2011 NFL Combine - TE Post-Combine Analysis
Luke Stocker, Kyle Rudolph, Lance Kendricks
Luke Stocker, Kyle Rudolph, Lance Kendricks
Posted Feb 27, 2011

The best tight end prospect of the lot, Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph, wasn't able to run in Indy, but it was still a surprisingly strong day for the rest of the prospects. Who shocked the scouts? Did Luke Stocker run well? Did Lance Kendricks look the part? Check out the post-combine analysis on the tight ends following Day One.

2011 NFL Combine

Tight End Rankings

2011 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

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2011 NFL Combine Results
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1. Kyle Rudolph, Notre Dame 6-6, 259
Post-Combine Skinny: He still wasn't healthy enough to run, but he measured well. He proved he was big and had some of the longest arms of any of the tight ends. He's still the No. 1 tight end in a light class, but the scouts are going to want to see more when he's able to run and lift.
Positives: Has all the tools to be a terrific all-around NFL tight end. Great size and excellent speed. … Good strength. Is a good blocker who isn't afraid to get dirty for the ground game. … Like a wide receiver in the body of a big blocking end. Can do it all.
Negatives: Durability. Had to fight though a hamstring injury two years ago and missed half of last year hurt again. … Wasn't a big time pass catcher even though the offense bombed away. … Can be a better blocker. Not a bad one, but he's hardly a road grader.

2. Lance Kendricks, Wisconsin 6-3, 243
Post-Combine Skinny: Seemed a bit nervous during the workout with way too many drops. He fought the ball way too much, but he looked fluid running and was extremely quick through the drills. He was one of the fastest tight ends in the shuttle and came up with terrific 25 reps on the bench.
Positives: A terrific pass catcher who has the moves of a receiver. Fluid. … A strong blocker, especially down the field. He does what's needed to come up with the big hit. … Athletic. Plays bigger and faster than most of the tight ends in the draft.
Negatives: Not huge. He's a willing blocker, but he's not going to flatten anyone. … He has to show he can do more once he gets the ball in his hands. He was mostly a deep play threat. … Will disappear for stretches and can get erased by a real corner who's trying to cover him.

3. Luke Stocker, Tennessee 6-5, 258
Post-Combine Skinny: Ran a terrific 4.79 in the 40 and moved well. He showed decent quickness overall, but he lumbered a bit through the shuttle. The biggest plus was his strength on the bench with 27 reps and his terrific leap of 33". Proved that the basic tools are there.
Positives: Has a good combination of size and athleticism. Moves well and gets open. … Isn't afraid to make the tough grab. Always likes to go across the middle. … A good enough blocker to get by. He does it all well.
Negatives: A bit stiff and a bit too upright. Isn't a natural receiver. … A guy. He doesn't do any one thing at a high level. Good at everything, not great at anything. … A decent blocker, but he won't crush anyone.

4. Charles Clay, Tulsa 6-3, 245
Post-Combine Skinny: A bit of a disappointment, he didn't shed his tweener tag even with a good 4.73 in the 40. He wasn't all that quick in the short drills and was good, not great in the passing drills. Only came up with 18 reps on the bench; among the fewest of the tight ends.
Positives: Part fullback, part H-back, part tight end. He was a multi-functional performer for a long time in college. … Great hands and is able to do something with it when he has the chance. He packs a pop. … Used to finding ways to get open. He's a dependable target.
Negatives: Considering he was a college fullback, he doesn't hit with much force. He's a mediocre blocker. … Doesn't always play up to his speed and isn't much of a deep threat. … Not smooth. Productive, but he doesn't really look the part.

