2013 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford Cardinal

Harry How

Read a 2013 NFL Mock Draft and you might well see Stanford tight end Zach Ertz selected for the Giants. Today, we profile the Cardinal tight end.

Another NFL Draft, another year of people mocking tight ends to the New York Giants. The Giants have shown a penchant to take three groups of players in the back end of the draft under Jerry Reese: offensive linemen, linebackers, and tight ends, and not coincidentally those are the three positions that are most often mocked to the New York Giants in the first round of most mock drafts.

It makes some sense the Giants don't have the star power or depth at any of those positions (and likely because they are not spending high draft picks there for the most part), will this year be the year the Giants finally grab one of those three positions early? Only time will tell, but because of that today we use our 2013 NFL Draft prospect profile look at my number-one rated, and consensus top three tight end prospect, Zach Ertz of Stanford.

Ertz is an interesting prospect because the view of him as a player is all over the place.

[Complete SB Nation Draft Coverage]

Pros

ZErtz entered college as a top recruit, possibly the top tight end recruit from some services. Ertz has good, but not great size; he's listed at 6-foot-6, 252 pounds. Ertz is a very good receiver who can create mismatches on the field because of his speed (could run in the 4.6 range). Ertz has also excellent hands and good body control to make difficult plays in the NFL. Ertz is a guy who can create yards after the catch because of his speed, acceleration, and his toughness to fight for extra yards. Ertz has been productive and versatile for Stanford, lining up in a variety of ways for the Cardinal.

[Big Blue View 2013 NFL Draft Big Board]

Cons

Even though Ertz has excellent hands, he inexplicably will have some drops (like Hakeem Nicks does as well, even though he has great hands), Ertz's biggest knock is that he's just not a great blocker and I'd agree with that. He's a willing blocker, but he needs more upper body strength and improved technique. He struggles sometimes to block at the second level, and is more of a mismatch as a receiving option right now then an all-around tight end.

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Player comparison: Jason Witten (NFL.com)

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Possibly, but no I don't think he'll be actually considered in the first round as their pick. He's talented as a pass catcher and can be a mismatch on the field. He also has the size and frame to get bigger and become a better blocker, but he's not there yet. He's not as athletic as Adrien Robinson was last year, or bigger, or really that much of a better blocker. The pick wouldn't make too much sense to me, though I won't rule it out.

Prospect Video

You won't believe it, but this is another video cut by @jmpasq

Big Board Rankings

CBS Sports-26th

National Football Post-26th

Mocking the Draft-33rd

Sports Illustrated-26th

Big Blue View Board-33rd

Ha! Look out that worked out: 26th or 33rd on every board.

Final Thought

I mentioned earlier that Ertz is one of those prospects who is viewed all over the board. There are scouting reports that say he has great speed for the position, there are others that say he is too slow. There are ones that claim he is a good, solid blocker and others say that he can't hold up as a blocker in the NFL. He has great hands he drops too many passes?

Who is this guy?

To me, he's like I said above. A guy who is a mismatch as an offensive weapon and a guy who has the frame to add more weight and become a better blocker, but he's just not there yet. I think he's better than Coby Fleener, but I also had Dwayne Allen as the No. 1 tight end on my board last year, and to me he's not as good of an all-around prospect as Allen was last year.

Ertz is a solid player and will be a good receiving outlet for a team early in his career, but he has a long way to as a blocker to be an elite tight end.

Follow me on twitter @NFLmocks

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