2012 Preseason Player Rankings - Tight Ends
Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert
Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert
Posted Aug 21, 2012

CFN's Top 30 Players of 2012 By Position - The Tight Ends

Preview 2012

Player Rankings - TEs

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Note: This isn't a ranking of the top pro prospects.

2012 CFN Preseason Player Rankings  
Preview 2012 | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers 

Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers
Cornerbacks | Safeties | Punters | Placekickers | Returners 

1. Tyler Eifert, Sr. Notre Dame
Notre Dame has become a factory for tight ends over the last few years, and Eifert to be an even better pro prospect than Kyle Rudolph was. At 6-6 and 251 pounds he has prototype size with great route running ability and terrific hands. He stepped up as a big playmaker when Rudolph got hurt in 2010, finishing the season with 27 catches for 352 yards and two scores, but last year the job was all his from the start. He came up with a consistent campaign making catches 63 passes for 803 yards and five touchdowns averaging 12.7 yards per grab. He didn't score over the last three games of the season and was steadier than spectacular, but he's as reliable as any short-range target in college football and is a good enough blocker to get by.

2. Ryan Otten, Sr. San Jose State
All of a sudden, the San Jose State passing game started to work and Otten became the key part of the attack. He showed promise in the last two games of 2010 catching ten passes for 147 yards and three scores, and then last season he grew into a terrific playmaker with 52 catches for 739 yards and five scores in 11 games. Over a three-game midseason stretch he caught 21 passes for 318 yards and three scores, but he was steady and productive throughout the year. At 6-5 and 245 pounds he has good size and terrific route running ability. He's like a big wide receiver working as the team's No. 1 target.

3. Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn
It's not fair to suggest that Lutzenkirchen can be another Rob Gronkowski, but Lutzenkirchen can become another Rob Gronkowski. The 6-5, 250-pound senior was a superstar recruit who broke the hearts of Georgia and Florida by signing on with the Tigers. Now he has to be the featured target in the attack with prototype hands, size and route running ability. He only caught 15 passes for 185 yards and five touchdowns when Cam Newton was throwing his way, but last year he 24 catches for 238 yards and seven scores. Great around the goal line, he has the 4.7 speed and ability to stretch the field more.

4. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Soph. Washington
Seferian-Jenkins is to the tight ends what UW's Kasen Williams is to the wide receivers, a budding superstar with All-Pac-12 chops. The 6-6, 258-pound wasted no time showing why he was of the most sought after players in the country last February, catching 41 passes for 538 yards and six touchdowns. Much more than just a matchup problem because of his size, he's also a highly skilled pass-catcher who is constantly working on getting better. The folks at the Mackey Award could be hosting Seferian-Jenkins at their annual dinner next year. He's already among the nation's best at his position.

5. Gavin Escobar, Jr. San Diego State
The 6-6, 245-pound junior is one of the nation's elite pass-catching tight ends following up a second-team All-Mountain West season by finishing second on the team making 51 grabs for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. With nice size and excellent speed he went from good to great improving as the season went on making eight grabs for 113 yards and two scores against Boise State and with six catches for 125 yards against Fresno State. While he can block a little bit, his real worth is as a receiver.

6. Joseph Fauria, Sr. UCLA
7. Chris Gregg, Sr. Arkansas
8. Jacob Pedersen, Jr. Wisconsin
9. Ryan Griffin, Sr. UConn
10. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Jr. Iowa
11. Jake Stoneburner, Sr. Ohio State
12. Jack Doyle, Sr. WKU
13. Travis Tannahill, Sr. Kansas State
14. Evan Landi, Sr. USF
15. Chris Pantale, Sr. Boston College
16. Michael Wiliams, Sr. Alabama
17. Lucas Reed, Sr. New Mexico
18. Matt Furstenburg, Sr. Maryland
19. Jordan Reed, Jr. Florida
20. Kyler Reed, Sr. Nebraska
21. Vance McDonald, Sr. Rice
22. Jordan Najvar, Jr. Baylor
23. Dion Sims, Jr. Michigan State
24. Levine Toilolo, Jr. Stanford
25. Luke Willson, Sr. Rice
26. D.C. Jefferson, Sr. Rutgers
27. Chase Clement, Sr. LSU
28. Garrett Hoskins, Sr. Eastern Michigan
29. Ben Cotton, Sr. Nebraska
30. Hubie Graham, Sr. Pitt