I don't know that I have looked hard enough at tight end prospects while compiling the 2011 NFL Draft prospect profile series. It seems pretty obvious that the New York Giants need to do something at this spot.
Kevin Boss can be a free agent. Travis Beckum is not an in-line blocker. The expectation is that Bear Pascoe will stay at fullback, although that is not guaranteed. That means the Giants could wind up needing at the very least a blocking tight end, and quite possibly an every-down tight end.
Let's use today's prospect profile to look at a projected third-day tight end, Florida Atlantic's Rob Housler. This is a player with a nice blend of size and speed but who is inexperienced and just learning how to block.
Scouting reports after the jump.
TE, Florida Atlanta
6-foot-6, 250 pounds
Projection: Third day
From Sideline Scouting:
Positives: Natural athleticism... Good size... Very good speed, fastest tight end at the combine... Gets off the LOS quickly... Reaches top speed quickly... Can get separation... Pure route runner... Finds holes in zone coverage... Can create some matchup problems... Good body control and balance... Good receiver... Good vertical jump... High points the pass... Good hands... Can make the difficult catches... Agile with reasonably quick nimble feet... Runs well with the football... Fairly elusive in the open field... Long arms... Is more of a flex tight end, can put his hand down on the end of the line, split out wide or go in motion to create a mismatch... Could also be considered as an H-Back... High football IQ... Sat out the 2009 season to redshirt and save his final season of eligibility and receive more playing time in 2010... Has a lot of potential and will probably be over-drafted following elite 40-time... Selected All-Sun Belt second team for the 2010 season... Mature, married with one kid.
Negatives: Inconsistent concentration... Very poor and inexperienced blocker... Doesn't play to his weight room strength... Was very skinny with a rangy frame in college, wasn't strong at the point of attack and lacked the bulk to deliver anything more than a one on one block in the open field... Will be a bit of an NFL project that will take a few seasons to fully develop... After being listed at 215 lbs., weighed in at 249 lbs. prior to NFLPA Game and 248 lbs. at combine, can he carry that weight and hold his speed?
Housler is long with good top end speed. Explodes off the ball and can stretch the field down the seam. Fluid athlete that can separate against linebackers in man coverage. Possesses reliable hands and the body control to make difficult catches in traffic. Fearless going across the middle.
Needs to add bulk to play in-line at the next level. Does not have the lower body strength or mentality to be an effective run blocker. Not the smoothest route runner and he will not always find holes in zone coverage. Lacks the lateral agility to make defenders miss in the open field after the catch.
Housler is a weapon in the passing game, but he needs to add bulk and improve as a blocker to be an every down tight end. He is quick off the ball and does not lose speed in transition which allows him to get open against man coverage. He also has a large catching radius and uses his body to box out defenders and make grabs even when he is covered. He does not have the power to generate a push in the running game and is not exactly the most willing blocker. Housler is a skilled pass-catcher and could be a third-day pick.