson’s running mate at Iowa, Fant is a similar caliber of athlete who doesn’t yet have the size to make a difference on the line of scrimmage from day one. Fant showed a bit more pass-catching upside than Hockenson thanks to his explosiveness and speed, but isn’t a polished route-runner and, like many young players, over-relied on his athleticism at times in the pass game. Once Fant puts on some bulk, he’ll be more effective as a blocker, but generally projects to be a receiving tight end who can block, as opposed to a classic dual threat like Hockenson. Fant could develop into a very dangerous tight end, but his deficiency in the run game slots him below Hockenson.