Late-rising TE prospects

Posted April 16, 2012 @ 3:40 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

This is the third in a series of 10 features profiling late-rising prospects from the pro-day circuit or developmental talent that just missed the cut in PFW's 2012 Draft Preview, offering a more condensed scouting report than the 400-plus in this year's Draft Preview. Results from more than 175 pro days are now featured online in PFW's draft database.

With four- and five-receiver offenses so widespread in the college game, visibility for tight ends has decreased. Injury, underutilization, production or small-school anonymity can conceal an NFL-caliber tight end’s talent, but pro-day workouts allow for the emergence of potentially roster-worthy prospects. The following players, listed alphabetically, could prove to be value buys as late draftees or undrafted free agents:

TE Logan Brock, #80
TCU            PFW grade: 5.10
Ht: 6-3 1/8 | Wt: 241 | Sp: 4.89 | Arm: 32 1/4 | Hand: 9 5/8
Notes: His brother, Tanner, is a linebacker for TCU. Logan also lettered in baseball and track as a Texas prep. Redshirted in 2007 and saw action in all 13 games as a reserve tight end in ’08, recording one kickoff return for 15 yards. Appeared in 12 games in ‘09, making his first three career starts, and led all tight ends with five catches for 67 yards (13.4-yard average) and zero touchdowns. Did not play against UNLV (left shoulder surgery, torn labrum). Grabbed 6-110-2 (18.3) in 13 games (five starts in two-TE set) in ’10. Started 8-of-13 contests in ’11 and hauled in 11-126-3 (11.5).
Bottom line: Lacks ideal size and was used lightly in the passing game at TCU, but put himself on the radar with a solid pro-day workout. Versatile blocker who competes and works to gain positioning. Runs well and shows dependable hands in few chances as a receiver. Could become the latest Horned Frogs prospect to sneak into the late rounds.
NFL projection: Priority free agent.

H-back-TE Derek Carrier, #2
Beloit College (Wis.)            PFW grade: 5.20
Ht: 6-3 3/8 | Wt: 238 | Sp: 4.51 | Arm: 31 5/8 | Hand: 9 3/8
Notes: Engaged. Played wide receiver and safety, in addition to lettering in baseball and basketball as a Wisconsin prep. Also played basketball and ran track while at Beloit. Appeared in nine games in 2008, grabbing 16 passes for 217 yards (13.6-yard average) and one touchdown. Played in all 10 games in ’09 and caught 34-600-4 (17.6). Led all receivers in ’10 with 64-1,044-12 (16.3) in 10 games. Rewrote the school career and single-season record book in ’11, hauling in 75-1,250-12 (16.7) in 10 contests. Finished his career with 189 catches for 3,111 yards and 29 touchdowns. Also had seven career rushes for 42 yards (6.0-yard average). Team captain.
Bottom line: A college receiver with tweener size, Carrier is an athletic, productive, small-school, multisport standout who created a buzz at the Wisconsin pro day. Boasts intriguing workout numbers, including speed in the low 4.5s, a 38-inch vertical jump and a 3-cone time of 6.65 seconds (which would have bested all but one receiver at the NFL Scouting Combine), let alone all tight ends. Has developmental value as a detached, finesse pass catcher given his athletic skill set, receiving ability and production. Taking into account a weak TE class and an increasing demand for receiving threats at the position, it would not be a surprise to see Carrier get drafted. If so, he would be the first Division III/NAIA TE selection in five years.
NFL projection: Fifth- to sixth-round pick.

TE Garrett Celek, #85
Michigan State            PFW grade: 5.13
Ht: 6-4 3/8 | Wt: 251 | Sp: 4.74 | Arm: 32 1/8 | Hand: 10
Notes: His brother, Brent, is a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles. Garrett was an offensive lineman as an Ohio prep, and one of the best discus throwers in the state. Redshirted in 2007. Appeared in 12-of-13 games in ’08, missing only the Penn State game with an illness, and grabbed six passes for 50 yards (8.3-yard average) and one touchdown. Made five starts when the Spartans opened in a two-TE set. Caught 3-33-1 (11.0) in 10 games in ’09, missing the first three games after right shoulder surgery (dislocation) in August. In ’10, played in only two games (one start) with 2-17-0 (8.5) before undergoing season-ending left shoulder surgery to repair a dislocation in September. Returned to play in all 14 games (six starts) in ’11, snagging 3-35-1 (11.7). Graduated in December.
Bottom line: Primarily a blocker, caught just 14 career passes and was one of a handful of tight ends used by the Spartans. However, he has good size and showed surprising foot speed and athletic ability in pro-day workout. Smart player with solid character and NFL bloodlines. Has had shoulder injuries and durability could be an issue. Needs to get stronger and improve blocking technique.
NFL projection: Priority free agent.

