2012 NFL Draft: Tight End Rankings

The top 2012 tight end prospects available for the 2012 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * – denotes 2013 prospect.

This page was last updated April 24, 2012. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2024 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2025 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

  1. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 247.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Bench: 27.
    Arm: 27. Hand: 10.
    Projected Round (2012): 1-2.

    4/24/12: At his pro day, Fleener had an excellent showing where he showed off special athleticism and receiving ability. It cemented his status as the top tight end in the 2012 draft class. The need for tight ends could push him into the first round even though he grades out as a second-day pick.

    Fleener was sidelined with an injury and couldn’t run at the Combine, although he did put up an impressive total on the bench press. With some disappointing performances from other tight ends, Fleener has moved into the top ranking at the position.

    Fleener was a dangerous receiver for quarterback Andrew Luck. In 2011, he had 32 receptions for 667 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fleener runs good routes and is adept at exploiting the deep middle of the field on seam routes. He should be a good fit in many pro offenses. Fleener is a technically sound blocker and was well-coached at Stanford, but he maybe should add some more bulk to help him as a blocker in the NFL.

    8/19/11: Coby Fleener is another well-rounded tight end who run blocks well and is a quality receiver. He caught 28 receptions for 434 yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. Fleener should benefit from Andrew Luck returning for another season.

  2. Dwayne Allen*, TE, Clemson
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 255.
    40 Time: 4.89. 10-Yd Split: 1.66.
    Bench: 27. Vertical: 32.
    Arm: 33. Hand: 9 5/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 2.

    4/24/12: Allen had a disappointing Combine with a slow 40 time. Inexplicably, he didn’t run the 40 at his pro day. Allen was said to look good in the receiving drills, and he did perform well in them at the Combine. Still, his Combine 40 has bumped him below Fleener.

    Allen had an excellent junior season. He was a red-zone force for Clemson, and was capable of doing even more if the team had simply targeted him more in the passing game. In 2011, Allen caught 50 receptions for 598 yards and eight scores. He was also a good run blocker for the Tigers.

    Allen is a dangerous receiver. He beats defensive backs with surprising quickness and good route running. Allen is fabulous at going up and getting high passes over defenders. In the NFL, he should be a complete tight end who is a red-zone weapon, a third-down target and a blocker in the ground game.

    Former teammate and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers told WalterFootball.com in a Monday Morning Draft column that Allen made it a point to go against Bowers in practice to improve his blocking, and that the two pushed each other to become better football players.

    8/19/11: Of the tight ends at the top of the 2011 draft class entering the season, Dwayne Allen is the biggest-bodied player with a prowess for blocking. Last year, he did a good job as a blocker for Andre Ellington among others. At the same time, Allen is not a slouch as a receiver. He caught 31 passes for 356 yards, the most ever for a sophomore tight end at Clemson. Allen enters the year as a solid second-rounder.

  3. Orson Charles*, TE, Georgia
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 251.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Bench: 35.
    Arm: 32 1/2. Hand: 9 1/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-3.

    4/24/12: Charles weighed in heavier than expected at the Combine and led all the tight ends by a wide margin on the bench press. After that though, he disappointed by deciding not to run the 40. Charles made mistakes in route running during the drills and he dropped some passes.

    To make matters worse, Charles was arrested for a DUI on March 9th. He has talent, but there are obvious maturity concerns. Those issues have him ranked below Fleener and Allen.

    The 2011 season went well for Charles. He hauled in 45 receptions for 574 yards and five touchdowns. There is no doubt that Charles is extremely fast and can produce big catches downfield. He is a mismatch for safeties and linebackers.

    The junior had a big game to open the season against Boise State with six receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown. Even though Charles was held without a catch, he showed some good blocking against South Carolina.

    8/19/11: Orson Charles is a receiving tight end with the potential to produce big plays. He has averaged 16 yards per catch in his career. Charles caught 26 passes for 422 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore. In 2009, he had 23 receptions for 374 yards and three touchdowns. Charles is a good route-runner who is tough for linebackers and safeties to defend running downfield. He should produce more in 2011 with an improving Aaron Murray at quarterback.

