By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The Tight End position is arguably the least desired position you might see the Giants looking to add in the 2018 draft. This year’s class is not as deep as last season’s class as only 14 Tight Ends are projected to be drafted this year (mostly on days 2 and 3). Here’s a look at the Tight End position, courtesy of Walterfootball.com.
TE-Hayden Hurst-6’5/250 (South Carolina): Team sources say that Hurst is the only tight end they were really excited about in this year’s class. They felt he is the only tight end prospect who is of a similar caliber to last year’s group who went in the first and second round. In 2017, Hurst totaled 44 receptions for 559 yards with two touchdowns. He also picked up a rushing touchdown and did a nice job of blocking. Team sources have raved about Hurst and think that he has a first-round skill set. They say he might slip to Day 2, but they love the physical talent of the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder.
TE- Mark Andrews-6’5/250 (Oklahoma): Andrews caught 62 passes for 958 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017. He played well for Oklahoma. Andrews is a good athlete with quickness and is a dangerous receiver down the seam. He is a dangerous red-zone threat for Oklahoma and also has his share of long touchdown receptions. He totaled 19 catches for 318 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman. TE-Dalton Schultz-6’6/240 (Stanford): Scouts say that Schultz is a good route-runner, excellent at catching the ball, and a really good blocker. In 2017, Stanford used Schultz’s blocking skill to help open holes for Bryce Love. Against Notre Dame, Schultz put those well-rounded skills on display as he opened holes in the ground game while also making an athletic touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. In the Cardinal’s ground-based offense, Schultz totaled 22 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He is a sleeper prospect who team evaluators really like and could end up being a second-day pick.
TE- Mike Gesicki-6’5/242 (Penn State): Gesicki is a good athlete and has some real quickness. Gesicki runs well down the seam with speed to get vertical. His impressive athletic ability translates to him having excellent body control and leaping ability. With his talent to jump above defenders, Gesicki is very dangerous at high pointing the ball and boxing out defenders to make leaping grabs. With his quickness, size, and leaping ability, Gesicki is a dangerous red-zone weapon for the NFL.
TE-Dallas Goedert-6’4/260 (South Dakota State): Goedert was a dangerous receiving threat over the past two seasons for South Dakota State. The senior amassed 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017. He put up even better production as a junior with 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns. Goedert has size and some athletic ability. Team sources said that they were grading Goedert in the fourth round and have medical concerns with him.
TE-Durham Smythe-6’5/253 (Norte Dame): In 2017, Smythe totaled 15 receptions for 244 yards and a touchdown. Notre Dame struggled to pass the ball with a running quarterback, but Smythe has some athleticism as a receiver. He also was solid as a blocker.
TE-Chris Herndon-6’4/252 (Miami): Herndon made 40 catches for 477 yards with four touchdowns. He played in a lot of two-tight end sets over the past few seasons. Herndon was a favorite of the Hurricanes’ coaching staff, and even though they had a more talented player in David Njoku in 2016, they still gave Herndon plenty of playing time. That season, Herndon made 28 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns. He caught 18 passes for 237 yards and a score in 2015.
TE-Marcus Baugh-6’5/258 (Ohio State): Baugh totaled 28 catches for 304 yards and five touchdowns this season, but played better than the numbers indicated.
TE-Ryan Izzo-6’5/245 (Florida State): Izzo is more of a blocking tight end for the NFL, but he has some ability to contribute as a receiver. He totaled 20 receptions for 317 yards and three scores.
TE-Adam Breneman-6’4/240 (Massachusetts): Breneman impressed as a receiving tight end during the past two seasons. The senior produced 64 catches for 764 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. He had 70 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016. Breneman didn’t impress at the Senior Bowl. TE-Ethan Wolf-6’6/258 (Tennessee): Wolf has been a solid tight end for the Volunteers over the past three seasons. In 2016, he had 21 receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore (23-301-2) and freshman (23-212-0), Wolfe contributed as a receiver as well as helping Tennessee run the ball well.
Final Thoughts: Based on the 2018 class of Tight Ends and the Giants needs, it seems very unlikely that they invest on a draft pick to add a Tight End to the roster. Currently the Giants still have Jerell Adams, Kyle Carter (waivers from the Vikings), Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison and Ryan O’Malley on the roster. Officially, that’s five on the roster, although Engram is utilized more like a wide receiver than a traditional Tight End. Perhaps the Giants could look into free agency or UDFA signings to add more depth as the window for Adams in closing.