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Eifert As Draft's Top Tight End Would Be Slam Dunk Insurance
Name: Tyler Eifert
Position: Tight End
College: Notre Dame
Age: 22 (born Sept. 8, 1990)
Honors: Eifert became the first Notre Dame tight end to win the Mackey Award in December 2012, after he finished the regular season with 44 catches for 621 yards and four touchdowns. He was one of the only components of the Notre Dame offense who produced against Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, as he hauled in six passes for 61 yards. Eifert was also named a second-team All-American.
Key Stat: The game tape shows Eifert to be another Jason Witten, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski-type of matchup nightmare as a receiving tight end. His size and speed give him the ability to line up at both tight end or as a possibility out wide on occasion, which is becoming more and more common. Blocking isn’t Eifert’s strongest suit at this point, but his 6-5, 250-pound frame allows for plenty of improvement in that category.
Where He’s Headed: He’s a first round lock as the consensus best tight end in this draft. Where he goes is a matter of opinion, but it’ll probably be somewhere between No.10 and No. 20.
How He Helps the Cowboys: Obviously the Cowboys have an all-time great in Witten, and backup James Hanna showed some spark to close out 2012. Eifert is a two-for-one prospect, though, as he could help out the Cowboys’ blocking efforts as well as the passing game.
Scout’s Take: Can adjust to the ball behind him. … Is an on-the-move, point-of-attack blocker. … Not much pop. … Can line up at WR. … Fights his way up field. … Doesn’t have many moves. … Not much initial quickness. … Tries to stay after blocks on edge. … Doubled in red zone. … Looks for the ball on the HOT. … Better route-runner in the red zone. … Lunges as a pass blocker. … Missed man off the edge. … Off balance. … Better with release when in line. … Not great on backside cut-off. … Good adjust in traffic. … Protects the ball from the defender. … Drives off the ball to hook inside. … Used as a wham blocker inside, but not one of his strengths. … Shield and wall-off type of blocker. … Will body catch the ball some, but have seen him snatch it as well. … Will extend for it. … Will go after the ball along the sideline. … Outstanding awareness of where he is on the field. … Had a fumble in Alabama game when ball got stripped in the flat, but was called down. … Tries to get push on down block. … Will need to develop strength for better sustain. … Can push off to gain separation. … Works to get open. … Can be a real problem for defenses to have to deal with because of his size and his ability to go get the ball. … Remember that Jason Witten was not a great blocker coming out of Tennessee, but worked at it throughout his career. … Clearly the best tight end in the draft for the number of things he could do offensively. – Bryan Broaddus