Originally posted by Gore_21:
Was just going to make a poll on this but who do you guys like for TE's? I don't think Eifert is a possibility since it would require a trade up. I wouldn't mind if we took Ertz at 31 or 34 but I don't think it will happen. I think we take Kelce at 61 or 74. Reed and Escobar could be other options but I have read they aren't the best blockers. We can always coach guys up though. One of Vernon's knocks coming out was his blocking and he was like our RT the 1st few years with us. Anyone on our team will have no problem getting stronger and into better shape. There is a great veteran presence and a lot of guys are in working out during the offseason when you do don't have to be. There is a high turnout for voluntary stuff as well. It's the atmosphere and the locker room. So I think we will lean towards someone who can block and catch but doesn't mean we can't coach someone up and get them stronger and make them a better blocker.
Anyways, I think we should take a TE in the 1st 3 rounds. We need to replace Walker; we use 2 TE's a lot in our offense and to me Celek isn't the answer. Could make our offense even more explosive than it will already be with someone like Ertz, Reed, Esobar or Kelce.
I really think our #2 TE needs to be a solid blocker first, pass catcher 2nd. Our coaches love multi dimension players who can line up anywhere and keep the defenses guessing. Ertz, Eifert, Reed and Escobar are excellent receivers of balls, but lack the size and strength to put their hand in the dirt and take on a 280 DE. Can they be coached up to block and add size after a couple years? Sure they could, over time, but that would have been a better idea LAST year with a #3 TE. Since Celek has hands of stone, we really need a solid blocking TE who can also catch, one we can plug in THIS season. I think 2 players fit that mold better than the rest, Kelce and Vance McDonald.
Vance McDonald, TE, Rice Height: 6-4. Weight: 267. Arm: 34 1/2. Hand: 10.18. 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2013): 3-4
He mostly played in the slot at Rice, but he has strength ( 31 reps was tops for TE at the combine - and more than most Olinemen ) and the size ( 267 ) to be an effective inline blocker. He also was the top performer in the Broad Jump, 3 cone and 60 yard shuttle....so he's not just a big meathead, he's athletic too. I think his size, strength and athleticism will allow him to adapt to inline blocking pretty quick.
Here's NFL.com's breakdown =
Strengths Used all over the formation
but mainly as a slot receiver. Smooth athlete, comfortable in space for someone his size. Engages with good hand placement when blocking, uses body to shield off running lane. Very long arms, flashes using them to his advantage when run blocking. Sticks to the latch even if jolted on first contact. Flashes driving smaller defenders to the ground. Fluid mover after the catch, natural with the ball in his hands, reads upfield blocks and cuts off of them. Plenty of receiver screens, shows patience and strength to finish off runs. Snap-to-whistle player, known to make multiple blocks on the same play.
Comfortable with bucket catches. Quickly turns upfield and makes the most of each play. Can make contested catches. Hands catcher away from his body.
Weaknesses Lacks strength on first contact. Majority of blocking took place in space, no inline, which could show in NFL. At least one drop or bobble per game, occurred even more often at the Senior Bowl. Most occur when he has to adjust or move off his stationary spot. Other times when the ball gets there quickly, unexpected targets. Would like to see him high point more frequently.
NFL Comparison Todd Heap
Bottom Line Despite being built like an inline tight end, the majority of McDonald's experience is in the slot. This certainly helps his comfort blocking on the edge and as a receiver who picks up yards after the catch. In fact, McDonald is still learning how to use his frame effectively. Teams could view the Rice product as an inline prospect or as a Joker mismatch, but either way McDonald should be selected on the second day.
I believe his versatility and size make him a perfect fit as our #2 TE. He already knows how to run routes and work in space, he also has big hands and long arms ( big assets in the Red Zone ) if he can adapt to inline blocking, he would be a great weapon for our team.
[ Edited by DRUSTOPO on Apr 11, 2013 at 10:53 AM ]