Tyler Eifert | TE | Notre Dame, junior | 6-6, 249 pounds
2011 Stats: 63 catches, 803 yards, 5 touchdowns
Games Watched: Stanford, Maryland, South Florida, Pittsburgh, Army (2010)
First Word: Tyler Eifert is everyone's favorite tight end heading into the 2012 season, and for pretty good reason. Despite suffering from pop warner-caliber quarterback play throughout most of his career, Eifert has managed to impress while posting decent numbers along the way. He is a great athlete with the hands and body control to make tons of plays. He is a balanced player, who can block as well as run crisp routes. If he smooths out his game by suffering fewer mental lapes, and the guys throwing him the ball improve, Eifert could be a first round prospect. At the moment, he is on the fringe, in my opinion.
- Outstanding body control. Eifert constantly has to adjust to poorly thrown balls and does an excellent job doing so. He also displays great leaping ability, allowing him to come down with a lot of inaccurate passes over the middle. Not afraid to go up and make a catch in the middle part of the field.
- Eifert has very reliable hands. He dropped a few passes due to lapses in concentration, but for the most part, Eifert catches everything thrown his way. Has a large catch radius, and he needs it with Tommy Reese under center.
- Eifert continues to develop as a blocker. He shows a decent mean streak, solid technique and above average strength to open up lanes in the running game. He is not perfect in this area, but few tight ends are.
- Route running is another area that Eifert has developed nicely. He is very smart in his route running. He constantly finds the holes in zone and takes advantage of mismatches in man coverage. He is also deceptively quick in and out of his cuts, which allows him to get separation.
- Eifert is definitely an athlete. He has some wheels to go with his leaping ability and body control. At his size, his skill set is impressive.
- Makes plays in traffic consistently, which is a huge plus for a tight end in the NFL.
- While Eifert has above average speed, it can take him a while to reach top speed. Would like to see a little more giddy up off the line from him.
- As mentioned above, Eifert occasionally has lapses of concentration, which come when catching, running routes or blocking. I expect him to mature out of this, though, but it's still worth noting.
- The biggest negative surrounding Eifert at the moment is no fault of his own. It's his quarterback play. Hopefully, for his sake, it improves in 2012.