  4. Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 237.
    40 Time: 4.53. 10-Yd Split: 1.58.
    Bench: 16. Vertical: 34.5.
    Arm: 34 1/2. Hand: 10 1/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 3-4.

    4/24/12: Green had a decent performance at the Senior Bowl, and followed that up with a good showing at the Combine. His 40 time had expectations to be a solid number and he hit it.

    In the first three games of the 2011 season, Green had one catch for a loss of one yard. After that, he became much more productive, finishing 2011 with 51 receptions for 606 yards and eight touchdowns. Green had an excellent end to the year with five receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown against San Diego State. His other 100-yard receiving game came against Louisiana Monroe with 13 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Green is undersized and needs to gain some bulk in order to block at the next level.

    8/19/11: Ladarius Green is a dangerous receiver who presents mismatches to exploit a defense. Last year, he caught 44 passes for 794 yards and seven touchdowns. As a sophomore, Green had 32 catches for 533 yards, while missing three games with a neck injury. The issue for him is the same as with Charles, he needs to add muscle to be a better run-blocker at the NFL level. Otherwise, it will be hard for him to be an every-down tight end. Green has the height and frame where he should be able to add 10-15 pounds of muscle for the next level.

  5. Deangelo Peterson, TE, LSU
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 243.
    40 Time: 4.76. 10-Yd Split: 1.59.
    Bench: 18. Vertical: 36.
    Arm: 32 1/2. Hand: 9 7/2.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-5.

    4/24/12: Peterson ran slower than expected at the Combine and dropped some passes. He had 18 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown in 2011. Sub-par quarterback play limited Peterson’s production in college. As a junior, he had 16 receptions for 198 yards.

    Peterson could warrant h-back consideration in the NFL. He may need to add more power for blocking, but he has some skill for the ground game.

  6. Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 252.
    40 Time: 4.62. 10-Yd Split: 1.57.
    Bench: 21. Vertical: 36.
    Arm: 33. Hand: 9 3/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-5.

    4/24/12: Egnew posted better than expected measureables at the Combine. He had some nice moments at the Senior Bowl, but wasn’t consistent enough to really help his stock. Through the Combine and Senior Bowl, Egnew has confirmed his grade as an early-round pick on the final day of the draft.

    Egnew had a disappointing senior season. His production dropped off dramatically from 2010, and it doesn’t look like he has the speed to be a receiving tight end in the NFL. Egnew had 50 receptions for 523 yards and three touchdowns this year. He had a big game against Iowa State with six receptions for 105 yards and a score. Egnew caught 12 passes for 69 yards against Baylor. Otherwise, he was quiet this season.

    8/19/11: Michael Egnew was one of the top targets for Blaine Gabbert over the past couple of years at Missouri. Egnew caught 90 passes for 762 yards, an average of 8.5 per catch, and five touchdowns. It will be a challenge for him to duplicate those numbers in 2011 without Gabbert.

  7. Evan Rodriguez, TE, Temple
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
    40 Time: 4.58. 10-Yd Split: 1.63.
    Bench: 18. Vertical: 36.
    Arm: 32. Hand: 9 1/2.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    4/24/12: Rodriguez looked good in the drills at the Combine. However, he looks like he may be a better fit as an h-back in the NFL. Rodriguez was Temple’s leading receiver in 2011, catching 35 balls for 479 yards and two touchdowns. He was reasonably consistent this season.

    Rodriguez is a fluid receiver who picks up yards after the catch. He was used in the same manner that Florida used tight end Aaron Herndandez under former Gators assistant Steve Addazio, the first-year Owls head coach. Rodriguez looked good in that role as he is a quality blocker and good athlete as a receiver.

    The biggest knock on Rodriguez is a lack of foot speed. He had a quality week at the East-West Shrine.

    8/19/11: Evan Rodriguez started out his collegiate career at West Virginia before he left for Temple. In 2009, Rodriguez caught 13 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Last year, he recorded 21 receptions for 247 yards and two touchdowns.

  8. Taylor Thompson, TE, SMU
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 259.
    40 Time: 4.56.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    4/24/12: Thompson was a defensive end in college, but is switching to tight end. At his pro day, he ran a fast time in the 40-yard dash and reportedly looked like a natural pass receiver. Thompson has the skill set to be a powerful blocker and could develop as a receiver with his athletic ability. Some believe that he could go in the third or fourth with NFL.com’s Gil Brandt placing Thompson in his top-100 prospects.

  9. Adrien Robinson, TE, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 267.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2012): 4-6.

    4/24/12: The Bearcats tight end didn’t get invited to the Combine, but he is generating a lot of interest from NFL teams. In the weeks leading up to the draft, Robinson has taken visits to Atlanta, Chicago, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans and Seattle. He is one of the most active prospects in the interior 2012 draft class.

    Robinson projects as a blocking tight end for the NFL. The 6-foot-4, 267-pounder has the strength to win at the point of attack. He caught 12 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. Robinson totaled only 16 receptions for 239 yards in the two previous seasons.

  10. Corey Harkey, TE, UCLA
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
    40 Time: 5.11. 10-Yd Split: 1.66.
    Bench: 13. Vertical: 26.5.
    Arm: 32. Hand: 9 3/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

    4/24/12: Harkey is a blocking tight end. He had a nice week at the East-West Shrine, but had a disappointing Combine. His bench press total was surprisingly low. As a senior, Harkey just had one reception for 10 yards. That’s pretty different than the 14 passes for 140 yards he caught in 2010. Every year there are teams that need blocking tight ends and target them in the final two or three rounds of the draft. Harkey fits that mold.

  11. David Paulson, TE, Oregon
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 246.
    40 Time: 4.93. 10-Yd Split: 1.65.
    Vertical: 32.
    Arm: 32 3/4. Hand: 10 1/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-6.

    4/24/12: Paulson had a shockingly slow 40 time at the Combine. He was expected to run much better as he has shown real quickness during his collegiate game action. Paulson was quiet this season, making only 31 receptions for 438 yards and six touchdowns. The senior could have been more productive, but Oregon did not throw many passes his direction.

    Paulson is a quality red-zone weapon who can surprise defenses with some athleticism and blocking potential. He looked good in the East-West Shrine practices.

    8/19/11: David Paulson was a contributor as a blocker and a receiver in Oregon’s high-powered offense. He was a quality blocker for running back LaMichael James. Paulson caught 24 passes for 418 yards and four touchdowns. If Paulson can improve his production and put on some more muscle, he could improve his draft status into the second round.

  12. James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 252.
    40 Time: 4.49. 10-Yd Split: 1.59.
    Bench: 24. Vertical: 36.
    Arm: 33 1/8. Hand: 9 7/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    4/24/12: A player who needed a big Combine and came through with one was Hanna. He led all tight ends with a blistering 40 time. Hanna caught 27 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. One has to wonder why Hanna didn’t produce more as he played in a passing-oriented offense. As a junior, Hanna hauled in 18 passes for 292 yards and seven touchdowns. He is a sleeper prospect who has flashed some potential. Hanna has received quite a bit of interest in the form of pre-draft visits.

  13. Nick Provo, TE, Syracuse
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 237.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Arm: 31 3/4. Hand: 9 1/2.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-7.

    4/24/12: At the Combine, Provo was solid with his measurements and in the field drills. He had 51 catches for 537 yards and seven scores this season and was an All-Big East selection. Provo is a quality receiving threat who runs good routes and has good hands. He also received coaching from an experienced NFL tight ends coach in Bob Casullo.

  14. Drake Dunsmore, FB/HB/TE, Northwestern
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 241.
    40 Time: 4.64.
    Bench: 21.
    Arm: 32 3/4. Hand: 9 5/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-7.

    4/24/12: Dunsmore worked out with the tight ends at the Combine. He had a decent 40 time and was polished in the field drills. Dunsmore looks like he would be a better fit as a fullback/h-back in the NFL.

    Dunsmore put together a strong senior season. Playing tight end, he was the favorite target of quarterback Dan Persa, and his numbers increased after Persa returned to the lineup. Dunsmore totaled 45 receptions for 522 yards and six scores. He should move to fullback in the NFL.

    8/22/11: Like Halahuni, Drake Dunsmore projects as a pass-receiving fullback and H-back type at that next level. Last year, he caught 40 passes for 381 yards and five touchdowns. Dunsmore will need to be developed as a lead blocker at the NFL level, and could stand to add some more weight and power.

