Before I arrived in Indianapolis, the last position group that I took the time to study was the tight ends and I came away with some really positive thoughts about them prior to heading to the NFL Combine.
Over the years, it is a position that has become less and less about the big, boxy blocker and more about the guy that can play detached from the line and play in space. When you think about those types of players, the ones that come to mind in this draft are guys like Jace Amaro, Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. These players all have size but where they shine the most is making plays down the field, so I was looking forward to seeing them work live going through these drills .
What was disappointing was that only Jace Amaro managed to make it through the entire session. Ebron ran a poor 40 by his standards and injured himself. Seferian-Jenkins never saw the field with some medical questions from the staff that prevented him from being out there. So from a scouting perspective, it was a rough day in evaluating the top players. You can even include Troy Niklas in this group as, like his Notre Dame teammate Zack Martin, he chose not to run the 40 yard dash.
I did like the way that Amaro caught the ball and was working in and out through the drills. There was little question that he was going to be able to do that. What did work for me was when he had opportunities to work more down the field. When you study him at Texas Tech, you do see some down the field work but the majority of it is underneath with crosses and drags.
Outside of the top guys, I liked what I saw from C.J. Fiedorowicz. This guy is more what teams would play with as a true inline "Y". He is 6-5, 265 with 4.76 speed and there were games where did didn't always play like a good athlete, his movement skills were on point.
If there was a player that looks the part of athlete but I have no clue where you play him, it’s Trey Burton. Here is a guy that has played all over the map while he was in school at Florida. On Saturday, he worked with the tight ends. But he is more like a move guy or "H" who can catch the ball and be productive with his hands. Burton is an interesting player and might be one of those guys that you keep an eye on in the late rounds while you are looking for a player that has those traits.