Scouting the Tight Ends & Fullbacks

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An area often overlooked, it is rare that a tight end is taken in round one, never mind two players from the position selected in the initial frame. That may change next week. Yet as is the case almost every year, the pickings at fullback are very slim.

Tight End

Kellen Winslow Jr./ Miami-Fl/6-2/249/4.52/ Junior: Winslow is a tremendous athlete and a great football player that's a "chip off the old block". Like his father, he is indeed a rare specimen justifying the label "a special player". Linebackers cannot run with him and safeties are over-powered by Winslow. Though he gets minimal results blocking it is not from lack of effort. Then again, to be truthful, anyone who drafts Winslow will not be doing so for his blocking prowess. A great player presently with an abundant amount of upside for the next level, Winslow has informed Hurricane coaches he will be playing in the NFL next season.

Ben Troupe/Florida/6-4/265/4.71/Senior: Troupe showed us a lot of skill as far back as 2001. To his credit when the offensive system changed last season so did his role. He's gone from an in-line tight end whose duties were blocking to a pass catcher that often lines up in the slot. We've always maintained he is a better version of Erron Kinney, though Troupe may be drafted a little earlier than the former Gator.

Ben Watson/Georgia/6-3/251/4.48/Senior: Though not a big part of the Georgia offense, Watson is a top athlete and good football player much further along than many give him credit for. He originally gave serious consideration to entering the 2002 draft, but did the smart thing and returned to Athens for his senior season. A much more complete version of former UGA tight end Randy McMichael, now producing for the Miami Dolphins.

Kris Wilson/Pittsburgh/6-2/248/4.63/Senior: Wilson has done a terrific job maximizing all his skills and did so going unnoticed for most of his college career. After putting in a consistent week at the Senior Bowl then performing well at the Combine, Wilson improved his stock and is now considered a first day pick. He may never be a number one tight end in the NFL but rather a pass catcher brought onto the field during third down or red zone

Chris Cooley/Utah State/6-3.5/265/4.89/Senior: An athletic, pass catching tight end that gives top effort in all aspects of the game, Cooley is a complete tight end effective blocking or catching the ball. Known as a hard worker both on and off the field, he should nicely fit into the NFL as a second tight end.

Fullbacks

Troy Fleming/Tennessee/6-0/230/4.66/Senior: An explosive athlete sized well, Fleming could ultimately turn into a solid feature runner at the next level. His versatility to be productive when the ball's in his hands will make him the first fullback drafted yet he must start doing the little things well at the next level.

Thomas Tapeh/Minnesota/6-1.5/245 /4.81/Senior: Tapeh is a fine offensive player that can be used as a lead fullback, receiver out of the backfield or even effectively carry the ball on the inside if a team lines up in a one back set. Performing well at the Senior Bowl and improving his draft ranking, Tapeh is a solid pick in the middle frames.

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