As of now, there aren’t many great tight end prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft. A lot of prospects will be looking to weed themselves out from the rest of the pack this season and get drafted early. Here are the top prospects heading into the 2017 college football season:
Troy Fumagalli, Wisonsin
Fumagalli has been a step above anyone else in this tight end class so far and is the favorite to be the first one taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has great measurables at 6’6″ and 248 pounds.
In 2016, Fumagalli capped off a solid season with an outstanding performance in the Cotton Bowl. His performance against Western Michigan in that game had plenty of highlight catches. He finished the season with 580 receiving yards and two touchdowns, but those are impressive numbers considering the type of offense Wisconsin runs and the lack of great quarterback play he had.
Paul Chryst has mentioned that Fumagali has developed as a blocker, but he still needs to improve if he wants to be a good all-round prospect for NFL Teams to draft.
Wisconsin will play a few teams that give Fumagalli a chance to against good competition. The Badgers play BYU, Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.
DeAndre Goolsby, Florida
DeAndre Goolsby (Photo by: gatorcountry.com)
In the 2014 recruiting class, Goolsby was just a three star recruit, but has flashed good receiving potential and moved his way up the tight end ranks. He is a bit smaller than Fumagalli at 6’4″ and 244 pounds, but could end up being a better receiving threat.
Goolsby doesn’t have great numbers, but the quarterback play at Florida has been atrocious. He still has managed to put up 619 receiving yards and four touchdowns the last two years. His best game of last season came in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama, where he finished with 91 yards receiving and a touchdown on seven catches. Because quarterback play is so bad, he has to make the most of every catch-able throw that comes his way this season.
Like Fumagalli, and most tight ends coming out of college, Goolsby has to become a better blocker. If he wants his stock to improve he needs to produce more, even with poor quarterback play.
Florida plays some good defenses this season. Goolsby will have a chance to show off his talent against Michigan, Tennessee, LSU, Texas A&M, Georgia and Florida State.
Cam Serigne, Wake Forest
Cam Serigne (Photo by: zimbio.com)
A lot of casual fans won’t know who Serigne is because he plays for Wake Forest, but he can play. He doesn’t have great height at 6’3″, but does create separation and produces.
Over his first three years at Wake Forest Serigne has totaled 1,519 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. He too has to put up with sub-par quarterback play, making his stats more impressive. In the bowl game against Temple, Serigne had three catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. That was the best performance of the year for the junior tight end.
Over seasons Serigne has solid stats, but he does need to be more consistent. He also needs to prove he can block despite likely having shorter arms than most tight ends in the class.
Serigne will be on the big stage for scouts when the Demon Deacons play Florida State, Clemson, Louisville and Notre Dame this season.
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The 2017 NFL draft has just concluded, but it is never too early to look to next year. Draft picks are ordered by Super Bowl Odds.
1. San Francisco 49ers- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Brian Hoyer isn’t the long term answer for the 49ers and they reached on C.J. Beathard in the 2017 NFL Draft. Allen may be from a small school, but he has legitimate talent. He has the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback at 6’5″ and 222 pounds. Allen will have to prove himself in his big games against Iowa, Oregon and Boise State in the 2017 season.
Joe Haden is aging and the Browns did a great job of addressing the rest of their defense in the 2017 NFL Draft. Fitzpatrick has started since his freshman season and is a very versatile defensive back.
3. Los Angeles Rams- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
If Jared Goff is going to be the long term quarterback, he needs more weapons. Ridley is a good option with 1,814 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in two years at Alabama. He can be a good outside receiver for the Rams, which is not something they currently have.
4. New York Jets- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Darnold needs to improve his mechanics and have a strong second season as USC’s starting quarterback. If he does so, he will be a first rounder with no doubts. The Jets need to get a franchise signal caller and so far, this looks like a good quarterback class coming in.
5. Chicago Bears- Derwin James, S, Florida State
Derwin James (Photo by: si.com)
Quintin Demps has had just one good season as a pro and that shouldn’t be expected to continue. James is an elite athlete at defensive back and will likely go in the top ten in the 2018 NFL Draft if he can stay healthy.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The USC-UCLA game will feature two great quarterbacks. Rosen has been a phenom since his freshman year at UCLA, but last year got his throwing shoulder hurt and even had some nerve damage. He needs to stay healthy and if he is able to, is capable of being the first quarterback selected. If the Jaguars are picking this high, Blake Bortles is out as the starting quarterback.
7. Buffalo Bills- Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins is overlooked because of how many talented players were on Clemson last season, but with a lot of them gone, it is his time to shine. The Bills need to address the defensive line early in this draft. Two first round picks gives them some versatility in this draft.
8. Los Angeles Chargers- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Chargers doubled up on guards in the 2017 NFL Draft, but the tackles could be improved to protect the aging Phillip Rivers. McGlinchey would have gone first round in 2017, but elected to go back to school for one more year.
9. Detroit Lions- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Kirk might end up being the best receiver in this class, but will likely see his stock slide if he doesn’t produce this season with a new quarterback. He is a little shorter than most teams like at 5’11”, but can play on the outside and be a difference maker. The Lions need to upgrade their receiving corps to give Matthew Stafford some more weapons.
