Hey Bills fans. I'm hoping to make this an ongoing series that I intend to do this year where I explore and attempt to shed some light on potential draft picks the Bills may be looking at for next year’s draft. Up this week are Tight Ends.
Justification of need: While Scott Chandler is a good starter he is a free agent coming this year. I’m totally for re-signing him…for the right price. He’ll also be 29 come next season. While Lee Smith is a great blocking tight end (something us fans don’t appreciate very much) that’s pretty much all he does.
Depending on which juniors decide to come out for the draft, this coming year’s tight end class could end up being stellar. Here are some players to keep an eye on:
Austin Seferian-Jenkins Washington 6'6" 267 lbs. Junior
Projected rounds: 1-2
The first thing you’ll notice about Jenkins is his size. He’s the prototypical modern tight end and has almost the exact same measurements as Rob Gronkowski. He uses that size to his advantage frequently. He’s another one of these tight ends that has played basketball and by doing so has learned to box out defenders. He’s great at attacking the football at its highest point as well. His blocking could use some work, but he obviously has the frame to improve on it. As of this writing his stats don’t really jump of the page at this point in the year. He has 14 catches for 149 yards and 2 TDs. Jenkins has had a few run-ins with the law. Last year he got a DUI. However, it is expected that Seferian-Jenkins will be the first tight end of the board this coming April.
Jace Amaro Texas Tech 6'5" 257 lbs. Junior
Projected rounds: 3-4
Prototypical Joker Tight End. He has great athleticism for his size and I expect he will have a great 40 time at the combine. As a joker tight end, Texas Tech requires him to run a full route tree and can line up out wide, in the slot, on the line, and even in the backfield. His quickness allows him to get separation against linebackers easily and his size allows him to out fight safeties. He also has great hands and body control. His blocking leaves A LOT to be desired. He’s alright blocking defensive backs but ask him to block a linebacker or defensive end and he will get creamed. I think he could afford to add more bulk to his frame so that might improve his blocking some-what. He does have some red flags. Last year he threw a punch at an opposing player that caused him to be suspending for half a game. He also got arrested for using a teammates credit card at a bar. Amaro has had a great start to the year stat-wise. He has 38 receptions for 463 yards and 1 TD. I’d look for him to be taken in rounds 3-4 but he could be taken as high as the 2nd round.
C.J. Fiedorowicz Iowa 6'6" 265 lbs. Senior
Project rounds: 3-4
Very good blocker. By all reports Fiedorowicz is one of the best blocking tight ends to come out in the past few years. As you could probably tell from his MONSTER measurables, he is a powerful road grader, who is equally adept blocking the run or pass. While blocking is his best skill, he can also hurt you in the passing game (think Anthony Fasano). He has pretty good straight line speed (I’d liken his speed to Scott Chandler’s). He can make clutch catches and then punish the oncoming would-be tackler. He’s not going to break many tackles though. Due to his size he would be very valuable in the red zone and on third down. His stats so far this year haven’t been great. He only has 11 catches for 98 yards 2 TDs. While his stock could drop if he has a bad combine I predict Fiedorowicz will be taken somewhere in rounds 3-4.
Some lower round tight ends worth mentioning:
Arthur Lynch Georgia - Good blocker. Finding his feet as a receiver
Colt Lyerla Oregon - Could be elite but his draft stock has been plummeting and he just left Oregon.
Marcel Jensen Fresno St. – Keep an eye on this guy. A diamond in the rough is my opinion.
Well Bills fans, who would you want on our team?