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NFL Scouting Combine Preview: Tight Ends

We break down which TEs you should keep an eye on during today’s NFL Combine workouts.

Miami v North Carolina State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

The Combine is finally here, and the on-field workouts have begun. Today’s group features the QBs, WRs, and TEs. Atlanta is probably only seriously interested in the TE group, and will perhaps keep an eye on the WRs as well for depth purposes.

There’s a long list of TEs that have been invited to the Combine. To help you narrow your focus, I’ll highlight some of the names that I’ve found interesting throughout the draft process thus far. Most are easily recognizable, but there are a few new names sprinkled in as well.

Without further adieu, let’s take a look at which TEs to watch during the on-field workouts.

Tight Ends

Evan Engram, Ole Miss

Engram is arguably the most polished receiving TE in the class. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s a refined route runner and a smooth athlete. Could be a 2nd-3rd round target.

Gerald Everett, South Alabama

Everett is a player that blurs the line between WR and TE. He’s got good size and impressive athleticism that makes him a true match-up problem. He’s a raw player, but has a ton of potential. 2nd-3rd round projection.

Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech

Hodges is another WR/TE hybrid with great size and plus athleticism. He’s a very good, if unpolished, receiving option with some questions about his blocking ability at the NFL level. 2nd-3rd round projection.

O.J. Howard, Alabama

Everyone knows who this guy is. Howard is an imposing physical specimen and is expected to light up the Combine with his impressive athletic abilities. He’s a dual-threat player with sky-high potential. 1st-round projection.

Jordan Leggett, Clemson

Leggett is an intriguing player with fantastic size that has made a name for himself by performing in big games. He’s got excellent hands and has the tools to be a good blocker, but there are questions about effort and love of the game. 3rd-4th round projection.

David Njoku, Miami

Njoku is the odds-on favorite to run the fastest 40 time for TEs this year. He’s a blazing fast, freakish athlete at the TE position with elite upside as a receiver. Njoku arguably has the highest ceiling of all TEs in this class, at least as a pure receiving option. 1st-round projection.

Michael Roberts, Toledo

A player that I’ve raved about recently, Roberts is a versatile, physical TE that racked up 16 TD catches this season. He’s got ideal size, huge hands, and is a very good blocker to boot. His Combine workouts could better define his upside as a receiver. 4th-5th round projection.

Adam Shaheen, Ashland

Shaheen is a very under-the-radar player that has started to pick up a little steam lately. He’s downright massive (6’6, 277), and is by all accounts an impressive athlete at that size. Strangely, he’s considered a much better receiver than blocker at this point. His Combine performance will likely determine just how high teams are willing to gamble on his potential. Mid-round projection.

Jeremy Sprinkle, Arkansas

Sprinkle might best be known for his pre-Belk Bowl shenanigans. He’s no doubt a character concern, but nonetheless has intriguing characteristics that NFL teams covet. Sprinkle has ideal size with the skills to be a true dual-threat TE, but the off-field incident will certainly hurt his stock. 4th-5th round projection.

Projected Draft Round

The TE position is truly a wild-card this offseason. It’s not an immediate glaring need, but with the variety of options in this year’s draft class it seems likely that Atlanta will come away with a selection.

My money would be on the Falcons going after a second-tier receiving specialist like Engram or Everett in the second or third round, or getting a well-rounded player like Roberts in the fourth or fifth round. Depending on how the draft board falls, Atlanta could also opt to spend a high pick on one of the elite options.

Full List of Combine Invites

The entire list of invited players can be found here.

Who are some TEs you’ll be watching during the NFL Scouting Combine? Do you have any favorites that you’d love to see don the red and black in a few months?