The 2009 NFL Draft: The TE Prospects

Next in the multi-part draft breakdown are the tight ends. I watch a ton of college football, but I’m not Mel Kiper Jr., so all of these are up for discussion.

 

Tes_medium
About the only position on the current roster that does not need addressing is the TE position. A logical person would ask why I am running through the top TE prospects, and I would give a two-part answer:

 

1) One of the reasons I was brought into WCG was because of all the hours I put into college football.

 

…and this is most important:

 

2) While we all know that we’re set with TE’s (in comparison to other positions), Jerry Angelo is still our GM. Crazier things have happened.

 

Also, I’m bringing a new format to these draft breakdowns. If graduate school didn’t exist, I would sit down and write a mini-dossier on every eligible NFL prospect. Plus, I believe this new format will be easier for you to get the necessary information. I still provide breakdowns, but in condensed versions for easier reading. Let me know which version you like better.

 

Anyways, let’s get it going.

Brandon Pettigrew, Senior, Oklahoma State
Height: 6'6"        Weight: 260 lbs.

YEAR

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

2005

11

128

11.6

21

1

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2006

24

310

12.9

31

4

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2007

35

540

15.4

54

4

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2008

42

472

11.2

38

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Pros: Most complete tight end of this class....athletic with a strong build....blocking fundamentals are second to none....does not give up easily or go down after first contact....fights his way through blocks....rarely drops balls.

Cons: Lack of touchdowns this year was surprising....charged with felony assault of a police officer in January 2008....tends to turn it on and off when he sees fit....straight-line speed is adequate to below-average for the NFL....not going to make many defenders miss.

Let's take a look at the BGA of Pettigrew:

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

10/25

@Texas

L 28-24

8

83

10.4

19

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

11/8

@Texas Tech

L 56-20

7

72

10.3

18

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

11/29

Oklahoma

L 61-41

1

38

38.0

38

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

HOLIDAY BOWL

@Oregon

L 42-31

6

51

8.5

15

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Average: 5.5-61 yards, 16.8 YPC, 0 TD's.

Bottom line: Pettigrew is the best TE prospect available this year. However, his lack of separation is going to catch up with him in the NFL. He will do all the little things right, but I don't know if he'll be a legitimate downfield threat.

Projected round: 2nd

Jared Cook, Junior, South Carolina
Height: 6'5"       Weight: 240 lbs.

YEAR

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

2006

6

113

18.8

26

1

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2007

30

421

14.0

31

3

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2008

37

573

15.5

66

3

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Pros: Great size....blocking fundamentals are sound....runs a 4.6 40 time, which is great for his size....has phenomenal jumping ability....athleticism is top-notch....high character guy.

Cons: Cook's major downfall is his motor....is very inconsistent from drive-to-drive....route-running is lackadaisical.

Let's take a look at Cook's BGA:

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

9/13

Georgia

L 14-7

3

68

22.7

34

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

11/15

@Florida

L 56-6

1

6

6.0

6

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

OUTBACK BOWL

@Iowa

L 31-10

2

23

11.5

13

1

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Average: 2-32.3, 13.4 YPC, .3 TD's.

Bottom line: If Cook would play at a high intensity during every single football game, it would be quite a race between him and Pettigrew. However, Cook is still a strong prospect and will be a solid NFL player.

Projected round: 2nd or 3rd

Chase Coffman, Senior, Missouri
Height: 6'6"      Weight: 245 lbs.

YEAR

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

2005

47

503

10.7

33

4

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2006

58

638

11.0

37

9

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2007

52

531

10.2

33

7

1

8

8.0

8

0

0

0

2008

90

987

11.0

48

10

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Pros: Big, strong, athletic tight end....like Cook, Coffman's speed is amazing for his stature....character is not an issue....plays hard and fights through blocks...jumping ability is above-average....solid route runner.

Cons: Blocking is mediocre, but good coaching would alleviate this.

Let's take a look at Coffman's BGA:

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

8/30

Illinois

W 52-42

9

120

13.3

23

1

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

10/11

Oklahoma State

L 28-23

11

104

9.5

21

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

10/18

@Texas

L 56-31

12

140

11.7

31

1

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

12/6

@Oklahoma

L 62-21

4

48

12.0

17

1

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

ALAMO BOWL

@Northwestern

W 30-23

7

67

9.6

16

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Average: 8.6-95.8, 11.2 YPC, .6 TD.

Bottom line: Coffman is a great TE and normally would be a top TE of a class. However, this is a particularly strong TE class, which hurts Coffman's draft stock. Whoever gets Coffman will get a great tight end.

Projected round: 2nd or 3rd

Shawn Nelson, Senior, Southern Mississippi
Height: 6'5"       Weight: 239 lbs.

YEAR

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

2005

35

540

15.4

63

5

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2006

36

506

14.1

51

3

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2007

33

451

13.7

40

5

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

2008

53

557

10.5

29

3

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Pros: 4.6 40 time....has been consistent throughout his career....fluid in his hip movements.

Cons: With his speed, should be able to break long plays....route running is below-average and he must become more detail-oriented to succeed....blocking needs major coaching.

Let's take a look at Nelson's BGA: 

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

10/11

Boise State

L 24-7

3

24

8.0

14

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

NEW ORLEANS BOWL

@Troy

W 30-27

2

16

8.0

11

0

0

0

0.0

0

0

0

0

Average: 2.5-20, 8 YPC.

Bottom line: Nelson is a raw product, but he will get better with coaching. There is no mention of any character issues with Nelson, so whoever picks up this kid will not have to worry about that aspect.

Projected round: 4th to 5th 

James Casey, Sophomore, Rice
Height: 6'4"       Weight: 245 lbs.

YEAR

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

2007

46

585

12.7

61

4

45

121

2.7

19

5

0

0

2008

111

1329

12.0

47

13

57

241

4.2

45

6

0

0

Pros: Has soft hands....jumping ability is excellent....tough to get down after first hit....will fight for the ball in traffic....his motor never shuts off.

Cons: Comes from a non-professional offensive scheme....blocking is mediocre and must be fixed before playing in the NFL....straight-line speed is mediocre....more of a possession receiver than a downfield threat

Let's take a look at Casey's BGA:

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FUM

LST

9/20

@Texas

L 52-10

8

51

6.4

16

0

2

-1

-0.5

1

0

0

0

10/4

@Tulsa

L 63-28

9

120

13.3

29

1

10

31

3.1

11

1

0

0

TEXAS BOWL

Western Michigan

W 38-14

7

112

16.0

45

1

3

10

3.3

4

0

0

0

Average: 8-94.3, 11.9 YPC, .6 TD.

Bottom line: Casey is a good prospect that will need some time to develop in a professional system. Once he does, however, Casey should be able to flourish.

Projected round: 3rd or 4th

ChiFan's Sleeper:

Darius Hill, Senior, Ball State

6'6", 235 lbs TE with a 4.81 40 time. He's got some long arms that are useful when he blocks and allow him to grab some tough balls, along with tremendous athleticism. He needs to hit the weight room hard and spend a lot of quality time focusing on blocking and route-running fundamentals, but I think Hill could be an impact player in the NFL.

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