Re: ***2014 PATRIOTS DRAFT THREAD***
posted at 1/9/2014 8:20 AM EST
Declared Underclassmen TEs: www.draftbrowns.com
Xavier Grimble TE USC 6’5” 255 (Added 1/8/2014) – Rivals rated Grimble as the top tight end recruit in the country out of high school in 2010. He redshirted during his first year on campus for the Trojans, and was a part time starter for the past three seasons. The junior closes his college career with 69 catches for 730 yards and 11 touchdowns in 35 games. Grimble was initially leaning toward returning for his senior season, and reportedly did not seek an evaluation from the NFL before changing course and declaring for the 2014 draft.
Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech 6’5” 257 (Added 1/2/2014) – Amaro’s first two years at Tech were clouded by on and off the field incidents. He was arrested in March of 2012 for use of a fake ID and another player’s credit card, but was ultimately not charged. Then he closed out the 2012 season by being ejected from the bowl game for fighting. Amaro vowed to overcome the mistakes of his youth, and went on to complete the 2013 season without incident. Along the way, he caught 106 passes for 1352 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games. Amaro plays the game like a big wide receiver – a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive coaches – but has the size and strength to develop into an effective blocker if he works at it. He seemed to waver on his decision throughout the season, but in the end opted to move onto the pros.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins TE Washington 6’6” 276 (Added 12/30/2013) - Aside from catching a career-high eight touchdowns this past season, ASJ’s numbers dipped significantly. But despite his modest receiving totals, he won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end. At the NFL level, Sefarian-Jenkins will serve more of a traditional role than than oversized receiver-types like Jimmy Graham and Jordan Cameron. He has reportedly been given a second round grade by the NFL Draft Advisory committee, but teams will want to be sure that his March 2013 DUI arrest is a mere blip on the radar before spending a high pick on him. For more on ASJ click here.
Jake Murphy TE Utah 6’4” 252 (Added 12/30/2013) – The son of former Major League Baseball great Dale Murphy, the younger Murphy originally signed on to play at BYU. However, upon returning from a Mormon mission in 2010, BYU no longer had a scholarship available for him. Rather than delay the start to his college football career further, Murphy opted to attend Utah and play immediately. In three seasons for the Utes he caught 63 passes for 830 yards and ten touchdowns. He missed time this past season with a broken wrist, but closed out the year with his best two games as a collegian. Murphy’s decision to turn pro was likely driven by the fact that he will turn 25 years old next September. He is not expected to be an early pick but could still work his way into the later rounds with strong pre-draft showing.
Richard Rodgers TE California 6’4” 245 (Added 12/26/2013) – After tipping the scales at 278 pounds while recovering from injuries this past offseason, Rodgers became the target of some…well, tough love from Cal Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin. According to the coach, “I told (Rodgers) you will not play a down if you don’t (lose weight) because you’re slow and fat and out of shape and you can’t play.” Rodgers cut candy out of his diet, dropped 30 pounds, and became a slot receiver in the Golden Bears’ offense. He finished his junior season with 39 catches for 608 yards and a touchdown. Rodgers decision may come as a slight surprise, but he likely received some solid advice, including from his father, who works as the Carolina Panthers’ special teams coach. Draft insider Tony Pauline tweeted that some evaluators have second round grades on Rodgers, and that the tight end prospect has been compared to Antonio Gates. Not too shabby.
Colt Lyerla TE Oregon 6’5” 245 – Lyerla’s name has been in the draft since he left Oregon early in the season. From November: “Former Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla presents the most interesting case. He raised a slew of questions when he left Oregon, and details of a troubled past began to emerge. Then, just a few weeks later, Lyerla was arrested for possession of cocaine. He has already hired an agent, so there is no question he will enter the draft, but Lyerla will face a barrage of questions about drug use and his desire to play football from the few teams that haven’t already erased his name from their draft boards. Lyerla needs to prove that he is contrite, motivated, and clean if he hopes to be drafted in May, and his handlers will be faced with a daunting sales job.”
Eric Ebron TE North Carolina 6’4” 245 – Ebron has a chance to be the first tight end drafted next spring after catching 95 passes for 1520 yards and seven touchdowns over the past two seasons. Ebron finished the regular season with a five-catch 121-yard performance, just days after making his NFL intentions known. He’ll have one more chance to impress against Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl.
A.C. Leonard TE Tennessee State 6’4” 245 – Just days after committing to the Florida Gators, Leonard, a four star tight end recruit, was suspended for the remainder of his senior season for fighting. Once in college, Leonard left Florida prior to his sophomore season after pleading no contest to a battery charge that stemmed from an ugly domestic altercation with his girlfriend. Leonard landed at Tennessee State where he caught 85 passes for 1174 yards and 11 touchdowns in 22 games. He is reportedly considered a mid round talent by some scouts, but Leonard’s off the field issues will likely push him into the late rounds or priority free agency.
Mike Flacco TE New Haven 6’5” 245 (Added 1/8/2014) – Flacco played minor league baseball for several seaons before retiring in 2012. He is a 26-year old sophomore tight end who caught 30 passes for 591 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. And yes, he is the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.