We have already profiled both Dwyane Allen of Clemson and Coby Fleener of Stanford, two of the Big Three among the tight ends available as part of the 2012 NFL Draft class. Today, let's use our 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Profile to look at the third of those tight ends -- Orson Charles of Georgia.
The tight end class has been panned by Mike Mayock of NFL Network and Wes Bunting of the National Football Post, among others. Still, with Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum unavailable at the beginning of the 2012 season due to knee surgeries it is a position of need for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Charles, for some reason, chose not to run a 40-yard dash at the recent NFL Scouting Combine. Draft Countdown's Scott Wright says, however, that Charles "still managed to stand out though, looking extremely athletic and smooth in the positional drills. Charles also led all tight ends in the bench press by a significant margin, putting up 35 reps. Charles certainly made a strong case for why he should be the first tight end off the board."
Wright and Bunting both have Charles listed as the top tight end on their respective draft boards.
Bunting's scouting report on the 6-foot-3, 241-pound Charles makes him seem more like a replacement for Beckum than Ballard. Bunting wrote:
"A gifted athlete who can create a lot of mismatches in the pass game. Should be able to improve as a route runner as well. Not quite as polished as Aaron Hernandez as an H-back coming out, but could end up playing a similar type role."
CBS Sports wrote this about Charles:
"While Charles' statistics may lack the sizzle of others, his ability to play several roles in the Georgia offense will certainly intrigue NFL scouts. Charles' sticky hands and big play ability after the catch made him a receiver to be feared but Charles also offered significant help to the Georgia running game as a blocker. ... He's a physical and tenacious despite being undersized.
"NFL teams may have a hard time giving any tight end of Charles' size a first round grade. Considering the ways in which Charles can help an offense, however, it isn't out of the question."
"Charles is a big, athletic and flexible tight end in the mold of some ends that have found success being mismatches of late in the NFL. He has decent size for the position and runs pretty well. ... He is capable of blocking on the line immediately and is a very reliable short-yardage pass-catcher. If he can put on a little bit more size to increase the effectiveness of a mismatch running against linebackers in the short game, it's likely he could be drafted as early as the third round."
Orson Charles Profile
Weight: 241 pounds
40 time: 4.50
2011 Stats: 45 catches, 574 yards (12.8 yards per catch), 5 touchdowns