Oklahoma State Tight End Brandon Pettigrew (SI.com)
As the 2009 NFL Draft approaches, the editorial staff at Buffalo Rumblings will begin profiling draft prospects that may end up being potential targets of the Buffalo Bills. We're back on the offensive side of the ball this morning, profiling Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew.
Let's be honest folks, the Buffalo Bills haven't had a solid all around tight end since the days of Pete Metzelaars. The position has been plagued with names like Tim Euhus, Dave Moore, Mark Campbell, and Robert Royal. Isn't it time the Bills stopped the revolving door of suck and brought in a player that can adequately hold down the position for ten years or more? Can the Bills bring in a player who can not only block like an OT, but catch like a WR? More importantly, is Brandon Pettigrew that man?
Pettigrew has been a hot topic around here for quite some time. Is he worth the eleventh overall pick? Is he really as good as most scouts claim he is? There is a prevalent belief that the Bills' front office views Pettigrew as a "one in five years" kind of guy at the position. Let's take a closer look at the player that has some of us drooling and some of us puking, and see if we can answer some of these questions.
Brandon Pettigrew - Tight End, Oklahoma State
6'6", 260 pounds, 4.85 second 40 yard dash
22 bench press reps at 225 pounds
Strengths: Excellent blocker, in line and in space. Has great size, with long arms on a big frame. He has big, soft hands and can make some tough catches when needed. Big, tough player who not only plays with a mean streak, but can do damage after the catch. Pettigrew has also gotten lots of experience, he isn't a raw player that will have to learn how to block, or any of the other intricacies of playing tight end. He has played tight end like an NFL player his whole career; he hasn't spent his whole career split out like a wide receiver.
Weaknesses: Ran a 4.85 forty yard dash, which means that he isn't a speed demon. He also could stand to improve his route-running. Pettigrew was arrested in January of 2008 and charged with felony assault and battery of a police officer, but eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery charges. Coaches and teammates say that he has improved his character, but it is still a red flag.
NFL comparison: Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Pettigrew might be a slightly better blocker then Witten, but they are in the same mold. Pettigrew has the potential to be the over the middle threat that Witten is - too big for safeties to handle by themselves and to fast for most linebackers to deal with.
For more info on Pettigrew, I asked Dan Kadar, who heads up SB Nation's NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft, for his input. Dan was kind enough to take a few moments to answer some questions for me about Pettigrew. Dan also penned this scouting report on Pettigrew.
The statement has been made over at Rumblings that Pettigrew is a "one in five years" kind of player. Do you agree with that statement?
No. He doesn't have quite the athletic ability to warrant that kind of status. If he did, I'm sure he'd be being considered more by Buffalo with the No. 11 overall pick.
What is it about Pettigrew that sets him above players like Chase Coffman and Jared Cook?
Although all three of those guys are coming from a spread offense, Coffman and Cook weren't asked to block as much as Pettigrew. That's what really sets him apart. If he couldn't block as well as he does, he'd have a second-round grade. He also plays stronger than those two.
More after the jump.
Does the fact that Pettigrew had zero touchdowns in 2008 concern you?
It does, a bit. Part of it makes you wonder about his ability to be a game breaker. It also makes you wonder some about his feet. Maybe he wasn't targeted in the red zone because he has some trouble keeping his feet inbounds. It also doesn't help him that he has a teammate like Dez Bryant, who is a touchdown machine. Oklahoma State also likes to run quaterback Bobby Reid near the end zone, so that probably has something to do with it.
With players like Cook and Coffman becoming more popular in college, do you see tight ends like Pettigrew becoming more rare? (If yes) Does that make him more valuable?
Yeah, that's what makes Pettigrew stand out above those two. He's not a one-trick tight end.
Is the No. 11 pick too high to take Pettigrew and if yes, then where would you slot him?
At this point, 11 is too high. I'd consider him a good value from spot 18 or later. Earlier than that, and it's a slight reach.
Does he fit the Bill?
Short answer, yes. Longer answer, absolutely. Pettigrew is far and away the best all around TE in this draft. His receiving skills are underrated because he isn't the dynamic pass catcher that a Coffman or Cook are, but he is more then capable of being a big time receiving threat in the right offense. With Terrell Owens and Lee Evans on the outside and Josh Reed in the slot, the Bills have the exact offense in place that perfectly suits what Pettigrew can do for an offense. The question is, do the Bills reach at 11 and take Pettigrew, or do they trade down and try their luck? We will see in about 19 days.
Thanks again to Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft.