2013 NFL Draft: Tight End Rankings

The top 2013 tight end prospects available for the 2013 NFL Draft in the order in which I believe they will be drafted. * – denotes 2014 prospect. ** – denotes 2015 prospect.

This page was last updated April 23, 2013. 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. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 250. Arm: 33.18. Hand: 9.18.
    40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2013): 1.

    4/23/13: Eifert’s draft projection has continued to rise over these final few weeks, and some think he could go in the top half of the first round in the early teens. Eifert looks like a lock as a first-round pick.

    Eifert was the most impressive top tight end prospect at the Combine, and he has taken firm control as the No. 1-ranked tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft class. Eifert ran well in the 40, was solid in the bench (22 reps) and did well in the field work. He definitely helped his bid to be a first-round pick.

    Eifert was one of the few Fighting Irish players who held his own against Alabama. He had six receptions for 61 yards. Eifert hauled in 50 passes for 685 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. Notre Dame was terrible at getting the most out of him though, as the team’s quarterback play was extremely inconsistent. Eifert made big improvements as a blocker during his senior year.

    8/21/12: Eifert performed excellently in 2011, and he was a dangerous weapon for Notre Dame. Despite less than stellar quarterback play, Eifert caught 63 passes for 803 yards and five touchdowns. He had a solid debut with 27 receptions for 352 yards and two touchdowns in 2010.

    Eifert has shown flashes as a good blocker, but he needs to improve his effectiveness in that role. Eifert has great hands and makes tough catches down the middle of the field. His receiving ability is NFL-ready right now.

    Eifert has the talent to be a first-round pick if he has a big 2012 season.

  2. Zach Ertz*, TE, Stanford
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 249. Arm: 31.68. Hand: 9.68.
    40 Time: 4.76.
    Projected Round (2013): 1-2.

    4/23/13: Many consider Ertz to be on the bubble between the first and second round. While he wasn’t as fast in the Combine 40 as Eifert, Ertz was faster than Eifert in the first 10 yards, 1.62 seconds vs 1.66 seconds. Ertz also did better in the bench press with 24 reps. He did well in the field work, too, but didn’t look as fluid as Eifert. However, Ertz had a disappointing measurement with short arms.

    Ertz played really well in 2012 and was Stanford’s leading receiver. He totaled 69 receptions for 898 yards and six touchdowns. Ertz improved his blocking in 2012, too. He had massive day against Washington and California. This season could have been even more productive if the Cardinal had had consistent quarterback play. He put together a huge game against Oregon, 11-106, including a remarkable touchdown catch to force overtime.

    Ertz is a complete tight end who is very effective as a run-blocker. He was a real contributor to the good blocking for running back Stepfan Taylor. Ertz has surprising quickness and athletic ability. He is a three-down player and future starter in the NFL.

    8/21/12: Like Toilolo, Ertz will take on a more prominent role with Fleener in the NFL. Ertz caught 27 passes for 346 yards with four touchdowns last year. He caught 16 passes for 190 yards and five touchdowns in his first season of playing time.

    Ertz’s height and leaping ability make him a dangerous weapon in the red zone. He needs to fill out his frame and develop his blocking, but he has the potential to fire up the rankings to be a second-day pick.

  3. Gavin Escobar*, TE, San Diego State
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 254. Arm: 33.58. Hand: 9.68.
    40 Time: 4.84.
    Projected Round (2013): 2-3.

    4/23/13: The Combine put a halt to Escobar’s rising draft stock. He ran extremely slowly in the 40, verifying the lack of speed that was on display in some tapes. It adds to the concern that Escobar could struggle to get separation in the NFL. Some scouts feel that a team would be better off passing on Escobar and getting a similar tight end who is a value a round later.

    Escobar caught 42 passes for 543 yards and six touchdowns this year. He had even better production as a sophomore with 51 receptions for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. The early entry has good size and could develop into a starting tight end.

  4. Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 255. Arm: 33.68. Hand: 9.58.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.73.
    Projected Round (2013): 2-4.

    4/23/13: Some feel that Kelce could be the most well-rounded tight end in the 2013 NFL Draft. He looks likely to be a second-day selection. An injury kept Kelce from participating in the Combine.

    Kelce had a productive career at Cincinnati. The senior caught 45 passes for 722 yards with eight touchdowns in 2012. It was his best season as he had 13 receptions for 150 yards the year before.
    Kelce is a strong blocker who can make an impact at the point of attack. He had some off-the-field immaturity issues early on in college but appears to have straightened out.

  5. Jordan Reed*, TE, Florida
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 236. Arm: 33.08. Hand: 10.08.
    40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2012): 2-4.

    4/23/13: Scouts have told WalterFootball.com that Reed would be better off in a zone-blocking system and a West Coast offense.