  15. Chase Ford, TE, Miami
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 258.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    4/24/12: Ford didn’t have much college production, but he put his draft stock on the map with a good week of practice at the East-West Shrine. Ford showed some legitimate receiving ability. He used his big frame to haul in some tough catches down the middle of the field. Ford made leaping and diving receptions on passes that were off the mark in traffic. He is a good athlete with some some speed.

    Scouts said that Ford’s drive blocking is a weakness, and that he doesn’t have the strength that most teams need from their tight ends to serve as a blocker against front-seven defenders. Some teams which are looking for a backup receiving option will be interested in Ford, even though he only totaled 16 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns over the past two seasons. His strong week of practice has Ford going from the undrafted ranks into the late rounds as a pick who will be viewed as a developmental prospect. He did not work out at the Combine.

  16. Emil Igwenagu, TE, Massachusetts
    Height: 6-1. Weight: 249.
    40 Time: 4.83. 10-Yd Split: 1.63.
    Bench: 19. Vertical: 34.5.
    Arm: 33 1/8. Hand: 9 1/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    4/24/12: Igwenagu ran a slow 40 at the Combine, and didn’t stand out otherwise. As a senior at Massachusetts, he had 38 receptions for 375 yards and three touchdowns.

  17. Brian Linthicum, TE, Michigan State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 249.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Arm: 33 5/8. Hand: 9 3/4.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    4/24/12: Linthicum was quiet for a lot of the 2011 season. He pulled in only 31 receptions for 364 yards, but did a quality job as a blocker. In the Outback Bowl, Linthicum played well with seven receptions for 115 yards. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection. Linthicum did not work out at the Combine.

    8/19/11: Brian Linthicum was arrested this offseason, and that definitely hurts his draft stock. He is a quality blocker and had some production as a receiver last year, catching 18 passes for 230 yards. Linthicum played one season at Clemson, and in his career, he has totaled 49 receptions for 572 yards and six touchdowns with an average of 11.7 yards per reception. Linthicum needs to be productive and prove he can stay out of trouble.

  18. Kevin Koger, TE, Michigan
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 262.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    4/24/12: Koger did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is a sleeper prospect who helped his draft stock with a strong week at the East-West Shrine. Koger had 23 receptions for 244 yards and four touchdowns this year. He did a good job blocking for Denard Robinson, and could have had better receiving numbers if Michigan had possessed a better passing offense. In the All-Star game, Koger worked well in seam routes while also doing a nice job blocking.

    8/19/11: Kevin Koger is a tight end who could produce more in a traditional offense. Last year, he caught 14 passes for 199 yards and two scores. Koger had 16 catches for 220 yards and two scores as a sophomore. He’s had some long receptions including a 60-yard touchdown against Penn State last year, and a 41-yard catch against Michigan State in 2009. Koger has been primarily a blocking tight end for the Wolverines.

  19. Josh Chichester, TE, Louisville
    Height: 6-8. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2012): 6-FA.

    4/24/12: Chichester had a quality season for Lousiville. He needs to improve his blocking for the NFL, but has some receiving potential. For the 2011 season, Chichester pulled in 28 receptions for 393 yards and two touchdowns. He was not at the Combine.

    8/19/11: Josh Chichester caught 22 balls for 317 yards and five touchdowns in 2010 in his first season as a tight end. Formerly he played wide receiver, catching 17 receptions for 202 yards and two touchdowns in ’09, and 30 catches for 341 yards and two touchdowns in ’08. Obviously, Chichester has the physical tools to be a receiving tight end, and it will be interesting to see if he is able to be an adequate blocker. Chichester certainly has the frame to add muscle.

  20. George Bryan, TE, N.C. State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 265.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    4/24/12: Bryan did participate in the Combine. He had 33 receptions for 331 yards and four touchdowns in 2011. Bryan was a good blocker this year and could be one of the better blocking tight ends in this draft class. He showed some receiving skills in the East-West Shrine workouts and that helped his stock.

