Chicago traded away Martellus Bennett and could use some tight end depth. The Bears have shown interest in Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper.
Henry totaled 51 receptions for 739 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. He did a nice job as a blocker and receiver for the Razorbacks, but they never used him enough in the passing attack. Henry has the quickness to get downfield with the athleticism to get open against safeties and linebackers. In the ground game, he was a steady blocker for the Razorbacks' potent rushing offense.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is a well-rounded tight end who produced well in 2014, too. He was a quality blocker for the Razorbacks' ground game while contributing 37 receptions for 513 yards and two scores. Henry had 28 receptions for 409 yards and four scores as a freshman. He needs to improve his blocking for the next level, but should develop into a three-down starter and a good contributor to the passing attack.
Rd. 3, Pk. 1
Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
The Titans have a good starting tight end in Delanie Walker, but he's on the wrong side of 30 and their depth behind him isn't good. Here's a young tight end to work with Marcus Mariota.
In 2015, Hooper played well and was a dangerous receiver for Stanford. He had 34 receptions for 438 yards and six touchdowns on the year. Hooper impressed in his sophomore campaign, notching 40 receptions for 499 yards and two touchdowns despite inconsistent quarterback play out of Kevin Hogan. Hooper (6-3, 254) blocked in a Stanford's pro-style offense yet also proved to be a receiving threat.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina
The Chargers need a backup tight end. Ladarius Green left in free agency and Antonio Gates is aging. Here's an understudy.
At the combine, Adams had an excellent workout to really help his draft stock. He turned in the fastest 40 time of any tight end and showed some nice athleticism in the field work. Adams had a solid week at the Senior Bowl, and given the weak tight end class, he could be drafted earlier than expected.
Adams took over for Rory Anderson in 2015 and had a good season despite poor quarterback play at South Carolina. Adams totaled 28 catches for 421 yards with three touchdowns on the year. As a junior (21-279-1) and sophomore (13-187-2), he had modest contributions.
Rd. 4, Pk. 40
Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
The Browns need a backup tight end, plus Vannett, at least, should be a serviceable blocker.
In 2015, Vannett had 19 receptions for 162 yards. Ohio State favors throwing to its receivers, but Vannett gave credence to not passing him the ball as he flashed some stone hands with a lot of drops at the Senior Bowl. He is a strong blocker and was an asset in the Buckeyes' ground game, so for the NFL, he should be a blocking 'Y' tight end.
Rd. 5, Pk. 16
Thomas Duarte, TE, UCLA
The Colts were wise to re-sign Dwayne Allen and let Colby Fleener walk. Here's a receiving tight end to pair with Allen.
Houston just shelled out millions of dollars for the rights to attain a franchise quarterback and bell cow running back, Brock Oswiler and Lamar Miller, earlier this offseason; two things they haven't had since the hay days of Matt Shuabb and Arian Foster. With superstar wideout DeAndre Hopkins already entrenched as the undisputed #1 wideout, a security blanket needs to be had to ensure that the former Bronco signal caller, starter of just seven career games, can feel more comfortable and easily establish chemistry and rhythm within Bill O'Brien's offense. A #2 wide receiver, such as Notre Dame's Will Fuller, could feasibly work here, but his questionable hands aren't what the young QB needs at this point. Henry, by contrast, is a do-it-all contributor as a tight end who has terrific hands and is able to work in traffic, big enough to wall off defenders for 1st downs, or cause trouble deep down the seam. He's too big for corners, and too fast for safeties, and he reminds me of Heath Miller. This Houston defense is good enough right now ti carry this team to an AFC South title and into the playoffs, but the offense is going to have to step up eventually, and the moves made in free agency, as well as the draft now with the dangerous tight end, will make the Texans a team to watch out for.
Scouting report:as capability of playing inline or as move tight end. Build-up speed allows him to threaten Y-seam from off line of scrimmage. Hands catcher with excellent hand-eye coordination and can go get the rock in traffic. Shows enough burst to create separation from linebackers and safeties over the top. Does an adequate job of shielding defenders from the pass and posting them up in space. Strong runner after the catch in screen game and will carry defenders with him into the end zone. Willing blocker who comes from program where run blocking is demanded. Latches onto target with centered blow and shows enough strength to sustain. Looks for work downfield as blocker to help spring explosive runs.
Scouting report: Endowed with an all-day NFL body type. Carries long limbs and big hands on a muscular, athletic frame. Comfortable hands in traffic and can make the heavily contested catch. Not afraid of taking a hit over the middle to secure the throw. Fluid mover and has the flexibility to sink and run sharp angle routes. Has body control and catch radius to pluck it high or low. Has size and ability to handle inline blocking assignments and will battle once he's locked into a one-on-one fight. Was trusted to help in pass protection. Lined up wide, in slot and as both move and inline tight end. Finds his place against zone and works himself into open, easy throws for quarterbacks on the move.
Scouting report:Plays with good foot quickness inside his routes. Able to go up top and snare high throws with his long arms. Has the play speed and vertical feel to attack the seam and split Cover 2 safeties. Competes hard after the catch as a runner using jukes and spin moves to elude tacklers. Averaged 6.9 yards after catch. Looks spindly on the hoof, but buys into his role as a blocker. Can lock on and sustain a block longer than expected and was used in pass pro. Good teammate and well-liked in the locker room.
**Trade (Cowboys get 1st round 27th overall pick).
Packers have recently fired their RB coach, and TEs coach. McCarthy has expressed that "changes" will be coming. Howard is coming off of a monster title game, where he was finally able to showcase his hands, and speed as a TE. We know he can block (you have to if you go to 'Bama), but we saw the total package. A second TE that is not always injured and can create matchup problems will help out an anemic offense - so will the addition of Jordy Nelson and Ty Montegomery, coupled with the progress of Jared Abberderis and Jeff Janis.
It was expected that the Chargers would take a tight end at some point after losing Ladarius Green to the Steelers in free agency. Hunter Henry is the top tight end in the class, and he was viewed as a high second-round prospect, so this selection makes a ton of sense. The Chargers probably should've gone with Myles Jack, but I won't knock them down too much for it.