By Brandon Pemberton
Follow me on Twitter @BrandonOnSports and @SportsTrapRadio
We are a week away from the 2012 NFL Draft and I’m releasing my top 5 prospects per position before 4-26-12. Be sure to listen to Sports Trap Radio Saturday morning on ueradiolive.com and http://www.livestream.com/ueradiolive I want to thank NFL Draft guru Russell Baxter (@BaxFootballGuru), who came on the show to discuss the NFL Draft and possible picks for the Philadelphia Eagles.
1. Coby Fleener 6-6 247lbs Stanford
Strengths: Excellent pass catching tight end, was Luck’s favorite target in the red zone the last two seasons, as he caught 17 TD’s in that period of time. Because of his height and speed, he is a mismatch nightmare for linebackers and safeties. Does a great job find the open spaces in zone coverage sitting giving his QB a target. Was lined up all over the field because he was the best threat Stanford had in the passing game.
Weaknesses: Must improve his strength and run blocking at the point. I know he was split out and in the slot plenty at Stanford, but in the NFL he will need to be a effective blocker in the run game. Needs to play with better pad level and leverage as a blocker.
Grade: Late 1st to Early 2nd round
2. Dwayne Allen 6’3′ 255lbs Clemson
Strengths: Very athletic tight end, who makes his fare share of acrobatic catches. Was great this year in the red zone, as he caught 8 TD passes. Processes man vs. zone coverage well and finds open spots in the zone coverage. Plays faster on the field then 40 time results.
Weaknesses: Needs to become a better route runner at the next level. At times he allows the ball to get to his body instead of snatching it out of the air. For such of a physical specimen, he’s a horrible blocker, but with effort it can be fixed.
Grade: Early 2nd round
3. Orson Charles 6-2 1/2 251lbs Georgia
Strengths: Has more of a Fullback body, but poses a threat potentially in the NFL because of his route running athleticism, good hands and ability to block in line. I would be surprised to see him play more of a H-Back role in the NFL, similar to Chris Cooley and Aaron Hernandez.
Weaknesses: Lacks the typical tight end height and length. Like most players coming into the NFL, need to be more precise with running routes.
Grade: Mid to late 2nd round
4. James Hanna 6-4 252lbs Oklahoma
Strengths: Has great size and speed at the tight end position. Has great ability after the catch as well.
Weaknesses: Hands are inconsistent, Needs to be more crisp as a route runner. Isn’t much of a blocker in the run game.
Grade: Early to mid 3rd round
5.Micheal Engew 6-5 252lbs Missouri
Strengths: Lined up flexed in the slot the majority of his career. Caught 140 passes over his last two years in college. Great hands, looks very natural snatching the ball out of the air away from his body. His combo of size and speed will make him a instant red zone threat in the NFL.
Weaknesses: Has never lined up as a traditional tight end on the end of the line of scrimmage. Should be a better blocker with his size.
Grade: Mid 3rd round
The Next 5: Evan Rodriguez 6-1 240lbs Temple, Deangelo Peterson 6-3 243lbs LSU, Ladarius Green 6-6 240lbs La. Lafayette, Adrian Robinson 6-4 268lbs Cincinnati, Chase Ford 6-6 258lbs Miami
Up next: Top 5 Offensive tackles