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2005 Tight End Preview
By Michael Struening

The tight end class of 2005 could be one of the worst in recent memories. After a passing year that included Kellen Winslow, Ben Watson, and Ben Troupe in the top 40 and two years removed from Jeremy Shockey, there are no seniors that carry an evident first round grade coming into the season. As in years past, the top rated tight ends will be underclassmen.

The class is also one that is rather thin into the later rounds. The top rated tight end coming into 2005 season, Colorado State’s Joel Dressen, is more known for his blocking than passing. Michigan State’s Eric Knott comes into the season highly rated, but only caught 31 passes last season. He’s shed 20 pounds this offseason, but will also have to get accustomed to a new quarterback on the Spartans.

At 6’6, 250, and with a 40 time of 4.5, coaches at Miami are very excited about senior tight end Kevin Everett. While he could be the next in what is becoming a very long line of top NFL-ready tight ends, it has been hard to rate Everett thus far. Playing behind Winslow last season, he caught only 9 passes.

Bo Scaife of Texas was granted a medical redshirt and will return for one more year. Alex Smith should play a part in the Stanford offense. Ben Hall is still very unproven at Clemson. Kansas State’s Brian Casey is a productive blocker.

Underclassmen:
Much like past years, underclassmen will make up the tight end position. The apparent heir to a new line of pass-catching tight ends in the NFL is Virginia’s Heath Miller. Last season, he set records in the ACC for both receiving yards and catches by a tight end. Miller, in addition has also caught a pass for Virginia in 20 consecutive games. Should he declare, this star looks like a top 20 pick come next April.

Matt Herian comes into the season as the second highest ranked underclassmen. Herian will be a very intriguing player to watch during 2004. With plans at Nebraska to finally move toward a pro style offense, the tight end is one of the players on the team who should be impacted the most. Averaging 22 yards per catch last season, Herian will be a key to this team’s rebuilding.

Mercedes Lewis of UCLA and Ohio State’s Ryan Hamby are two other names to keep an eye on.

Sleepers:
Oklahoma State’s Billy Bajema looks like a player that is on the verge of his breakout season. The team is widely unproven at wide receiver and will likely rely on more than a few freshman. They could also lose their Quarterback to the Major League Baseball Draft. Bajema, a returning starter should be a safety valve for the Cowboys. By the end of the season he could turn himself into the top rated senior prospect.

Future Years:
The group of junior tight ends is a good one with Lewis, Hamby, Herian, and Miller. Past that there doesn’t look to be much on the horizon.

 
















©2004
Sideline Scouting Services

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