Preview 2010 - Big Ten Tight End Rankings
Purdue TE Kyle Adams
Preview 2010 - Ranking the Top Big Ten Tight Ends of 2010
Preview 2010 - Big Ten
The Top Tight Ends
- Big Ten Skill Position Rankings
1. Lance Kendricks, Sr. Wisconsin
Next … Travis Beckum was an All-American, Garrett Graham was the underappreciated go-to, down the middle target over the last two years, and now 6-4, 239-pound Kendricks will be the Badgers' star tight end. The team's fourth-leading receiver last year despite being the No. 2 tight end, he made 29 catches for 356 yards and three touchdowns and was fabulous against Miami with seven catches for 128 yards. He's a decent enough blocker to get by, but he's mostly a receiver-like playmaker who can stretch the field and create tremendous mismatches.
2. Drake Dunsmore, Sr. Northwestern
Working in a Superback role, a hybrid of tight end and fullback, will once again Dunsmore, a 6-3, 235-pound junior who finished third last year (and is the team's leading returning receiver) with 47 catches for 523 yards and three scores. More of a receiving tight end than a blocker, he'll be even more of a safety valve coming off a steady year with nine catches against both Syracuse and Auburn. He has a shoulder problem he's trying to get past, but he's expected to be fine to start the season.
3. Kyle Adams, Sr. Purdue
The 6-4, 251-pound Adams has good size and great smarts (earning honors for having the top GPA on the team), and nice hands. He overcame a knee injury suffered on the opening kickoff of 2008 to finish third on the team last year with 29 catches for 249 yards. He's not a field stretcher, but he's a great blocker and a reliable safety valve who doesn't make any big mistakes.
4. Charlie Gantt, Sr. Michigan State
While the running game might have been mediocre last year, Gantt did his part as a good run blocker while also coming up with a nice season for the passing game with 22 catches for 348 yards and two scores. Extremely steady, catching around two passes a game over the course of the year, he has his role. At 6-5 and 255 pounds he has good size and is a tough matchup across the middle and around the goal line.
5. Max Dedmond, Jr. Indiana
IU does a decent job of keeping the tight end involved, but only on short to midrange plays. Dedmond caught 18 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown, and while he disappeared for stretches, he came up with three grabs against Iowa and four against Michigan. At 6-5 and 255 pounds, he has the size to be a decent blocker but is more of a receiver. He fights well for the ball and outmuscles his way for catches, but he's not a field stretcher.
6. Kevin Koger, Jr. Michigan
After getting his feet wet with a bigger role as a redshirt freshman, Koger grew into the starting tight end job last year making 16 catches for 220 yards and two scores. He's a decent blocker with 6-4, 251-pound size, he's good enough to be used down the field as a blocker as well as a receiver. With the upside to become a more dangerous weapon, he needs to stay healthy and he needs to get the ball thrown his way after catching just one pass over the final three games.
7. Alan Reisner, Sr. Iowa
While Tony Moeaki was the NFL-caliber tight end who came up with a good final year, Reisner should be more than fine as the replacement. After catching 11 passes for 200 yards as a sophomore, the 6-3, 248-pound senior made 14 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown as a nice No. 2 tight end. However, his production tailed off over the second half of the year a Moeaki became a bigger part of the attack, and even though he only made one catch for nine yards over the final six games, he has the talent to be a 25-grab receiver as well as a decent blocker.
8. Jake Stoneburner, Soph. Ohio State
Yes, the tight ends really will be a part of the equation this year meaning the 6-5, 245-pound Stoneburner could be the biggest surprise in the attack. The sophomore only caught two passes for 30 yards last season as he played second-fiddle behind Jake Ballard, but with the expected emergence of the passing attack as more wide open and more dangerous, he'll be a regular, steady target. He looked the part this offseason and will be used like a big wide receiver who'll create matchup problems down the middle of the field.
9. Andrew Szczerba, Jr. Penn State
There's a huge hole to fill at tight end where both Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler are gone, and Szczerba appears ready to take over. With great size and wide receiver-like fans, he has the package to do a little bit of everything for the offense. The 2006 Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year was a star high school defensive end and has spent most of his career as a special teamer. He only caught one pass for six yards last year and now he should be a decent safety valve.
10. Zach Becker, Jr. Illinois
With Michael Hoomanawanui gone, the Illini needs a new dangerous tight end to become a part of the attack. The 6-3, 250-pound Becker didn't catch a pass after making just one grab for two yards in 2008. Mostly a special teamer so far, he's a tough, strong blocker with good athleticism. He won't blow up, but he should make around 15 catches.