The New York Giants need better play from their tight end position. They started upgrading it in free agency by signing blocking tight end Keith Ellison from the Minnesota Vikings. However, they still need more production from the position.
As it so happens, the 2017 draft class features one of the, if not the, most talented group of tight ends in recent memory. There are athletic and talented tight ends to fill nearly any need in any scheme. While O.J. Howard and David Njoku take the headlines at the top of the class, it is deep and very good options should be found on the second day of the draft.
One of them could be Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett.
- Prototypical size and build for an NFL tight end.
- Solid athlete who can present a size or speed mismatch with almost any player tasked with covering him.
- Plays in line, in the slot, as a wide receiver, and out of the backfield.
- Shows the speed to stretch the field and attack defenses’ seams. He is also good at finding voids in zone coverage
- Shows generally soft hands and has upside as a blocker.
- Tagged as a “lazy” player early in his career. Has reportedly turned himself around, but teams will still want to do their homework on him.
- Could stand to fill out his frame a bit.
- Usually a willing but not a dominating blocker.
- Good, but not elite, athlete. Perceptions of his athleticism suffers when compared with the rest of the draft class.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Leggett does fit the Giants’ offense.
He plays all over the offensive formation, from the backfield to wide receiver, which fits with how Ben McAdoo likes to employ the Giants’ tight ends. He is also weapon that can stretch the field or gash a defense that ignores him, as well as be a solid check-down option for a quarterback in trouble.
He isn’t a dominating blocker, but he is willing and does enough for Clemson to be a positive factor in the run game or in pass protection. He also does it from a variety of positions: As an H-Back, in line as a tight end, or out wide on bubble screens.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 75th overall
CBS Sports - 104th overall
Draft Countdown - 76th overall
Draft Tek - 146th overall
Leggett is a solid all-around option as a tight end. He might not excel or leap off the screen in any one area of his game, but he also isn’t glaringly deficient in any one area either. He could probably stand to get bigger and stronger, but weighing in at 258 pounds at 6 feet, 5 inches is a solid starting point for an NFL tight end.
Assuming the questions about his work ethic are a thing of the past, the biggest knock on Leggett is that he doesn’t have the same kind of “Match-Up Nightmare” qualities that some of the other tight ends in this class have. That being said, in almost any other year he would probably be one of the top one or two prospects, if not the undisputed best.