The following scouting reports were taken from Pro Football Weekly's 2013 Draft Preview book, which is now on sale. You can order it today through the PFW Store, or by calling 1-800-FOOTBALL (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT).
TE (Y,F) Tyler Eifert, #80 (Junior)
PFW Grade: 6.30
Ht: 6-51/2 | Wt: 250 | Sp: 4.68 | Arm: 331/8 | Hand: 91/8
Notes: Last name is pronounced “EYE-fert.” Was an all-state defensive back in addition to being a top-ranked tight end as an Indiana prep. Saw action in only the season opener against Nevada in 2009 before a back injury ended his season. Appeared in 11 games in ’10, seeing limited action in the first part of the season before taking over the tight end spot after Vikings 2011 second-rounder Kyle Rudolph’s season-ending injury. Made eight starts, including the final seven of the season, and grabbed 27 passes for 352 yards (13.0-yard average) and two touchdowns. In ’11, he led all FBS tight ends in receptions and receiving yards (and set the school marks) with 63-803-5 (12.7) in 13 starts and was a finalist for the Mackey Award. Was the one of the leading receivers for the Irish in ’12, grabbing 50-685-4 (13.7) in 13 starts and setting the school’s career tight end records and was named the winner of the Mackey Award, given to the best tight end in college football.
Positives: Excellent size and growth potential (athletic frame) — can play at 260 pounds with no problem. Releases cleanly. Moves like an oversized receiver. Exceptional natural receiving skills. Tracks throws and displays terrific body control and hand-eye coordination. Soft, strong, dependable hands. Makes athletic grabs and has a big catch radius. Catches on contact. Has a 35-inch vertical and consistently highpoints the ball. Posted the top 3-cone drill time (6.92 seconds) of any tight end at the Combine. Threatens the seam and factors in the red zone. Good field awareness. Alert — gets his head around quickly and reacts to throws. Can put his hand in the dirt or flex out. Showed marked improvement as an in-line blocker as a junior. Comes from a program with a history of producing NFL tight ends.
Negatives: Has relatively small hands. Has to continue filling out his narrow frame — lacks ideal bulk and girth for an in-line player. Not an athletic freak for the position. Has some build-up. Lacks elite top-end speed and suddenness — forces him to make more contested catches than you’d like to see. Could stand to fine-tune route running and add some deception. Average run strength and elusiveness. Not strong-hipped. Work in progress as a blocker.
Summary: Was a future pro from the moment he stepped on campus and should make an immediate impact on the next level, where his prototypical dimensions, athletic movement and elite ball skills will enable him to become one of the most productive tight ends in the league. Has untapped potential as he becomes a more complete player.
NFL projection: Top-20 pick.
TE (Y) Joseph Fauria, #8
PFW Grade: 5.10
Ht: 6-73/8 | Wt: 259 | Sp: 4.85e | Arm: 33¾ | Hand: 107/8
Notes: Last name is pronounced “FORE-ee-aa.” His uncle, Christian, played 13 seasons in the NFL as a tight end. Was one of the top-ranked tight ends in the country as a California prep, who also lettered in basketball and volleyball. Began his career at Notre Dame in 2008 and appeared in three games as a reserve tight end. Transferred to UCLA for the ’09 season and sat out per NCAA rules. Saw action in all 12 games in ’10 and recorded three catches for 21 yards (7.0-yard average) and two touchdowns. Led the team in receiving touchdowns in ’11 after grabbing 39-481-6 (12.3) in 14 games (nine starts). Hauled in 46-637-12 (13.8), leading the Bruins in TD receptions for a second time, in 14 games (nine starts at the “Y” position) in ’12. Did not work out at the Combine — medical exclusion for left adductor.
Positives: Very good size, big-boned frame. Growth potential to exceed 270 pounds. Uses frame well to shield defenders and highpoint the ball. Big target over the middle and in the red zone. Clean hands-catcher. Nice coordination for his size — snags off-target throws with ease. Solid in-line blocker. Surprising ability to “wham” or block on the move. Diligent and determined worker. Locker-room leader.
Negatives: Lacks weight-room strength. Needs to continue filling out and strengthen his lower body. Marginal speed and athletic ability to separate from man coverage. Leggy long strider — gathers to cut. Can be knocked off course. Drifts in routes. Creates little after the catch (not elusive). Not a seam-stretcher. Not strong-based. Needs to play with better leverage. Only bench-pressed 225 pounds 17 times.
Summary: Effective red-zone weapon but a very long-limbed, underdeveloped pass catcher who must make additional strength gains to compete as a blocker in the NFL. Has best chance to make it as a “move” player.
NFL projection: Late draftable pick.
These scouting reports were taken from Pro Football Weekly's 2013 Draft Preview book, which is now on sale. You can order it today through the PFW Store, or by calling 1-800-FOOTBALL (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT).