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Best Tight Ends 


Special to NFL.com

There could be three tight ends taken in the first round. Colorado's Daniel Graham and Miami's Jeremy Shockey are considered the top two, and Washington's Jerramy Stevens could also jump into the first round. Plus, there are at least a couple of other prospects with big upside. 
 

DANIEL GRAHAM, COLORADO

Height: 6-3
Weight: 245
Birthdate: Nov. 16, 1978 
ANALYSIS
Graham, a unanimous All-American, beat out Miami's Jeremy Shockey for the John Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's most outstanding tight end. Graham led Colorado last season in catches (51), receiving yards (753) and touchdown receptions (six). In his career, he had more receptions (106) and receiving yards (1,543) than any tight end in Buffaloes history. He spent time at halfback and fullback as an underclassman. Some have nicknamed him "Little Shannon" as in Sharpe. 
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
 "Has the tools to be a deep threat in the passing game but also can block at the point. His father (Tom Graham, a Broncos linebacker) played in the NFL, so he has an idea what it takes to succeed." 
Pete Prisco, CBS SportsLine.com
"Not only is he a great receiver; he's a great blocker. I know that I (could) rely on Daniel to make the big plays when we need them. He's the guy who makes our offense go."
Colorado coach Gary Barnett
"While someone else is running for a touchdown, Graham can be seen pushing a linebacker out of the back of the end zone like a baby in a stroller. His ability to bully a defensive back and torch a linebacker demands double-team attention."
Paul Coro, Arizona Republic
MOMENTUM
Graham is considered an all-around tight end, with the ability to run, block and catch extremely well. Some coaches would like him to bulk up and maybe get a step faster. Some draftniks say he is a better prospect than Baltimore's Todd Heap, the first tight end taken in the 2001 draft.

DOUG JOLLEY, BYU

Height: 6-3½
Weight: 250
Birthdate: Jan. 2, 1979
ANALYSIS
Maybe the best athlete in this group. Jolley played quarterback in high school and was also a deep snapper at BYU, where his coaches tried him out at punter and had him pass the ball a few times on gadget plays. In 2001, he was second on the team in catches (32), receiving yards (492) and touchdown receptions (seven). He broke out in midseason against Air Force, when he caught 10 passes for a Mountain West Conference-record 177 yards and three touchdowns. He had 14 receptions for 219 yards as a junior. His father Gordon played seven years in NFL. 
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
 "Has ideal speed and athleticism for a tight end. Gets a quick release, has good agility and is a sharp route-runner. Has a great feel for the passing game and what he needs to do against zone and/or man-to-man coverage. Shows solid hands and improved consistency. Is an improving interior blocker."
TSN
"Jolley shows exceptional receiving skills, brings top-drawer athleticism to the tight-end spot and is a hard-working, capable blocker. He's perfect for the West Coast offense, so don't be surprised if he ends up being taken in the third or fourth round of the draft."
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
MOMENTUM
Besides his athleticism, his experience as a deep snapper is a plus. His numbers aren't astounding and his blocking skills have been questioned, but a team might see a big upside and take a chance. 

MATT SCHOBEL, TCU

Height: 6-5
Weight: 257
Birthdate: Nov. 4, 1978
ANALYSIS
Schobel was an outstanding high school quarterback who went to Texas A&M in 1997. He redshirted as a true freshman, then sat out another season after transferring to Texas Christian. After becoming a wide receiver, he found his true position at tight end. He caught only four passes apiece in 1999 and 2000. A left hamstring injury limited him to seven games in 2001, but he had 19 grabs for 310 yards and five touchdowns. He also was the holder on placekicks, so TCU's coaches obviously liked his hands. 
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
 "Schobel is a complete tight end big, fast, athletic and has great hands to go with fairly good blocking ability and nice pass-catching skills. However he still must continue to round off his game and try to upgrade in every area. He must become a bit quicker to complement his athleticism and speed."
Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN
MOMENTUM
Schobel started only a handful of games in his career but showed obvious improvement in his senior season. Still has to be considered a project at this stage, but is light years ahead of where he was a year ago. 

