This is the 2013 NFL Combine Field Workout Recap for the tight ends. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2013 NFL Combine: Field Workout Recap - Tight Ends
As a point of reference, two years ago the average for the tight ends was 4.78 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
The tight end who was the most impressive athletically was Tyler Eifert. The Notre Dame product ran better than expected and looked very athletic in the other drills. Of the top tight ends, Eifert made the case for him to be the first selected. Eifert was second in the broad jump (9'11") and blazed a 40 time of 4.60 seconds unofficially. In the field drills, Eifert continued to impress with his athletic route-running and natural hands catching in the gauntlet drill. The Combine turned out to be an event that helped Eifert to differentiate himself from the other highly rated tight ends.
Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg (6-3, 244) was a Combine superstar on Saturday. Gragg ran the 40-yard dash time in 4.5 seconds officially with a 10-yard split of 1.53 seconds. Both of those times were the fastest of any of the tight ends. He also led the tight ends in the vertical jump (37.5 inches). Gragg showed his athletic ability with his receiving production in college. Injuries were one of the issues that held him back and his combine physical could be as, if not more important than his field performance. That being said, Gragg definitely made the most of his opportunity to make teams notice him.
Stanford tight end Zach Ertz had a decent day. He didn't significantly help or hurt himself. Ertz timed 4.76 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He did have a faster 10-yard split at 1.62 than Eifert. In the field work Ertz ran good routes and made a nice over-the-shoulder catch on a pass deep downfield. Ertz should improve on his 40 at this pro day. He looks solid as the second-rated tight end.
The consensus third-rated tight end, San Diego State's Gavin Escobar, had a disappointing time in the 40-yard dash. His time of 4.84 seconds was slower than expected. Escobar did better in the field drills and showed great hands in the gauntlet drill. The Combine work didn't help Escobar to make the case that he should be drafted ahead of Eifert or Ertz.
Rice's Vance McDonald (6-4, 267) ran well for a bigger tight end. His 40 time came in at 4.69 seconds. He led the tight ends on the bench press with 31 reps a day earlier and did well in the field work. McDonald helped himself to stand out in the middle of the pack.
Stanford tight end Levine Toilolo had a bad showing at the Combine. The 6-foot-8, 260-pounder did not run fast with a 40 time of 4.86 seconds. Toilolo also did poorly in the bench press with only 17 reps. Toilolo needs to improve his run blocking. It looks like his height may be his only asset for the NFL.