All of Buffalo Rumblings' 2015 NFL Draft coverage can be found in our NFL Draft section. These scouting reports are part of our 2015 NFL Draft big board, which is also available under the "Library" header on our site's navigation bar.
- Position: Flex End (FE)
- Class: Junior
- College: Michigan
- Ht/Wt: 6'5", 230 pounds
Devin Funchess might be an ideal prospect as a flex end, used all around the field. At 6'5" he can outreach any back-seven defender, and with speed in the 4.5 range he's faster than many players between the hashes. Funchess moves fluidly with great body control. He's comfortable reaching his arms out to catch passes at weird trajectories, and elevates well to win battles in tight spaces. Funchess has soft hands and the excellent catch radius that comes with his size and body control.
A big question in the NFL will be where to ultimately place Funchess. He's too skinny to be used as an in-line tight end, and from the tape I've seen, he's probably not fast enough to separate easily as a pure receiver. He also lacks the raw physicality of a player like Mike Evans or Kelvin Benjamin, which has helped those guys get separation in the pros. Funchess ran a full route tree at Michigan, but can work on improving his route-running. He needs to use more physicality for gaining separation, and his hand fighting technique isn't where it could be.
Funchess, a converted tight end, isn't a great blocker right now (for a tight end). He's awkward getting out of a three-point stance, and doesn't have an easy, practiced blocking form right now. Funchess follows the play well, and often gives a strong effort blocking downfield for teammates. He can make catches even when he's getting hit, but the toughness he displays at the catch point doesn't extend yet to running before or after the catch.
The discussion about Funchess as a prospect is going to be hindered by the question of where he plays in the NFL. He's a definite "tweener," between the traditional notions of receiver and tight end - but in this case, I think he succeeds in the NFL because his best attributes (size, hands, and route tree mastery) are the ones that will translate from tight end to flex end or split end. He has some areas in need of improvement, and he's not quite fast or physical enough to be a Pro Bowler in the traditional alignments. But I keep imagining him moving from the line to the edge of the field, tearing apart defenses with mismatches, and I start thinking that I wouldn't mind spending a late first or early second round pick on him, if I paired him with a smart offensive staff.