2016 NFL Draft Prospects: Tight Ends

By Charlie Campbell.
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The top 2016 tight end prospects available for the 2016 NFL Draft. * – denotes 2017 prospect. ** – denotes 2018 prospect.

This page was last updated April 26, 2016. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.
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2025 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
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  1. Hunter Henry*, TE, Arkansas
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 250. Arm: 32.75. Hand: 9.25.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2016): 1-2.

    4/26/16: At the combine, Henry declined to run the 40-yard dash, plus had a poor showing in the field drills. Teams also weren’t blown away in his interviews. Still, this is a weak tight end class and Henry remains the favorite to be the first selected. Most team projections have Henry going in the second round.

    Henry had 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 didn’t use 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 Arkansas’ potent rushing offense, but he isn’t a bulldozing people-mover.

    Sources have said they really like Henry, who is a balanced player and more complete than other top tight end prospects. He is a quality blocker and a tough receiver. Henry has quickness, size, good hands and route-running. He looks like a potential 10-year starter in the NFL.

    8/10/15: Henry is a well-rounded tight end who produced nicely in 2014. The sophomore contributed to the Razorbacks’ ground game while making 37 receptions for 513 yards and two scores. He also made an impact as a freshman with 28 receptions for 409 yards and four scores.

    Henry is a strong run-blocker who is helpful in the Razorbacks’ ground game for opening holes for their stable of backs. Even though Arkansas doesn’t throw the ball a lot, Henry has shown that he can be functional as a receiver.

  2. Austin Hooper**, TE, Stanford
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 254. Arm: 33.75. Hand: 10.63.
    40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2017): 2-3.

    4/26/16: At the combine, Hooper impressed teams in the workout, and sources said he did well in the interview room. Hooper has a good shot at being a second-round pick.

    Hooper played well in 2015 as a dangerous receiver for Stanford. He had 34 receptions for 438 yards and six touchdowns on the year, but played better than the numbers illustrate. Hooper was a real receiving threat for Stanford and has some potential as a blocker. He uses his size well and has quickness down the seam. Hooper could be a receiving mismatch weapon in the NFL.

    8/10/15: Hooper is the latest in a line of Cardinal tight ends who project well to the NFL. In 2014, he had 40 receptions for 499 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Hooper should take on a bigger role in the Cardinal offense in 2015.

  3. Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 244. Arm: 34. Hand: 8.75.
    40 Time: 4.64.
    Projected Round (2015): 2-4.

    4/26/16: Adams had an excellent combine workout to really help his draft stock. He had the fastest 40 time of any tight end there and showed some nice athleticism in the field work.

    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. Adams had a solid week at the Senior Bowl, and given the weak tight end class, he could be drafted earlier than expected.

  4. Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio State
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 256. Arm: 33.25. Hand: 10.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

    4/26/16: 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. Vannett 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.

    8/10/15: Vannett had 19 receptions for 220 yards with five touchdowns in 2014. Those are good numbers for a ground-based offense. With other tight ends off to the NFL, Vannett could be the every-down starter for the Buckeyes in 2015. He looks like a blocking Y tight end for the NFL who could contribute some in the passing game.

  5. Thomas Duarte*, TE, UCLA
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 231. Arm: 33. Hand: 10.
    40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2015): 3-5.

    4/26/16: In 2015, Duarte made 53 receptions for 872 yards with 10 touchdowns. He was a flex receiver and tight end for the Bruins. Duarte could be a receiving tight end in the NFL to play a role like Jordan Reed or Aaron Hernandez. That would be his best role at the next level, and in that position, he still needs to improve as a blocker. As a sophomore, Duarte had 28 catches for 540 yards with four scores. He played better against weak competition.

  6. Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 250.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2015): 4-6.

    4/26/16: Higbee contributed to Western Kentucky’s high-powered offense in 2015, totaling 38 receptions for 563 yards and eight touchdowns. It was a big jump in production for him. Higbee went to the combine, but didn’t run because of an injury. Prior to the draft, Higbee hurt his draft stock by getting in a fight outside of a night club.

  7. Darion Griswold, TE, Arkansas State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 249. Arm: 33.5. Hand 9.25.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
    Projected Round (2016): 5-7.

    4/26/16: Griswold had 13 receptions for 187 yards with two scores in 2015. He flashed some receiving skills at the East-West Shrine and earned a late invitation to the Senior Bowl. Griswold needs some development, but he could turn into a nice contributor in a passing offense. He did not work out at the combine.

