Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert sets the bar for the tight ends in the 2013 NFL Draft class, and few can measure up to the standard. Without much depth to the group, a few tight ends could wind up getting pushed up the board on draft weekend.
The value of the tight end position is certainly alive and well. With some of the biggest impact players on offense being tight ends in today's NFL, teams are out searching for the next Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. That can lead to an over-infatuation with physical tools.
Here's a look at the most overrated tight ends, in what is not the strongest of classes for the position.
First team: Zach Ertz, Stanford
Zach Ertz led the nation in receiving yards for a tight end and showed flashes of skills that will translate to the NFL. The issue with Ertz is that he didn't show those flashes often enough. As a blocker, Ertz leaves a lot to be desired, as he struggles in space and doesn't have the strength to sustain in-line blocks. As a receiver, Ertz will occasionally struggle to go up and get balls in traffic and his route running can be hit or miss. Some skills are there that should make Ertz a day two pick, but those who think he is on Eifert's level as a prospect are missing the mark.
Second team: Ryan Otten, San Jose State
Ryan Otten had a scare at the Senior Bowl, fighting through staph infection all week before being hospitalized. Lucky for Otten, he managed to work through the scare and perform drills for NFL teams before the draft. Obviously we wish him all the best in his continued recovery and commend him on the determination he has shown in chasing his dream.
That being said, as a prospect, Otten is puzzling. Considered a mid-round option by some, Otten neither has the bulk to consistently sustain blocks or the quickness and speed to get away from coverage in the passing game. He was a terror in the WAC, but how will that translate to the NFL?