Top Tight Ends For The 2009 Draft
(AP Photo)
Lead NFL Analyst
Posted Oct 9, 2008


Different strokes for different folks is a popular popular 60’s phrase. Do you think they were talking about the use of the TE's in today’s modern offensive? Probably not, but in reality the use of the tight end in modern pro offenses is as varied as flavors of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. Check out this year’s top rated tight ends and decide for yourself which is a fit for your favorite club.

I don't know if there is a John Mackey or Mike Ditka in this year's tight end grouping, but I believe there is one legitimate senior tight end prospects in this years draft that could have a chance of being drafted in the first round. Based on my exposure from 2007, Oklahoma State Brandon Pettigrew is the class of the field. He has very good hands, a wide catching radius and can be a load after the catch. He doesn’t have top playing production and doesn't dance every dance, but when the spirit moves him, he is an effective point of attack blocker. He has a lot of physical gifts and can do a lot of things but he needs to have a big 2008 season.

Chase Coffman is just the latest in a long line of Missouri tight ends. He’s tough, physical, consistent and plays his butt off, but I’ve never seen him in a three point stance (can he block anyone?) and I have to question his overall speed to get up the seam. Travis Beckum in the right offensive system (KC, San Diego) could some day be among the league leaders in receptions, but he’s isn’t particularly strong, is not asked to block at the point of attack or overall I don't believe he is in the same class with former Purdue TE Dustin Keller drafted last spring in round number one by the Jets.

Ryan Purvis of Boston College is not flashy, but is a very dependable underneath receiver and very solid inline blocker. Anthony Hill of NC State and Kory Sperry of Colorado State are two skilled experienced hands who return to their respective schools after red shirting in 07 due to injury. Both have the necessary size and talent to factor, but are going to have to show they have come back one hundred percent from their respective injuries.

Brian Mandeville of Northeastern University is clearly their best tight end prospect produced at this downtown Boston institution since the late and great Dan Ross was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals’ with the 30th selection in the 1979 draft. I like his playing toughness, blocking skills and his effectiveness as a short and intermediate receiver. He’s tough and a far better athlete then I had expected.

Cornelius Ingram, the very talented quarterback turned tight end from the University of Florida, who briefly declared for the 2008 player draft was injured at the start of pre-season camp (knee) and lost for the 2008 season.

Grade Last First School 2007 Stats
Catches - Yards - Avg - TD
B Pettigrew Brandon  Oklahoma St 35-540-15.4-4
B Purvis Ryan  Boston College 54-553-10.2-4
B Ingram Cornelius  Florida U 34-508-14.9-7
B Coffman Chase  Missouri U 52-531-10.2-7
B Beckum Travis  Wisconsin U 75-982-13.1-6 
C Branson Marquez Central Arkansas U 37-499-13.5-7
C Sperry Kory  Colorado St 10-119-11.9-3
C Pascoe Bear  Fresno St 45-553-12.3-4
C Hafner Mark Houston U 40-445-11.1-3
C Hill Anthony  No Carolina St No 2007 stats
C Mandeville Brian  Northeastern U 30-411-13.7-5
C Nelson Shawn  Southern Mississippi 33-451-13.7-5
C Phillips John   Virginia U 17-193-11.4-2


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