    8/10/15: Griswold recorded 18 receptions for 221 y.ards and four touchdowns in 2014. He totaled 24 catches for 312 yards and three scores the year before. Griswold has good size and athleticism.

  8. Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 260. Arm: 33.25. Hand: 9.63.
    40 Time: 4.94.
    Projected Round (2015): 5-7.

    4/26/16: Williams turned in a productive season for the Pirates as he totaled 58 receptions for 588 yards and four touchdowns. As a junior (18-237-4) and a sophomore (20-220-5), Williams chipped in to a good East Carolina offense. He didn’t stand out at the Senior Bowl and ran slow at the combine.

  9. David Morgan, TE, UTSA
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 262. Arm: 33.63. Hand: 10.5.
    40 Time: 5.02.
    Projected Round (2015): 5-7.

    4/26/16: Morgan ran slow in the 40-yard dash with an unofficial time of 5.02 seconds, but he did really well in the field drills. Morgan showed his strength as a drive blocker, and he ran some nice routes with good hands catches. Morgan opened some eyes to get consideration as a blocking Y tight end on the third day of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 2015, he had 45 receptions for 566 yards and five touchdowns for Texas-San Antonio.

  10. Henry Krieger-Coble, TE, Iowa
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 248. Arm: 31.38. Hand: 9.25.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

    4/26/16: Krieger-Coble caught 35 passes for 405 yards with a touchdown in 2015. It was a huge increase in production after over his previous three years, when he totaled seven receptions. Krieger-Coble did not participate in the combine.

  11. Kyle Carter, TE, Penn State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 243.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2015): 6-FA.

    4/26/16: Carter had 14 receptions for 135 yards in 2015. Penn State needed him more as a blocker, but he also had some ugly dropped passes. There were other times that Carter was open but Christian Hackenberg had accuracy issues. Carter didn’t impress at the East-West Shrine and did not participate in the combine.

    8/10/15: Carter is a solid player who should produce more as a senior. He had 16 receptions for 152 yards and a touchdown in 2014. Carter contributed as a sophomore (18-222) and turned in an impressive freshman season with 36 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns.

  12. Jake McGee, TE, Florida
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 252. Arm: 32. Hand: 9.5.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
    Projected Round (2016): 6-FA.

    4/26/16: McGee and a freshman tight end were unsung heroes for Florida in 2015. McGee made some clutch catches while also blocking well for the Gators. In 2015, he had 41 receptions for 381 yards and four touchdowns. McGee has some receiving skills while also being a quality blocker. He had to pull out of the Senior Bowl early because of an injury.

    McGee suffered a season-ending injury early in the 2014 season. As a sophomore (43-395-2) and freshman (28-374-5), he played well for Virginia before transferring to Florida.

  13. Braxton Deaver, TE, Duke
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 240.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
    Projected Round (2016): 7-FA.

    4/26/16: In 2015, Deaver notched 21 receptions for 183 yards and two touchdowns. He did not participate in the combine.

    8/10/15: Deaver missed the 2014 season after tearing his ACL in fall camp. After missing the 2012 season with an injury, Deaver made a big impact for the Blue Devils in their surprising 2013 season that saw them lose to Florida State in the ACC Championship. He caught 46 passes for 600 yards and four touchdowns that year. In 2012, Deaver had knee surgery to repair a fractured left patella. Deaver also had surgery to fix a thumb fracture. Staying healthy is critical for Deaver.

  14. Billy Freeman, TE, San Jose State
    Height: 6-3. Weight: 218.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
    Projected Round (2015): FA.

    4/26/16: Freeman recorded 48 receptions in 2015 for 586 yards and six touchdowns. He did not participate in the combine.

    8/10/15: Freeman had his best production as a freshman when David Fales was his quarterback. Freeman hauled in 27 receptions for 427 yards with two touchdowns that season. In 2014, he had 19 catches for 182 yards and a score.

  15. Jay Rome, TE, Georgia
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 248.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.88.
    Projected Round (2015): FA.

    4/26/16: In 2015, Rome totaled eight catches for 88 yards. He did not participate in the combine.

    8/10/15: With some teammates off to the NFL, Rome should take on a bigger role in 2015. He had 10 receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown in 2014. Rome put up more production as sophomore (9-99) and freshman (11-152) when Aaron Murray was the Bulldogs’ quarterback.

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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