Best of the West - 2014 NFL Draft - Tight End Rankings

This was not the year we expected out of tight ends in the West. Colt Lyerla’s (UO) season never got off the ground as he left the team early in the year. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (UDub) had the least productive year of his career in Seattle. The tight ends who lived up to expectations in 2013 were Crockett Gillmore (CSU) and Chris Coyle (ASU). Still this is an incredibly deep tight end class out West. 10 of the 22 combine invitees are from the West. We seem to be in an era where every tight end thinks he’s an elite pass catcher, and that they don’t block very well.

1.     Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6’6” 266lb JR) UDub: Sefarian-Jenkins has all the physical tools to make him a great NFL player. Unfortunately, it did not translate onto the field in 2013. He seemed to disappear in Steve Sarkisian’s re-vamped offense. He’s a big guy with decent speed and great hands, who can play on the line and split out similar to Aaron Hernandez. His routes are a little too bendy. He’s at his best running up the seam, or on a quick pass. There’s also no other player I’d rather have in a jump ball situation. His blocking is inconsistent. Sometimes he’ll dominate a DE or OLB, but other times he’ll reach and whiff. It doesn’t look as if he likes blocking. There are also some of the field concerns (DUI) that might drop him on team’s boards. Current Projection: 3rd Round

2.     Crockett Gillmore (6’6” 253lb SR) CSU: Gillmore is an old-school tight end who is equally comfortable blocking as he is catching a 6 yard pop pass. That versatility makes him really dangerous on play-action plays. He’s got above average speed for his size, and runs good routes. He’s very aggressive going up to get the ball, and has good hands- very few drops. Blocking, he’ll engage the defender, set his legs and drive. Many times, he’s still driving his guy back after the play is over. Overall he’s the perfect fit for a power-run/play-action team. Current Projection: 4th Round

3.     Colt Lyerla (6’5” 246lb JR) UO: If there’s any player that has Gronk potential it’s Colt Lyerla. He’s a freaky athlete who can blow past linebackers and run over DBs. He played running back in high school, and even some at UO. He runs great routes, and makes some incredibly athletic catches. His pass catching is better than his blocking, but he’s a decent blocker. Unfortunately, there are some off the field concerns issues that led to him leaving the Ducks, and subsequently got arrested for drug possession. If Lyerla gets his life on track, and stays in shape, he could be a great NFL TE. Current Projection: 6th Round

4.    Chris Coyle (6’3” 230lb SR) ASU: Coyle is a smaller tight end who is almost plays like an extra slot receiver. He’s great in the middle of the field, as he has excellent presence against zone defenses. He can definitely beat a linebacker 1-on-1, but doesn’t have great speed.  He’s a willing blocker, but will need to bulk up to be a reliable blocker at the next level. Could have some special teams value to the team who drafts him. Current Projection: 7th Round

5.     Xavier Grimble (6’5” 255lb JR) USC: Grimble is a big and athletic receiving tight end, but never really broke out at USC. At this point, he’s worth a late round pick, but there are no guarantees. Current Projection: 7th Round

6.     Richard Rodgers (6’4” 245lb JR) Cal: Rodgers is big and fast, and a decent blocker. He’s a spastic runner, but he gets open, and catches the ball. He would be better suited to be a on the line blocker, but I’m not sure he has the mentality for it.  Current Projection: 7th Round

7.     Marcel Jensen (6’6” 257lb SR) Fresno: Jensen played both on the line and split out. He’s a willing blocker. Gets a little off balance out in his routes. Could be a good special teams player. Current Projection: 7th Round

8.     Jake Murphy (6’4” 252lb JR) Utah: Murphy is a clutch tight end who is always where he needs to be. He’s not super fast or rangy, but he runs good routes, and is a great check down or play-action option. He’s a good blocker, but his technique can get a little sloppy at times. He might not be fast enough to play special teams in the NFL, which could really hurt him. Current Projection: 7th Round

9.     DJ Tialavea (6’4” 266 SR) Utah State - Current Projection: UDFA

10. Anthony Denham (6’4” 222lb SR) Utah – Current Projection: UDFA