Draftable Tight Ends
Devin Funchess: He has been listed as a wide receiver at the combine and headed into the draft but he is really a tight end. However his listing as a wide receiver should key you into his talent level and athleticism. He is a 6’5″ athlete whose versatility is his trademark. He could slide into the slot, lineup outside, or run a seam route after lining up with his hand in the turf.
Funchess would be a first-round pick if available at the Ravens spot in the draft, but if he is still around, I would be really surprised to see the Ravens pass on him, not only because of his talent but also because of their best player available draft strategy.
Nick O’leary: If you can’t get an athletic freak you would be well served to get a mental one. Nick O’leary may be the smartest player in the draft. Yes, I am including quarterbacks as well. He won’t wow you with his numbers, measurables, or combine results, but in terms of intangibles he is a really intriguing guy.
O’leary is a large part of the success James Winston had in college because he simply understands the game, his playbook, and the places he had to be to get the ball after the original play has broken down. He could really be an asset for Flacco and Trestman on third down as a rookie especially if the wide receiving corps isn’t elite.
Blake Bell: The polar opposite of O’leary in just about every way. He played his first year as a tight end last year, so he does not have the experience at the position. As a quarterback, he is intelligent, but with a switch of positions, he doesn’t understand the nuances of the position quite yet.
Bell has a prototypical body at 6’6″, 259, and he is strong and fast enough to make it work at the position. He is probably a late round pick that could go as early as the fourth round, but he certainly has the tools to be an elite player with great to exceptional development and coaching.
Jeff Heureman: Another athletic guy that can play all over the offensive perimeter. He would be the main receiving tight end of the future most likely, with Crockett Gilmore taking on the bulk of the run blocking in the future depending on Dennis Pitta. He is 6’5″, 250, and can make the plays that you would expect from an Urban Meyer tight end (even though he didn’t recruit him).