When it comes to building the New York Giants roster for 2014 it seems like tight end is a position that has been talked about forever, since even before the 2013 season ended. Brandon Myers was a flop as a free-agent signing and is now a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Giants currently have a collection of bodies at the that amount to, well, little more than a collection of bodies at the tight end position. Adrien Robinson has played two snaps in two years. Larry Donnell caught three passes in 2013. Kellen Davis caught three passes in 2013 and has only 50 catches in a six-year career. Daniel Fells has 30 career catches in a five-year career, but was out of the league last season.
All of which brings us to the 2014 NFL Draft. It stands to reason that the Giants almost certainly will add a tight end during the draft. Will that be early? Will it be late? There is no way to know.
"Everybody needs a play-making tight end. You want a play-maker at every position if you can. ... We have a couple of young tight ends. It's time for those guys to develop and play. We'll continue to look," Giants GM Jerry Reese said during a pre-draft press conference on Thursday. "Everybody wants big, fast tight ends who can block and catch balls. All over the league everybody wants those guys. We like guys who are big and fast and can block and can catch."
Let's look at some of the Giants' options at the position in the upcoming draft.
Eric Ebron -- This is the guy fans drool over when they think about the possibilities of what new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo could do with him. Ebron is the prototypical new breed of tight end, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound match-up nightmare defenses who is more accustomed to playing in the slot and moving around that being a traditional inline tight end. He has been compared to Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers, and has even made the comparison himself. He also hasn't been shy about his ability, saying teams don't press cover him because they can't.
"People are looking for the big, athletic tight end that's a difference-maker as far as being able to play in space," said long-time NFL scout Greg Gabriel.
Ebron is that. He isn't a great blocker, and there is some concern about his consistency as a pass catcher and his toughness going over the middle. [Ebron Film Study]
In his Ebron prospect profile, our own 'Invictus' gushed about the possibility of drafting Ebron at No. 12:
Ebron is a versatile matchup nightmare, faster than not only linebackers, but most safeties as well. He can out muscle and out fight corners. He has the route running to get to whatever spot [Eli] Manning targets. It'll be tough to overthrow him as well. If it sounds like I'm gushing, its because I am. The potential for him in a West Coast offense is ridiculous.
Aside from all of that, the guy is a Giants' fan. What's not to like?
The Day 2 Possibilities
Jace Amaro, Texas Tech -- Would be a consolation prize if the Giants want an Ebron-type and aren't able to get the Tar Heel tight end. 'Raptor' called the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Amaro "an industrial-sized slot receiver" in his prospect profile. He seems unlikely to be available to the Giants at No. 43 in the second round.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington -- Another of the new breed of tight ends, more pass catcher than blocker. [Prospect Profile]
Troy Niklas, Notre Dame -- A 6-foot-7, 270-pound late bloomer who is probably the best traditional tight end in the 2014 Draft class. In his Niklas Prospect Profile, 'Invictus' says:
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.
Niklas is probably a player who will come off the board in Round 2, so if the Giants want him they would likely need to use their pick at No. 43 to get him.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa -- Another traditional type of tight end, though not quite as big (6-5, 262) or highly-regarded as Niklas. In his prospect profile, Jesse Bartolis calls Fiedorowicz "a starting-caliber player in the NFL."
Fiedorowicz is expected to be a late-Day 2 or early-Day 3 selection
Day 3 Sleepers
If the Giants go in other directions the first three rounds of the draft it would still seem logical they will add a tight end for depth and competition at some point in the draft. Here are a few names to keep an eye on.
Arthur Lynch of Georgia is a 6-5, 260-pound player who offers solid blocking, an underneath target and some upside. [Lynch Prospect Profile] Bloomsburg's Larry Webster, a basketball player turned football player who was a defensive end and might be an NFL tight end is an intriguing long-range prospect. Some people like Marcel Jensen of Fresno State, an athletic 6-6, 260-pounder. Colt Lyerla of Oregon, a talented player who comes with lots of red flags for off the field issues, will get a chance somewhere.