10. New Orleans Saints- Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU
One thing that the Saints didn’t address in the 2017 NFL Draft was a pass rusher who could play opposite Cameron Jordan. Key is a great speed rusher, who elected to go back to school for another season. The Saints would love if they fell to them so they could get after Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan more often.
11. Washington Redskins- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Mason Rudolph (Photo by: ncaa.com)
The Washington front office doesn’t have a good relationship with Kirk Cousins. He will likely leave after the season due to being franchise tagged the last two seasons. Rudolph is another quarterback who has great size at 6’5″ and 235 pounds. He only threw four interceptions last season, which shows how well he protects the ball.
12. Miami Dolphins- Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Interior offensive linemen usually don’t go this high, but Nelson would’ve been a first rounder in the 2017 draft had he come out. The Dolphins were able to address a lot of their needs this offseason, but they still need to get a guard because they are moving Laremy Tunsil out to tackle.
Cincinnati addressed all of their skill positions in the first two rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, but their offensive line is not good. Williams has a lot of experience at Texas and should upgrade the offensive line instantly.
14. Philadelphia Eagles- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Barkley helped lead Penn State to a Big Ten Championship last year and was their best offensive player. He does a little bit of everything well and will be one of the first running backs off of the board. The Eagles drafted Donnell Pumphrey, but he isn’t an every down back in the NFL.
15. Tennessee Titans- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
The Titans don’t have too many needs, but can improve the pass rush. He was a monster for the Boston College defense last year, finishing with 16.5 sacks. There were only two games were he didn’t register a sack, which bodes well for his NFL future.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Donovan Smith hasn’t gotten his career off to a great start, meaning if he struggles again he will be replaced. Protecting Winston’s blindside has to be the number one priority for the Bucs.
17. Baltimore Ravens- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Ravens haven’t had an effective running back in years. Guice showed flashes of what he could do when Leonard Fournette sat out with injury last season. He should have a breakout year for LSU.
The Panthers continue to not address the offensive line well. They need to clear some holes for McCaffrey and protect Cam Newton. Brown is a big prospect, who is another good tackle prospect in this draft class.
19. Arizona Cardinals- Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Luke Falk (Photo by: seattletimes.com)
This year’s quarterback class is going to be loaded, if everything happens the way most think it will. That paired with the fact that there are a lot of aging quarterbacks and as usual teams that are bad and need new ones, A lot might go in the first found in the 2018 NFL Draft. Falk is a system quarterback, but Patrick Mahommes overcame that to be the second quarterback selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. He will need to have an impressive senior season where he shows he can read defenses to maintain his spot in the first round.
20. Minnesota Vikings- Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Shariff Floyd injury complicates things for the Vikings. Lotulelei is a big physical defensive tackle that can really plug up the running lanes.
21. Indianapolis Colts- Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
Jefferson has all the potential in the world and it should all come together for him this season for Texas. The Colts have started to revamp their defense, but it still needs a lot more work.
Sutton was a fringe first rounder had he come out this year and will likely be one of the best wide receivers coming out next season. With Sammy Watkins possibly leaving in free agency, Sutton can be paired with current rookie Zay Jones.
23. New York Giants- Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
The Giants didn’t draft a tackle and now will need to get one next year. Fortunately for them, as it now stands, there are a lot of good tackles in this draft class.
If Jesse James doesn’t step up, the Steelers will need a new tight end. Fumagali made some incredible grabs in the Cotton Bowl and with a good season, will move himself into first round consideration.
25. Denver Broncos- Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
Jamal Charles was just signed, but that isn’t a long term solution. Chubb could be the selection if the Broncos lose faith in Devontae Booker. He has some injuries, but when healthy Chubb is a great running back.
26. Oakland Raiders- Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama
Hand has been burried on the depth chart at Alabama, but will get his chance this season. The Raiders have a terrible defensive line and need to start addressing it.
27. Cleveland Browns (via Hou)- Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh
Whitehead can play a variety of positions in the secondary and can fit in next to Jabrill Peppers. The Browns’ luxury of a lot of picks, gives them a lot of options.
28. Atlanta Falcons- Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama
The Falcons need to get some players on the interior of the defensive line. Payne, like Hand, will get his chance to shine this season.
29. Seattle Seahawks- Martez Ivey, OL, Florida
Ivey could play guard or center for the Seahawks, but they need offensive line help so badly, it doesn’t matter. Protecting Russell Wilson hasn’t been a concern in the past for Seattle (even though it should have been), but it should be going into the future.
30. Green Bay Packers- Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
McFadden is a lengthy corner that can help the Packers stop the pass. They addressed the secondary this offseason, but if it doesn’t improve, they will target more secondary help.
31. Dallas Cowboys- Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
Hubbard got to start in Joey Bosa’s place when Bosa was suspended, but made a name for himself. After a few more years of good play, he could go in round one. Dallas picked Taco Charlton in the first round in the 2017 NFL Draft, but could still use pass rushing help.
32. New England Patriots- Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
The Patriots have a glaring need at pass rusher and Lewis might be their guy. He has a lot of experience at Ohio State and New England can turn him into a star.