Home > Draft, NFL > 2012 NFL Draft Rankings: the Tight Ends

2012 NFL Draft Rankings: the Tight Ends

1. Orson Charles, Georgia, First round grade

I think the boat might have been missed at the tight end position.  There is a three year difference in age between Orson Charles and Coby Fleener.  That means a three year difference in physical development as well as maturity.  Orson Charles is by no means the best tight end in years.  He likely wouldn’t be the top tight end prospect in any recent draft besides this one.  But even with dreaded “character concerns” I think you are getting a better football player in Charles than you are in Fleener.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t take Fleener in the first round if I needed a tight end.  I realize just how good Fleener was at his combine and then his pro day.  I thought the world of him as a useful part of the Stanford offense who could give you an element that most college tight ends could not.  I think that if you compare him to the 30th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Dustin Keller, I think Fleener compares pretty favorably.  But Orson Charles is the best in-line tight end in this draft.

2. Coby Fleener, Stanford, second round grade

I don’t have anything to add on Fleener here.  Just needed to make the jump showing the dropoff between Orson Charles/Coby Fleener, and the rest of the draft.

3. Dwayne Allen, Clemson, third round grade

Allen might be the most underrated tight end in this class.  You can line him up all over the formation, and he can win.  He certainly benefitted from the explosive element of the Clemson offense this year, winning a couple of post-season awards for his performance in the process.  Allen projects as a solid starter at a non-premium position, which typically means he won’t go in the first two rounds, although he absolutely does have second round ability and dependability.  There could be good value in this pick.

4. James Hanna, Oklahoma, fifth round grade
5. Michael Egnew, Missouri, fifth round grade
6. David Paulson, Oregon, fifth round grade
7. LaDarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette, sixth round grade
8. DeAngelo Peterson, LSUsixth round grade

I have this as a grab bag at the TE position of likely no. 2 TEs who offer different sorts of scheme fits and upside potential at the TE position.  Most of this group does not carry a draftable grade from a lot of the teams in the league, all of whom will look for a very specific type of player later on.

9. Chase Ford, Miami (FL), sixth round grade
10. Brian Linthicum, Michigan State, sixth round grade
11. Cory Harkey, UCLA, seventh round grade
12. Kevin Koger, Michigan, seventh round
grade 

The best blocking ends in the class are destined to be late round picks because they don’t do a lot of useful stuff outside of move linebackers around on the edge, but Linthicum in particular is an interesting target on the goal line as a number two or number three TE.

13. Beau Reliford, Florida State, UDFA
14. Adrien Robinson, Cincinnati, UDFA

15. Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern, UDFA
16. Nick Provo, Syracuse, UDFA
17. Derek Carrier, Beloit, UDFA
18. Logan Brock, TCU, UDFA

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