5. D.J Williams, Arkansas 6-2, 245
Post-Combine Skinny: It was hardly a shock to anyone that he only measured at 6-2, and his short arms, the shortest of all the tight ends, weren't a plus. As expected, he was a solid pass catcher and looked like a natural in the passing drills, and the 4.67 in the 40 will make him a bunch of money.
Positives: A strong receiver who catches the ball naturally and like a wide receiver. Makes every grab. … Fast. Can be a field stretcher and could be utilized far more in the pros. … High character. The type of player you want to have on your team.
Negatives: Small. Built like a fullback or an H-Back. Lacks the big receiver look. … An overrated college player considering he won the Mackey Award last year. Was a good receiver, but not that productive. … Not enough of a blocker to be a full-time fullback.

6. Zack Pianalto, North Carolina 6-3. 256
Post-Combine Skinny: He looked great. He was quick in and out of his cuts, caught the ball naturally, and seemed a half-click faster and more fluid than most of the other tight ends. The 4.87 in the 40 wasn't bad and the 22 reps were good, and the short drills were just good enough to get a longer look. It wasn't an elite workout, but anyone who liked him before will be happy.
Positives: Catches the ball extremely well and sucks everything in. A strong route runner. … While not all that big, he blocks like a much bigger tight end. … Cuts well. Looks more fluid than he actually is. He overcomes his lack of athleticism with good production.
Negatives: Hurt. He played in just 22 games over the last three seasons. … Not big. He's built like an H-back and he has a limited upside. … Doesn't do any one thing at a high level. Good at everything, but not great at any one thing.

7. Lee Smith, Marshall 6-6, 266
Post-Combine Skinny: Was the tallest tight end at the Combine, and he looked the part of a big receiver. The 25 reps on the bench were great, but the 5.01 40 was lumbering and potentially disastrous when combined with the lack of explosion in the broad jump. He flew through the shuttle drill and was fine catching the ball.
Positives: Very tall and has good hands. Has the body and the frame to be a pass catcher. … A good blocker who likes to get physical. He has the frame to add even more weight. … One of the best blocking tight ends in the draft and can be used like another tackle.
Negatives: Slow. He doesn't get off the ball in a hurry and doesn't do anything with the ball in his hands. … Marginally productive. Didn't come up with a slew of big plays in college. … Isn't natural in and out of his cuts. He's not a creative route runner.

8. Virgil Green, Nevada 6-3, 249
Post-Combine Skinny: The star of Saturday. He didn't measure all that big, but he showed off special athleticism. With a shocking vertical of over 42 inches while ripping off a 4.64 in the 40. The 10'10" broad jump was special, blowing away the No. 2 tight end by eight inches. He caught the ball effortlessly.
Positives: An elite athlete, he runs extremely well and is as fluid as they come. … Strong for the running game and is used to being just a part of the system. … Nice hands. Adjusts to the ball extremely well.
Negatives: Was never a go-to target playing in a running system. … Not huge. More of an H-Back than a true tight end, and while he'll be a willing blocker, he's not a devastating one. … More of an athlete and a workout warrior than a dangerous prospect. He won't work in every offense.

9. Rob Housler, Florida Atlantic 6-5, 248
Post-Combine Skinny: Opened some eyes with some of the best measureables at the Combine. The fastest of the tight ends, he ripped off a 4.55 while zipping through the short drills. The 22 reps on the bench were good, but his 37" vertical was better. He was good enough catching the ball to get a longer look.
Positives: A terrific athlete, he's a field stretcher with excellent speed. … He's the type of player you want on the team. He'll do whatever it takes to try to make the team better. … A solid receiver with the upside to do far more as a pro than as a collegian.
Negatives: He's not going to block anyone. He has no blast to his hits. … Could be purely an H-back, and he needs to be a more creative route runner. … He's not a natural pass catcher and fights the ball a bit.