JEREMY SHOCKEY, MIAMI

Height: 6-6
Weight: 236
Birthdate: Aug. 18, 1980
ANALYSIS
Left Miami a year early after leading the team in receptions (45) and coming in second in receiving yards (604) and touchdown receptions (eight), including five catches for 85 yards and a 21-yard touchdown in the Rose Bowl. Began college career at Northeast Oklahoma A&M, a junior college in coincidentally? Miami, Okla. After one year, he joined the Hurricanes and quickly went from obscure backup to the first-team tight end on the all-Big East team. 
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
 "Is much better catching the ball than blocking, but he has improved in that area." 
Pete Prisco, CBS SportsLine.com
"He will be a huge mismatch as a receiver in the NFL and should continue to improve as a blocker. He is a better receiver than the Packers' Bubba Franks was at this point."
Chris Steuber, FirstDownInc.com
"When he catches the ball, he doesn't like to go down. He likes to deliver a blow. He doesn't get brought down by one guy. Two or three guys tackle him. That's what makes him a good player." 
Former teammate Joaquin Gonzalez
MOMENTUM
The scouts like Shockey's hands, speed, route-running and his knack for getting extra yardage after catches. But he's not a bulky guy, so they might question his blocking ability. Also, he's only 21 and he spent only one season as a full-time starter in a big-time program. His performance in the Rose Bowl put him on the upswing. 

JERRAMY STEVENS, WASHINGTON

Height: 6-7
Weight: 260
Birthdate: Nov. 13, 1979
ANALYSIS
A consensus second-team All-American in 2000 (43 catches, 600 yards), Stevens missed a majority of last season with a broken foot. He worked his way through rehab and returned to the lineup before the regular season ended. In the Holiday Bowl against Texas, he had nine catches for 109 yards. Those stats were career highs and set UW single-game records for a tight end. Stevens was a quarterback in high school. 
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
 "A bigger version of the Chiefs' Tony Gonzalez. Injuries have slowed him some, but he might be the best receiving tight end of the group."
Pete Prisco, CBS SportsLine.com
"Jerramy is certainly a proven receiver. You're much less likely to go and double other places because of the threat of him being in there."
Washington coach Rick Neuheisel 
"Stevens has great size and is a very talented all-around athlete with large, soft hands and the ability to get down the field. He jumps well, breaks some tackles after the catch and can be an effective position blocker when he puts his mind to it."
Joel Buschbaum, Pro Football Weekly
MOMENTUM
Scouts like his athleticism and his hands, but question his blocking ability. Although Stevens had hinted all along he would declare early, some people were still surprised he jumped because of the games he missed last season. He might slip down into the second round, but as he said at his press conference to announce he was going pro, it "really only takes one team to fall in love with you." 
 
OTHER TIGHT ENDS
NAME COLLEGE HEIGHT WEIGHT
Chris Baker Michigan State  6-3  261 
Mike Banks Iowa State  6-4  255 
Dwayne Blakely Missouri  6-4  259 
Kori Dickerson USC  6-4  230 
John Gilmore Penn State  6-1½  260 
Mike Hart Duke  6-6  249 
Ray Hannam  Northern Iowa  6-2  250 
Keith Heinrich Sam Houston State 6-5 263
Mike Jones Texas  6-5  275 
Terry Jones Jr. Alabama 6-4 265
Joey Knapp UTEP  6-4  240 
Graham Manley Syracuse  6-5  255 
Russell Matvay Georgia Tech  6-4  245 
Jose Ochoa Colorado State  6-2  255 
Justin Peele Oregon  6-4  247 
Jeb Putzier  Boise State  6-4  235 
Robert Royal  LSU  6-4  250 
Bob Slowikowski  Virginia Tech  6-5  245 
Tim Stratton  Purdue  6-3  251 
Shawn Thompson  Michigan  6-3  256 
Nick Warren  Kansas State  6-5  260 
Browning Wynn  Virginia Tech  6-3  230 
Tracey Wistrom  Nebraska  6-4  233 
....