during the Playstation Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 30, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.

The tight end position has spent the past ten years evolving into a key piece of any offense. A good tight end is a blocker, a check down receiver and a big bodied deep threat designed to go one on one with linebackers down the field. A great tight end takes double coverage from the linebacker and the safety. The tight end is a hammer for the quarterback to pound away at a defense with.

This class entering the NFL Draft have a couple of diamonds hidden in the rough. While the class is not very deep, it appears that the few good players will make impacts immediately in the long term vision of the league. Here are the top five tight ends entering the 2018 NFL Draft.

5. Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin

A good blocker and a decent receiver, Fumagalli is more or less a traditional tight end. He is capable of getting downfield and making catches at crucial moments. Struggled with drops his entire career, had a pair of bad ones in the win over Miami in the Orange Bowl. Isn’t the dynamic player that will get paid a lot of money some day. Fumagalli should be a decent role player who can have a good career in the NFL. Projected to go in the 4th round.

Grade – 75

4. Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State

Goedert is a playmaker at the receiver position. Leaned upon heavily by South Dakota State, he was often times used as a deep threat and was lethal in the red zone. Scored 21 TD’s in his four years. Made some really nice one handed catches too. Not a blocker and will probably only be used on passing downs. Projected as a late second/third round pick,

Grade – 77

3. Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

Very athletic some games. Seems to struggle in rain and cold weather, just doesn’t bring the same intensity. Has flashing speed. Looks great in the open field. Good size, and blocks well. Reminds me of Greg Olsen coming out of college, almost shares the same skillset. Can develop into a weapon for any offense. Late second/early third round pick.

Grade – 77

2. Mark Andrews, Oklahoma

If you were to put college tape of Rob Gronkowski next to Mark Andrews, you would probably thing they were the same player. Great down the field abilities, deep threat playmaker. Was Baker Mayfield’s go to guy the past couple of seasons. Not a blocker, and struggles against safeties despite the field advantage. Not as athletic as you would want to see. Second round.

Grade – 78

1. Mike Gesicki, Penn State

Gesicki is a reincarnation of Jimmy Graham, but only as a better blocker. Plays really well as a vertical threat, and has excellent hands. Good open field abilities to shake defenders and pick up extra yards. Good blocker, but still has improvement in that area. Has the ability to be a huge player in the league with the right team and situation. Late first round/early second.

Grade – 80

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