2014 NFL Draft: Prospect Profile -- Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Niklas is an ascending prospect who could help the Giants both as a possession target and as a blocker. Let's take a closer look at the Notre Dame prospect.

While the college season was geared towards such players as Eric Ebron, Jace Amaro, and Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, a new competitor for the title of top tight end emerged at the start of the offseason. His name is Troy Niklas and he hails from Notre Dame.

What makes him such an intriguing prospect? Let's find out what this 6-foot-6, 270 pound tight end can do.

Pros

- Prototype frame. Large, chiseled, well proportioned. Long 34-inch arms.

- Very strong blocker. Dominant stalk blocker downfield and has all the makings of a strong in-line presence.

- Quick in and out of his breaks and can run a full route tree. Probably one of the better route runners in this class.

- Athletic and filled with upside. Perhaps not as fast as his predecessor Tyler Eifert, but certainly fast enough.

Cons

- Not a natural hands catcher. I don't see him in the same class as Ebron or Amaro from a pass catching standpoint.

- Physicality is a bit of an issue. Doesn't assert himself while blocking or catching in traffic. Not the type to rely on to make a big catch around several players.

- Needs to improve core strength. Still needs development as an in-line player and needs to get lower body strength.

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Yes. He would've likely been the best type of tight end if Mike Pope were still around. Probably the most polished of all the tight ends in the draft, as he's a better blocker than Ebron and especially Amaro, and more consistent in his level of play than Sefarian-Jenkins. However, his level of upside compared to those three is probably less so. Would likely be Coughlin's choice.

Prospect Video

Troy Niklas vs USC (2013) (via DCheeseB)

Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 47

Mocking The Draft - 39

CBS Sports - 53

Draft Countdown - 60

Draft Tek - 63

Final Thoughts

Niklas is easy for a team to like. He does a lot of little things well and if he were available at the Giants' 2nd round pick, nobody would bat an eye at it. However, I feel like he's lacking that edge that can make good players great. I like both prior Notre Dame TEs over him, Tyler Eifert and Kyle Rudolph.

He needs to improve his functional strength and I'm quite low on his receiving skills. Used quite frequently as a blocker, he didn't have the chance to do much on the receiving side of the ball, racking up only 498 yards this season. I'd try and look elsewhere for the 43rd pick, but wouldn't be upset with him if he were chosen.

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