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VIDEO: The 2017 tight end class has a little bit of everything

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Film study of top tight ends in 2017 NFL Draft

One of the most obvious places the New York Giants could improve during the 2017 NFL Draft is at tight end. While the Giants have some players they like at the position, they haven’t had a true mismatch since the year of Martellus Bennett.

This year’s draft class is deep at tight end with at least two expected to go in the first round. Anything the Giants — or any other team in the NFL — is looking for at the position can be found in this class. There are some great blockers, great pass catchers, and a few who can do a bit of both.

In the video above, we take a look at what some of the top prospects — O.J. Howard, David Njoku, Evan Engram, Bucky Hodges, and Jordan Leggett — can bring to the next level. Another thanks to Draft Breakdown for the clips.

In the chart below, I’ve added how 10 of this year’s tight ends stack up in a metric I created a few years ago called Target Yards Added. The goal of the stat, originally designed for wide receivers, is to separate college receivers from their quarterbacks and scheme. It simply subtracts a receiver’s yards per target from the quarterbacks’ yards per attempt and credits the receiver with the difference.

This metric isn’t meant to be a ranking of any kind, but more of a way to see how much a player adds to a passing offense. For some context, the wide receiver average has been 1.65 since 2014. Anything over 2.0 is quite impressive, while under 1.0 raises some questions. With how this tight end class is filled with pass-catchers, it’s not a surprise to see some of these numbers match up to wide receiver counterparts.

Target Yards Added

TE School QB YPA YPT Targets Yards Target Yards Added
TE School QB YPA YPT Targets Yards Target Yards Added
OJ Howard Alabama 7.51 10.26 58 595 2.75
George Kittle Iowa 6.42 9.13 40 365 2.70
Jordan Leggett Clemson 8.00 10.67 69 736 2.67
Evan Engram Ole Miss 7.76 9.96 93 926 2.19
Gerald Everett South Alabama 7.67 9.82 73 717 2.15
David Njoku Miami 8.39 9.69 72 698 1.31
Jonnu Smith Florida International 6.68 7.55 67 506 0.87
Jake Butt Michigan 7.45 8.21 68 558 0.76
Bucky Hodges Virginia Tech 8.20 8.53 81 691 0.33
Jeremy Sprinkle Arkansas 8.48 6.91 55 380 -1.57