10. Weslye Saunders, South Carolina 6-5, 270
Post-Combine Skinny: Measured as a very big prospect with the bulk to go along with his height. However, he didn't run the 40 and came up with a disappointing 19 reps on the bench. He didn't run in the short drills and wasn't able to show off any athleticism.
Positives: Very big and uses his body well in the passing game. He's a matchup problem with the way he walls off defenders. … Great hands. He always came through when targeted. … Came up with nice games against top competition. Moves surprisingly well for his size.
Negatives: Character. He was booted off the team last year after dealing with an agent. … Decent production, but not enough. He only made 32 catches in 2009 after coming up with 28 combined in his first two seasons. … Not nearly physical enough for his size. Very, very soft and doesn't' block like he should.

11. Julius Thomas, Portland State 6-5, 246
Post-Combine Skinny: The college basketball player showed off the athleticism that made him a favorite coming into Indy. He was fast with a 4.68 40, and he was fluid in the short drills, but he lost a ton of dough with a mere 16 reps on the bench; a Combine low for the tight ends. He proved to be a long, promising prospect who did enough to get drafted late.
Positives: One of the better athletes among the tight ends. He gets down the field in a hurry and he pops out of his cuts. … He has a good body and he has a little room to get bigger. There's room to work. … Just scratching the surface. He only has one year of experience and looked great.
Negatives: Only one career start in one season making just 29 catches. … While he looked great in post-season workouts and in East-West week, he needs a ton of polish and work. … He needs to hit the weights to go from being a basketball player to a blocker in the NFL. It's going to take a while.

12. Charlie Gantt, Michigan State 6-4, 252
Post-Combine Skinny: With good size, his job was to show that he could run and move a little bit. While he lumbered through the short drills and he came up with a poor vertical, getting under 5.0 in the 40 was a must. 4.97 really does matter considering he's only supposed to be a run blocker. He moved well and looked the part of an NFL tight end.
Positives: Great size. He's a tough-hitting 250-pounder who's great for the ground game. … A smart player, he runs precise routes and doesn't miss assignments. … Great hands. He sucks in everything that comes his way.
Negatives: Not a great athlete. He's not going to scare anyone moving down the field and as a receiver. … Not fluid. He isn't quite as smooth as most of the tight ends in the draft and will be used more as a pounder. … He has to be a far better route runner. It'll take more coaching to turn him into a solid starter.

13. Schuylar Oordt, Northern Iowa 6-6, 261
Post-Combine Skinny: He came up with the workout he needed to have. Not only was he among the biggest tight ends, he was also one of the fastest with a strong 4.67 in the 40. He also was shockingly smooth in the short drills and his 9'11" leap in the broad jump showed his explosiveness. The 18 reps on the bench were a bit light, but he has too many tools to not get drafted after what he showed in Indy.
Positives: Very big. He has a tall frame and he carries his weight extremely well. He has worked to get bigger, and it has showed. … Moves well. He's a pure wide receiver who has turned into a tight end. He made himself into a prospect. … Nice hands. He'll be a reliable short to midrange target.
Negatives: Not strong enough. He might have gotten bigger, but he doesn't have functional strength to be a top blocker. … He's not going to be much of a deep threat. His job will be to grow into a possession role and a possible go-to guy on first downs. … Produced at the lower level. He has to prove he can do it against top competition.

14. Cameron Graham, Louisville 6-3, 244
Post-Combine Skinny: SLOWWWWW. The 5.11 40 was a nightmare and was the slowed among the tight ends by far. His game is about being a receiver, and he didn't show off any athleticism with a lousy 8'7" in the broad jump and a mere 31" vertical. The 23 reps on the bench will help, but the slow shuttle wasn't a plus.
Positives: He blocks well for his size and is great at springing the running game. He's willing to do what's needed. … A sure-handed receiver who eats everything up on short passes. … A fighter. He does whatever he needs to.
Negatives: Not a good enough athlete for his size. He's not a big body and he doesn't have the wheels to make up for it. … Suffered a slew of bumps and bruises and is always banged up. … Still working and is hardly a finished product. He only had one good year, and it was hardly anything special.

