The Lions May Look To The Draft To Find A Reliable Tight End.
Detroit picked up the fifth year option for tight end Eric Ebron so he will be back next season. The Lions other tight end, Darren Fells, will be a free agent but the Lions could look to the draft to find Matthew Stafford a reliable tight end.
2018 Draft Class Options- Tight End
The 2018 draft class looks like it should be pretty decent as far as tight end is concered. There are a few guys who should hear their name called in the early rounds of the draft.
Here are three tight ends that should be pretty good at the next level:
Mark Andrews- Oklah0ma
Andrews is Oklahoma’s leading receiver in terms of receptions and receiving touchdowns. This year he has caught 58 passes for 906 yards and eight touchdowns. It’s rare for a college receiver to have that kind of production.
Oklahoma quarterback loves targeting Andrews, he is the teams most reliable receiver. At 6’5” and 254 lbs. he has a large frame with long arms which makes it really difficult for defenders to stop him. He also has the body control to high-point the football and make tough catches when needed. Andrews is at his best in the redzone.
One area where Andrews could grow is as a blocker. He’s really not a bad blocker, in fact he’s pretty good compared to many tight ends who come out of college. His frame suggests that he could be better than he is though.
Troy Fumagalli- Wisconsin
Fumagalli didn’t put up huge stats this season. He has caught 43 passes for 516 yards and four touchdowns this season. He’s a much better player than the numbers suggest.
The Wisconsin tight end does a very good job of running good routes to create seperation. His 6’6” 248 lbs. frame makes him a tough cover for most defenders, especially in the redzone. His strong hands make him a reliable option for a quarterback.
Fumagalli is a pretty balanced tight end. Wisconsin trusts him as a blocker. They occasionally even use him as a lead blocker meaning he can be used as a fullback if needed. Versatility is a valuable trait for any player to have.
One knock on Fumagalli is that he doesn’t have great speed. This isn’t that big of an issue since he runs good routes and can create seperation.
Mike Gesicki- Penn State
Like Andrews, Gesicki led his team in receptions and receiving touchdowns. He compiled 51 catches for 501 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
He has very good size, he’s listed at 6’6” and 250 lbs. He’s nearly impossible to stop in the redzone due to his blend of size and athleticism. Gesicki has outstanding leaping ability which combined with his frame means he can go up and get the ball over anyone trying to stop him.
The Penn State tight end does a pretty good job in the run game as well. He’s not an elite blocker but he is willing and generally does what he needs to do to create running lanes for running back Saquon Barkley. He could get stronger in order to improve in this area though.