Tight ends have taken on bigger roles in the NFL lately, as the league has become very pass-happy and player safety rules have opened up the middle of the field, but we didn't see that translate to a bunch of first round picks on Thursday. In fact, Tyler Eifert was the only tight end picked, but the position should get a lot more love on Friday, when several tight ends are expected to be selected.
The run on tight ends probably won't start in the second round, though. SB Nation's Dan Kadar's expects Zach Ertz to be the lone tight end selected in the second round, but with four more tight ends in his top 100 overall players, the position should see heavy action in the third and fourth rounds.
Top tight ends remaining
1. Zach Ertz, 6'5, 250 lbs., Stanford -- Overall rank: No. 34
Ertz was the top ranked tight end recruit in the country coming out of high school and he showed why at Stanford. He was a dependable pass catcher and led the Cardinal in most receiving categories as a junior last season to go along with improved blocking. Ertz still needs to add some strength to improve further as a blocker, but he has the frame for it and will be able to make an impact in the passing game from day one.
2. Gavin Escobar, 6'6, 254 lbs., San Diego St. -- Overall rank: No. 40
Escobar is a former basketball player and it shows. He is a good, fluid athlete who has good hands and can be deadly in the passing game. The question about Escobar is whether he can put on some weight and learn to be an adequate blocker, something he isn't right now. Even so, Escobar should have no problem finding a home and flourishing in some capacity in this new, pass happy NFL.
3. Travis Kelce, 6'5'', 255 lbs., Cincinnati -- Overall rank: No. 53
Kelce is an outstanding all-around tight end. Early in his career he excelled as a run blocker and emerged as one of the Big East's best tight ends solely because of that, but he made huge strides as a pass catcher in his senior season and is now an asset in the passing game too. There are some concerns about his athleticism and he was suspended for a season, which raises some flags, but his ability to make an impact in the running game and passing game is impressive.
4. Vance McDonald, 6'4, 267 lbs., Rice -- Overall rank: No. 87
McDonald might be the most intriguing tight end on the board. He's a big player with a huge frame, but he has worked primarily in the slot, where he honed his pass catching skills and learned to block on the edge. That experience should serve him well, allowing the team that drafts him to use him like that, while also developing his in-line blocking skills to work in a more traditional tight end role.
5. Dion Sims, 6'5, 276 lbs., Michigan St. -- Overall rank: 95
Sims is one of the bigger tight ends in the draft, but he has surprisingly good speed for someone so big. His big frame gives quarterbacks a big target, but he has some flexibility issues that make it difficult for him to adjust to difficult throws. Sims will need to improve his blocking technique, but with his strength, he should be able to develop into a good blocker.
Jordan Reed, 6'2 1/2, 236 lbs., Florida -- Overall rank: No. 101
Michael Williams, 6'6, 270 lbs., Alabama -- Overall rank: No. 115
Ryan Otten, 6'6, 245 lbs., San Jose State -- Overall rank: No. 119
Nick Kasa, 6'6, 269 lbs., Colorado -- Overall rank: No. 122
Levine Toilolo, 6'7, 263 lbs., Stanford -- Overall rank: No. 130
Joseph Fauria, 6'7, 258 lbs., UCLA -- Overall rank: No. 143