    The Combine was a mixed outing for Reed. He was a little slower and smaller than expected. Reed also put up one of the lowest totals in the bench press with 16 reps. However, he did well in the field work. WalterFootball.com’s sources believe Reed is an underrated talent who will be a good second-day pick.

    Reed played well for Florida in 2012 and showcased some real play-making ability. He led the Gators with 45 receptions for 559 yards and three touchdowns. The team could have gotten more out of Reed, but sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel was inconsistent. Reed had a costly fumble inside the 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter in a close loss to Georgia when Florida was trying to tie the game.

    The former quarterback is still developing at tight end and should have returned for his senior season. His blocking needs work. Reed could fit well as an H-back in the NFL.

    8/21/12: Jordan Reed is a very good athlete who became a full-time tight end when the Gators started running a pro-style offense last year. He caught 28 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns as sophomore in 2011.

    Reed caught only six passes for 79 yards and one touchdown in 2010, but that was because Florida had him playing other positions in the majority of his snaps. For instance, he played some spread-option quarterback and completed 26 of 46 passes for 252 yards. Reed also ran for 328 yards and five touchdowns.

    The redshirt junior is also being tutored by former Gators, and current Patriots tight end, Aaron Hernandez. Reed’s stock could skyrocket as the feature tight end in 2012 and 2013.

  6. Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 267. Arm: 34 1/2. Hand: 10.18.
    40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2013): 3-4.

    4/23/13: McDonald showed at the Combine that he is a physical specimen and a rare athlete. He had one of the faster 40 times and led all of the tight ends on the bench press (31 reps). McDonald had a good showing at the Senior Bowl, too. He used his quickness and route-running to get open and make plays downfield. McDonald is a unique athlete who could go earlier than expected on draft day.

    McDonald caught 36 passes for 458 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. His best season came as a junior when he hauled in 43 receptions for 532 yards and five scores. He made 28 catches for 396 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011. McDonald is a good receiver who needs to work on his blocking ability.

  7. Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 271. Arm: 32 1/8. Hand: 9.
    40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2013): 3-4.

    4/23/13: Kasa was impressive at the Combine, which met expectations. He ran well and was the heaviest tight end there. Kasa also did well in the field drills.

    Kasa moved from defensive end to tight end for 2012 and showed some natural ability as a pass receiver. He has a ton of upside and should get better as he gains more experience. The senior caught 25 passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns. A lot of scouts are high on Kasa’s potential because he has a serious combination of size and speed.

  8. Ryan Otten, TE, San Jose State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 240. Arm: 32 1/8. Hand: 9 5/8.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2013): 3-4.

    4/23/13: Sickness kept Otten from working out fully at the Combine, but he did well at his pro day.

    Otten was a productive player for San Jose State. He had 47 receptions for 742 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. Otten played well at the Senior Bowl and really helped himself. Even though he was extremely sick, Otten toughed it out and excelled. He was a good receiver who showed blocking potential.

    Otten had a strong junior season with 52 receptions for 739 yards and five touchdowns.

  9. Dion Sims*, TE, Michigan State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 262. Arm: 33.18. Hand: 10.48.
    40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2013): 3-5.

    4/23/13: Sims weighed in much lighter than expected at the Combine. He had a solid 40 time and did fine in the field work. Sims is still more of a blocking tight end.

    Sims is a big-bodied tight end who is a good run-blocker with some receiving ability. The junior was the Spartans’ leading receiver this year before missing three games in October with an ankle injury. He totaled 36 receptions for 475 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.

    Sims was mainly a backup in 2011, but caught 12 passes for 99 yards and three scores. He has some surprising quickness for such a heavy tight end. Sims could consider slimming down more to help his receiving ability for the NFL.

  10. Levine Toilolo*, TE, Stanford
    Height: 6-8. Weight: 260.
    40 Time: 4.86.
    Projected Round (2013): 4-6.

    4/23/13: Toilolo had a disappointing Combine performance. He was second to last in the 40, which was much slower than expected, and recorded a low total on the bench press with 17 reps.

    Toilolo backed up Ertz in 2012, but still caught 24 passes for 393 yards and four touchdowns. Toilolo needs to improve his blocking and route-running. He probably would have been better off returning for his senior season to improve before going pro, but he declared for the 2013 NFL Draft.

    8/21/12: Toilolo backed up Coby Fleener last year with Zach Ertz, but still flashed some ability for the Cardinal. If Fleener wasn’t ahead of him, Toilolo could’ve produced a lot more. He caught 25 passes for 343 yards and six toucdowns.

    Toilolo was adept at working the middle seam in 2011, and Stanford really used its tight ends well down the middle of the field. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection last year.

    Toilolo needs to show improved blocking and receiving production as a starter this year.