    8/19/11: George Bryan is an underrated tight end who needs to be a bigger part of the game plan. Similar to Luke Stocker at Tennessee, he is capable of producing more if given the opportunity. Last year, Bryan had 35 receptions for 369 yards and three touchdowns. The previous season, he caught 40 passes for 422 yards and six touchdowns. Bryan has good size to be a quality blocker as well. If he is made a bigger part of the game plan and improves his receiving production, he could challenge for the second round.

  21. Brad Smelley, TE, Alabama
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 233.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Arm: 32 1/8. Hand: 9 5/8.
    Projected Round (2012): 7-FA.

    4/24/12: Smelley was a backup for most of his career at Alabama. As a senior, he took over as the h-back and caught 34 receptions for 356 yards and four touchdowns. Smelley has some nice receiving ability but is too small to play tight end in the NFL. Therefore, he should look to play a fullback/h-back role.

    Prior to this season, Smelley didn’t have much production, only 20 receptions in three years. He needs to add weight in order to be a blocker at the next level. Smelley did not attend the Combine.

  22. Rhett Ellison, TE, USC
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 251.
    40 Time: 4.79.
    Bench: DNP. Vertical: 31.5. Broad: 9-1.
    Arm: 33 1/8. Hand: 10 1/4.
    Projected Round (2012): FA.

    4/24/12: Ellison is bit of a tight end/fullback tweener, and worked out with the half backs at the Combine. He had 22 receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns in 2011. Ellison was solid with what USC asked him to do.

    8/19/11: Jordan Cameron was not the starting tight end at USC due to the presence of Rhett Ellison. Ellison caught 21 passes for 239 yards and three touchdowns last year. He is a quality receiver and did a good job of blocking for Marc Tyler and Allen Bradford. In the middle of the draft, he could be a good value tight end. With Matt Barkley coming back, Ellison could improve his production and draft stock in 2011.

  23. DC Jefferson, TE, Rutgers
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 258.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2012): FA.

    4/24/12: Jefferson was quiet this season, making just 12 catches for 118 yards. He projects as a backup and blocking tight end in the NFL.

    8/19/11: DC Jefferson is a somewhat raw tight end, having switched to the position from quarterback during the 2009 season. Last year, as the starting tight end, he caught 10 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown. Jefferson has some raw athletic ability, but needs to be developed.

  24. Brandon Barden, TE, Vanderbilt
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2012): FA.

    4/24/12: Barden recorded 16 catches for 243 yards and a touchdown this season. The redshirt senior has the potential to be a blocking tight end in the NFL if he can add some more power and bulk.

    8/19/11: Brandon Barden has been a consistent player for Vanderbilt over the past three seasons. Last year, he caught 34 receptions for 425 yards and three scores. A year earlier, Barden had 29 catches for 357 yards. As a freshman, he notched 28 catches for 209 yards and four touchdowns. Barden is a quality player who goes under the radar at Vanderbilt, and he could be a good value pick.

  25. Tim Biere, TE, Kansas
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2012): FA.

    4/24/12: This year, Biere made 27 catches for 322 yards and two touchdown. He had a good game against Oklahoma State with seven receptions for 93 yards and a score.

    8/19/11: Tim Biere led Kansas with four touchdown receptions last season. In 2010, he totaled 19 receptions for 228 yards. It was his first season as the full-time starter for Kansas.

  26. Anthony Miller, TE, California
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
    Projected Round (2012): FA.

    4/24/12: Miller had 24 receptions for 263 yards and three touchdowns this year. His draft stock takes a hit from the team working the ball to wide receivers Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones. Miller has the size to be a good blocker.

    8/19/11: Anthony Miller looked like he was on his way to being a quality tight end prospect when he had 26 receptions for 357 yards in 2009. Last year, his numbers fell to 13 receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown. Miller has good size to be a blocking tight end, so if he can rebound and produce in the passing game his draft stock could rise.

  27. Chris Pantale, TE, Boston College
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.82.
    Projected Round (2012): FA.

    4/24/12: Pantale was quiet in 2011 with 21 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns. Boston College struggled and that didn’t help him to stand out.

    8/19/11: Chris Pantale broke into the starting lineup as a freshman and started all 13 games in 2010. He caught 31 receptions for 338 yards and a touchdown. In his first season, Pantale had 25 receptions for 223 yards. He is a good run blocker.


2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2024 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2025 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

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