TE Adrien Robinson, #88
Cincinnati            PFW grade: 5.18
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 264 | Sp: 4.58 | Arm: 33 7/8 | Hand: 9 3/8
Notes: Also lettered in basketball at Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central, where he won four state football championships. Redshirted in 2007. Saw action in seven games as a reserve tight end in ’08, grabbing one pass for 12 yards. Appeared in 10 games in ’09 and snagged 10-174-1 (17.4). Caught 6-65-1 (10.8) in nine games, including his first career start against Oklahoma, in ’10.  Moved into the starting lineup in ’11 and had 12-183-3 (15.2) receiving in 13 games (11 starts).
Bottom line: A raw, one-year starter who looks the part, Robinson was never featured at Cincinnati, but could be draftable on his measurables alone given this year’s weak TE class. Has intriguing timed speed to run down the field with long, loping strides and boasts a 39½-inch vertical and a broad jump of 11 feet 3 inches. However, his agility and suddenness do not parallel his linear/explosive numbers. Shows blocking potential, as he has stature and long arms — as he showed in the Liberty Bowl when he got a piece of three Vanderbilt defenders and escorted RB George Winn down the sideline on a 69-yard TD run. Is relatively inexperienced, unpolished and weak physically despite five years in the program. Developmental project.
NFL projection: Fifth- to sixth-round pick.

TE Arthur Williams, #84
Georgia State            PFW grade: 5.00
Ht: 6-3 1/4 | Wt: 239 | Sp: 4.87 | Arm: 32 7/8 | Hand: 10 1/4
Notes: Engaged. Played all offensive-line positions as a Florida prep from the Miami area. Spent the 2008 and ’09 seasons at Palomar Junior College in San Marcos, Calif., where he was used primarily as a blocking tight end. Grabbed only five passes for 35 yards (7.0-yard average) in two seasons. In ’10, saw action in all 11 games, making nine starts and grabbing 16-164-3 (10.2). Was the starting tight end in ’11 and produced 9-101-2 (11.2) receiving in 11 contests.
Bottom line: Toiled in relative anonymity on a fledgling program amidst a poor supporting cast versus marginal competition. However, he is a versatile, effective, prideful blocker — engages with urgency, churns his legs and seeks to bury defenders. Lacks ideal height for a tight end and does not have a prototypical NFL physique (needs to get stronger). Monotone route runner. Could be deployed in line, as a motion player or as a fullback, as his utility, competitiveness and playing demeanor will appeal to coaches.
NFL projection: Priority free agent.

Other notable pro-day standouts:

TE Kyle Efaw, Boise State
Ht: 6-3 1/2 | Wt: 247 | Sp: 4.87 | Arm: 31 1/4 | Hand: 9 1/4
Underpowered, straight-linish, finesse H-back with receiving skills who has to get stronger. Shows some stiffness in his legs and is not sudden or explosive to separate vs. man coverage. Practice squad candidate.

TE Chase Ford, Miami (Fla.)
Ht: 6-6 5/8 | Wt: 255 | Sp: 4.76 | Arm: 32 1/8 | Hand: 9 7/8
Lean, long-limbed, injury-prone plodder who flashed big-play ability at the East-West Shrine Game and has size and enough speed to fend for a job. Will have to prove he possesses sufficient toughness, competitiveness and strength to earn a roster spot.

TE Tarren Lloyd, Utah State
: 6-6 1/8 | Wt: 256 | Sp: 4.73 | Arm: 33 | Hand: 8 7/8
Big, in-line blocking tight end with good foot speed who helped pave the way for one of the nation’s most productive rushing attacks. Former walk-on with limited career production, but understands positioning, generates movement in the run game and is a functional short receiver. Needs to get stronger.

TE Tyler Urban, West Virginia
Ht: 6-4 1/2 | Wt: 252 | Sp: 4.89 | Arm: 32 | Hand: 9 3/4
Finesse, pass-catching, flex tight end (converted receiver) who is more smooth than explosive. Practice-squad candidate who has to get stronger and prove he consistently can work himself open to stick.

TE Brandon Williams, Oregon
Ht: 6-3 1/4 | Wt: 247 | Sp: 4.57 | Arm: 33 1/2 | Hand: 9 5/8
Talented junior-college product never got the chance to showcase his ability, as a back injury kept him off the field in 2011. However, he possesses intriguing athleticism, speed and run-after-catch ability. Resurfaced at Oregon's pro day, showing sub-4.6 speed, a 36-inch vertical and a broad jump of 10 feet 8 inches.