  11. Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 259. Arm: 33.68. Hand: 10.78.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
    Projected Round (2013): 5-6.

    4/23/13: Fauria didn’t run at the Combine, but at his pro day, he ran the 40 in 4.78 seconds. He had 17 reps on the bench press. Those are disappointing numbers.

    Fauria totaled 46 receptions for 637 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012. He was a great red-zone weapon for UCLA. Fauria has improved his blocking, but still needs a lot of work to become a more effective blocker for the NFL. Fauria was injured during practice at the East-West Shrine and left the All-Star game early.

    8/21/12: Fauria is a quality receiver. He was UCLA’s second leading receiver with 39 catches for 481 yards and six touchdowns in 2011.

    With Corey Harkey in the NFL, Fauria should see more playing time in 2012. He was a backup in 2010 after sitting out the 2009 season because he transferred in from Notre Dame.

  12. Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 269. Arm: 32 3/4. Hand: 10 1/8.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
    Projected Round (2012): 5-7.

    4/23/13: Williams recorded 24 receptions for 183 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He was an excellent run-blocker for Alabama. Williams was solid, but unremarkable, at the Senior Bowl.

    8/21/12: Williams was a part of the potent ground game that led Alabama last season. He made 16 receptions for 191 yards and two scores.

    Williams is a massive blocking tight end. He caught only eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Williams is a good athlete for such a big tight end, so he is capable of producing more as a receiver. Williams could be in for a bigger role in 2012, but NFL teams will be drawn to him for his run blocking.

  13. Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 242. Arm: 32 1/8. Hand: 10 1/4.
    40 Time: 4.81.
    Projected Round (2013): 5-7.

    4/23/13: Rivera didn’t stand out at the Combine. Still, he is a good receiving tight end who is quick and athletic. Tennessee spread the ball around between all its play-makers, but Rivera still stood out with a strong 2012 campaign. The senior caught 36 passes for 562 yards and five touchdowns. He had a monster game against Missouri with 10 receptions for 129 yards with a touchdown. Rivera hauled in 29 passes for 562 yards and five touchdowns in 2011.

    Rivera showed off good receiving ability at the Senior Bowl. He could be a sleeper who turns into a nice contributor in the passing game in the NFL. Still, Rivera should add some more strength and develop his blocking technique.

  14. Jake Stoneburner, TE, Ohio State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 252. Arm: 32.28. Hand: 9.38.
    40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2013): 6-7.

    4/23/13: Considering Urban Meyer is the head coach, it isn’t surprising that Stoneburner wasn’t suspended for the first game after his arrest last offseason. Stoneburner played well as a senior, but didn’t get many opportunities. He totaled 16 receptions for 269 yards and four touchdowns. Stoneburner had a solid Combine performance.

    8/21/12: Stoneburner had 14 receptions for 193 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. Three of those touchdowns came in the first game against Akron. He could have been even more productive if the Buckeyes had had some consistency at quarterback. Stoneburner has some blocking potential as well. He caught 21 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns in 2010.

    Stoneburner is a good inline blocker and also can contribute as a receiver. Ohio State just moved him to wide receiver in training camp, but he’ll have to be a tight end in the NFL. Head coach Urban Meyer plans to use Stoneburner in the same manner as his Florida team used Aaron Hernandez. Stoneburner was arrested during the offseason after getting caught urinating in public and running from police.

  15. Philip Lutzenkirchen, TE, Auburn
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 258. Arm: 33.28. Hand: 10.28.
    40 Time: 4.94.
    Projected Round (2013): 6-FA.

    4/23/13: Lutzenkirchen’s senior season ended early with a hip injury. Prior to being hurt, he had been held back by poor quarterback play as he regularly worked his way open and wasn’t thrown the ball. The senior totaled 15 receptions for 139 yards in 2012.

    Lutzenkirchen had a disappointing performance at the Combine with an alarmingly poor 40 time.

    8/21/12: Lutzenkirchen had 24 receptions for 238 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. He was a quality blocker for Auburn running back Michael Dyer. Lutzenkirchen was a Second-Team All-SEC selection last year. He became a starter in 2010 and caught 15 passes for 185 yards and five touchdowns.

    Lutzenkirchen also was a good blocker for Cam Newton and the Tigers’ ground game. Lutzenkirchen probably won’t catch a huge amount of passes in Auburn’s offense, but he is a solid contributor.

  16. Chris Gragg, TE, Arkansas
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 244. Arm: 33.58. Hand: 9.08.
    40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2013): 6-FA.

    4/23/13: Gragg played well when he was in the lineup, but he missed four games with a bone bruise/knee injury. Gragg came back against Ole Miss, but missed the final four games of the season as well. He totaled 22 receptions for 289 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.

