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2018 NFL Draft alternatives to Buffalo Bills tight end Charles Clay

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2018 will be a decent draft to find a replacement for Charles Clay

Charles Clay has been an enigma for the Buffalo Bills ever since the team signed him away from the Miami Dolphins. While he has been a reliable piece in the passing and running game, his impact does not match his contract compensation. Clay’s being compensated as a top-6 tight end and isn’t playing like one.

If the team decides that this is the year to draft a replacement for Clay, below are some potential prospects they will be considering:

Tier I

Dallas Goedart, South Dakota State
Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

Hurst and Goedart are both athletic receiving tight ends in the mold of the Philadelphia EaglesZach Ertz. They’re not going to block much on the line, but they are dynamic in the middle of the field. Mark Andrews is more in the mold of the Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten. He works the middle of the field by boxing out defenders and catching almost everything thrown in his general direction and has the frame to improve as a blocker. He was Baker Mayfield’s safety blanket. All three prospects will find themselves draft in the first or second round of the draft.

Tier II

Ian Thomas, Indiana
Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Adam Breneman, UMass
Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin
Durham Smyth, Notre Dame

All solid second-day prospects, Tier II players were the stars of the Senior Bowl. Smyth and Thomas may be the most complete tight ends in the draft, while Breneman and Gesicki are sneaky athletic and flash very soft hands. Fumagalli may not test well at the combine, but he has the frame at 6’6”, 248 pounds to improve as a blocker.

Tier III

Chris Herndon, Miami
Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan
Ryan Izzo, FSU
Cam Serigne, Wake Forest

Tier III prospects lack the frames to be full-time no. 1 tight ends, but have shown they can be productive in the past. Herndon is essentially a big wide receiver playing tight end. His future in the NFL may be as an H-back, Charles Clay-type. Ryan Izzo is a more athletic version of Nick O’Leary, while Conklin is well-rounded but doesn’t offer a high ceiling. Cam Serigne flashes some decent hands, but I don’t expect the combine to be very kind to him. Look for these prospects to be Day 3 picks.