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Cole’s Corner: A Look into the Draft – Tight Ends

Adam Cole, Sports Editor

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Draft season will soon enter into one of its most pivotal times of the season with the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Although the best athletes will rise by the end of the coming week, this week’s article will focus in on three of the best tight ends in the class.

 

Hunter Henry

Henry stands alone as the top tight end prospect in the 2016 draft class. He has the potential to end up being a day one prospect, as he can catch the ball with a receiver’s abilities. He’s certainly the storyline to watch in this year’s tight end class.

 

Pros:

  • He’s a dual threat. Has the ability to pave running lanes for ball carriers, as well as the ability to secure the ball if it’s thrown his way. Had no drops and 51 catches in his final season at Arkansas.
  • Size looks superb. It’s certainly not a worry and possibly something he could build on moving forward.
  • A standout route runner who can run a variety of routes, which he displayed while at Arkansas.
  • Creates a lot of mismatches with defensive back, as well as some linebackers.

 

Cons:

  • Can occasionally get lackadaisical when blocking for the run and end up being grabby.
  • Doesn’t always do the best job on rounding off his cuts when caught in traffic.

 

Austin Hooper

In a class with not many standout tight ends, Hooper is the next in line behind Henry in terms of ‘top of the line’ tight end prospects.

 

Pros:

  • Hooper will be draft for his pass catching abilities. The tight end comes from a long line of big pass catchers out of Stanford.
  • Does a great job over the middle. Has enough speed to weave through defenders.
  • Catches the ball in traffic and catches it very well. Possibly the best facet of his game.
  • Look good as a route runner. Can create decent separation with good cuts.

 

Cons:

  • Blocking ability doesn’t make an impact. Gives his effort, but doesn’t have the strength to make a prominent impact.
  • With the being said, adding a bit of mass may be beneficial, allowing him to become a better blocker.

 

Jerell Adams

A former high school basketball star, Adams flashes the ability to be a solid pass catching tight end at the next level.

 

Pros:

  • Is long in the arms and the body and uses it to his advantage, being able to go up for jump balls.
  • Surprisingly good and well rounded blocker, in both the run and pass game.
  • A more elusive tight end, using short-yardage quickness to evade tacklers rather than taking them head on.

 

Cons:

  • Doesn’t entirely look the part of a tight end. Bulk added would give a substantial boost to his game.
  • Isn’t incredibly athletic, which is beneficial for the position.

 

Final Verdict

Ultimately, Henry is the top tight end in the class and the chances of that changing are slim. With that being said, don’t sleep on Hooper or Adams. Both are mid-round prospects, who may have more potential than initially thought. Each of these tight ends show some key facet to their game, which could help them stand out at the next level. Henry will be the most exciting one to watch. With a good combine, he could slip into round one conversation.

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The official news source of Topeka High School
Cole’s Corner: A Look into the Draft – Tight Ends