    Gragg was a workout warrior at the Combine. He had the fastest 40 time of any tight end and was explosive in the field drills. It definitely could make a difference for Gragg’s draft stock. He could be a situational receiver on the next level.

    8/21/12: Gragg showed a lot of improvement as a junior and was a reliable receiving target for quarterback Tyler Wilson. The first-year starter hauled in 41 passes for 518 yards and two touchdowns. Gragg should take on an even bigger role this season since Arkansas lost three leading receivers from last year’s squad.

    A backup in 2010, Gragg caught eight passes for 171 yards and two scores. He missed the 2009 season with a dislocated ankle. Gragg was a backup at wide receiver in 2008. The redshirt senior looks more like an h-back and receiving tight end for the NFL. He needs to add weight to be a blocker at the next level.

  17. Chris Pantale, TE, Boston College
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 254. Arm: 33.25. Hand: 10.28.
    40 Time: 4.99.
    Projected Round (2013): 6-FA.

    4/23/13: Pantale projects as a blocking tight end in the NFL. He caught 21 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns. The senior missed four games with a broken foot. His best season came as a sophomore when he had 31 receptions for 338 yards.

  18. DC Jefferson, TE, Rutgers
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 255. Arm: 34.28. Hand: 10.18.
    40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2013): 7-FA.

    4/23/13: Jefferson made 20 catches for 168 yards and a touchdown as a senior. He performed well at the East-West Shrine and helped himself.

    8/21/12: DC Jefferson was a somewhat raw tight end after switching to the position from quarterback during the 2009 season. He caught 10 receptions for 166 yards and a touchdown as the starting tight end in 2010.

    Jefferson dealt with injuries as a junior, but still recorded 12 catches for 188 yards. He needs to improve his blocking for the NFL.

  19. Brandon Ford, TE, Clemson
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 235.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2013): 7-FA.

    4/23/13: Ford used to back up Dwayne Allen, but Ford showed his potential with a good game against Auburn to open 2012. He caught five passes for 51 yards and could’ve had an even bigger night if he hadn’t dropped a few passes. Ford consistently showed the ability to get open this year. He totaled 40 receptions for 480 yards and eight touchdowns. Ford caught 10 passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns behind Allen in 2011. He didn’t go to the Combine.

  20. Jack Doyle, TE, Western Kentucky
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 254. Arm: 32 1/8. Hand: 9 3/8.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
    Projected Round (2013): 7-FA.

    4/23/13: Doyle had a good senior season with 53 receptions for 566 yards and five touchdowns. It was consistent with his junior year catches and yards as he hauled in 52 passes for 614 yards (zero touchdowns) in 2011. Doyle needs more strength for the NFL and did not impress at the Senior Bowl. He didn’t attend the Combine.

  21. Justice Cunningham, TE, South Carolina
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 258. Arm: 33.78. Hand: 10.08.
    40 Time: 4.94
    Projected Round (2013): 7-FA.

    4/23/13: Cunningham had a disappointing Combine performance. The senior had 23 receptions for 324 yards in 2012. He had 18 catches for 142 yards and one score the year before. Cunningham projects as a blocking tight end for the NFL.

  22. Lucas Reed, TE, New Mexico
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
    Projected Round (2013): FA.

    4/23/13: Reed had five receptions for 37 yards in 2012. New Mexico struggled to pass the ball. He performed well at the East-West Shrine and at his pro day.

    8/21/12: Reed is the younger brother of Houston Texans linebacker Brooks Reed. Lucas Reed hauled in 22 receptions for 241 yards as a junior in 2011. His most productive year was in 2010, when he caught 33 passes for 459 yards and five scores.

    Reed caught 17 passes for 212 yards and a score in his redshirt freshman season. He will need to add weight and fill out his frame for the NFL.

  23. Kyler Reed, TE, Nebraska
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 230.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2013): FA.

    4/23/13: Reed caught 24 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. He didn’t attend the Combine.

    8/21/12: Reed had a down junior year with 14 receptions for 189 yards and zero touchdowns in 2011. Part of that can be attributed to Nebraska being a ground-based offense that can struggle to pass the ball.

    A year earlier, Reed set a Nebraska record with eight touchdown receptions, the most ever from a tight end. He showed speed and play-making ability with an average of 18 yards per catch. Reed caught 22 receptions for 395 yards in 2010. The Cornhuskers’ staff will coach him well in blocking technique, and it will be on Reed to add some muscle to his frame to be a better contributor in the run game.

  24. Ben Cotton, TE, Nebraska
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 255.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.82.
    Projected Round (2013): FA.

    4/23/13: Cotton is a good blocking tight end who platooned with a variety of tight ends in his Cornhuskers career. The senior had 18 receptions for 239 yards this season. His biggest production came as a junior with 14 receptions for 189 yards. He didn’t participate in the Combine.

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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