15. Jordan Cameron, USC 6-5, 254
Post-Combine Skinny: Everyone wanted to see if he could show enough athleticism to warrant a longer look, and he was very, very interesting. The former basketball player had a great jump of over 37 inches, and the 9'9" broad jump was strong, but he opened the most eyes with a 4.59 40 and a shocking 23 reps on the bench. The 4.03 in the shuttle was by far the best among the tight ends.
Positives: The athleticism is without question. The former basketball player has the speed and hops to develop into a good target. … Stronger than he appears. He's not afraid to block. … Has a lot of room to get bigger. Should be different once he hits an NFL weight room.
Negatives: 16 career catches and just one start. He's an athlete; not a football player. … He's got a lot to learn. He's a willing all-around player, but he needs a lot of time to develop. A lot. … Forget about him blocking anyone for a power running game. He's purely a receiver.

16. Daniel Hardy, Idaho 6-4, 249
Post-Combine Skinny: He didn't run, and that could prove costly. He measured well and had big hands, but he didn't lift and he didn't get to show off what he could do. He'll have to rip off some big runs in later workouts to get drafted.
Positives: A natural receiver, he has great hands and has the ability to make the big play. He stretches the field. … Always works and is always pushing. He has the makeup and the want-to to get better. … Catches the ball like a wideout and he could be a dangerous H-back and deep threat.
Negatives: Not big and bulky. He's not going to be a regular blocker and will be used only as a receiver. … Needs a lot of work on becoming a solid route runner. Needs time and work, and he might not get it as a late round pick. … Marginal overall production. He was good and averaged over 17 yards per catch, but he only caught one touchdown pass in eight games last year and has just 12 starts.

17. Allen Reisner, Iowa 6-2, 248
Post-Combine Skinny: While he wasn't all that athletic and didn't show much explosion, his biggest problem was how he measured. He didn't lift on the bench and he was a fullback-sized 6-2 and 248 pounds. Considered undersized before, he didn't disappoint.
Positives: Turned into a nice receiver in his final year. He grew into the starting job and showed the upside to be worth developing. … A solid blocker. He's great down the field and is good for the ground game. … Decent hands. He can become a dependable target and he should be good at keeping the chains moving.
Negatives: Way undersized. He's built like a smallish fullback and he isn't a blaster of a blocker. … Can't stay healthy. He was always banged up. … Not a natural athlete. Considering his size, he needs to show more as a receiver and he isn't a good enough athlete to make up for his shortcomings.

18. Mike McNeill, Nebraska 6-4, 232
Positives: A terrific receiver. He has the route running ability and the hands to be someone's go-to target in the right system. … Moves extremely well and can be used as a deep threat. He's a polished route runner. … Doesn't make mistakes. He catches everything.
Negatives: Not the best of athletes. He's not all that strong and he's not going to break any tackles. … Purely an H-back and won't be for everyone. He can't push people around. … Injury issues. He was never quite right throughout his career and took a beating early on.

19. Kyle Adams, Purdue 6-4, 250
Positives: A decent possession receiver with great hands. He'll catch everything thrown his way. … A fighter who'll do what it takes to block and will do the dirty work. … He's a smart player who doesn't miss an assignment.
Negatives: Slow and doesn't have any athleticism. He's merely a No. 2 tight end at absolute best. … Not enough of a producer. He only averaged 8.4 yards per catch and hasn't caught a touchdown pass since 2007. … Suffered a knee injury a few years ago, which didn't exactly help his lack of speed.

20. Andre Smith, Virginia Tech 6-5, 269
Positives: A big, strong tight end, he's a solid blocker for the ground game. He'll work in almost every system. … Moves well down the field and is a strong receiver. A tough target for the smaller defenders. … Nice hands and could develop into more of a receiver.
Negatives: Not an athlete. He doesn't have the quickness to make big things happen for the passing game. … Not as good a blocker as he should be for his size. He's good, but he's not elite. … Too much of a finesse player. He doesn't beat people up like he should.