Re-Ranking: Offensive Skill Positions

Fauria remains our top TE prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft (Photo: US Presswire)

Tight Ends:
2013 Class-
This TE class is one of intrigue and potential, there are a large numbers of prospects who could develop into something down the line but many of them come into the NFL raw and lacking definition and fundamentals. It will be a tough task for talent evaluators to figure out who is a legitimate prospect and who is a NCAA star that won’t be able to mold his game to the NFL model.

To view the 2013 Top 20 TE’s Click Here!


Most Intriguing Prospect: Joseph Fauria, UCLA, #1 2013 TE
The most intriguing prospect to us is also our top rated TE, we just love everything about Fauria’s game. He has the size, the speed, and the athletic ability that makes scouts drool and best of all he plays to my old school scouting roots because he can in fact block. Call me crazy but when Im evaluating TE’s I still want a guy I can put out there who knows how to get his hands on the DE or LB and move them. Fauria can do that effectively.

Game to Watch: 11/17, v. USC
The annual battle for the LA is always a must watch game for college football fans but the emergence of UCLA as a legit football team helps the rivalry this year. Not only would I expect UCLA to utilize Fauria in this game against a subpar USC LB core, you should also be able to see him help block a couple of really good DE’s in Devon Kennard and Wes Horton. This game should give you a full display of Fauria’s skills.

More 2013 TE Notes:
-With the season ending injury to TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen (Auburn, #6 2013 TE) we were forced to move him down some from his former spot at #3. We wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he can work out for NFL teams next spring.
-One prospect I struggle to get a good feel for is Michael Williams (Alabama, #7 2013 TE). He’s a good blocker with plus athletic ability but I wonder about his hands and how much athleticism he really has when it comes to NFL speed. We are keeping him top ten because he’s a good blocker but with other TE’s emerging it may be short lived.
-Speaking of emerging TE’s no TE in the country is hotter right now than Ryan Otten (San Jose State, #8 2013 TE) with the improved play of QB David Fales (#3 2014 QB) Otten has seen the ball more and he’s responding with big games that are bringing in NFL attention. Otten could be a continued climber in a TE class that lacks depth and many certainties.
-Three small school TE’s made our Top 20 in Colin Anderson (Furman, #8 2013 TE), Kevin Finney (Richmond, #15 2013 TE), and Brian Leonhardt (Bemidji State, #20 2013 TE) which matches the amount at QB and WR. Leonhardt though is the first Division II prospect to crack any position rankings.

2014 Class-
I feel like a broken record saying this so let’s just say, yes the junior class has a lot of talent. I’m not going to waste any more time pontificating on it.

To view the Top 10 2014 TE’s Click Here!

Most Interesting Prospect: Levin Toilolo, Stanford, #5 2014 TE
With all the attention the media gives to fellow junior TE Zach Ertz (#4 2014 TE) the play of Toilolo is often over looked or lost in the shuffle. Make no mistake though not only could he end up being a better prospect than Ertz when it’s all said and done, but he could end up being the best TE in either class. You just don’t see guys his size, run the way he does. Sure he has some rough spots with route precision and his hands aren’t as good as others, but the potential he has is incredible. I’m not sure he’ll leave early but if he stays and Ertz goes Toilolo will become the feature piece of the Stanford passing attack in 2013.

Other 2014 TE Notes:
-Jordan Reed (Florida, #2 2014 TE) combined with Trey Burton (Florida, #2 2014 FB) have been two of the biggest reasons why Florida currently finds itself ranked #2 in the BCS. These two versatile athletes came to UF as QB prospects under Urban Meyer only to find new roles under Will Muschamp and flourish in them.
-No TE befuddles me more than Dion Sims (Michigan State, #3 2014 TE). I mean just how does a guy his size get off the line so well? He’s like a dancing polar bear out there, but he’s completely under control and dominant. Sims is a fantastic prospect with some real upside.
-The best pure receiver in this bunch very well may end up being Gavin Escobar (San Diego State, #6 2014 TE). He has phenomenal hands and does a good job gets those hands out away from the body to secure the catch. He runs better routes than most know, and in the red zone he’s so dangerous.

That’s it for now, but make sure you check back later this afternoon as we release our write ups on our updated trench rankings!

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, 2014 NFL Draft

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