Chiefs

Rating the top tight ends in the 2018 NFL Draft, with an eye on the Chiefs' needs

Tight end Mike Gesicki showed off some of his abilities at Penn State Pro Day in State College, Pa., in March.
Tight end Mike Gesicki showed off some of his abilities at Penn State Pro Day in State College, Pa., in March. Special to The Kansas City Star

Included in measurables are height, weight and 40-yard-dash time. Grades and rankings are based on film study and proprietary reporting. Grades are intended to convey a general sense of the draftee’s value, and where he might be selected.

2018 NFL DRAFT PREVIEW: TIGHT ENDS

Chiefs’ need at the position: Medium. The Chiefs will bring back Pro Bowler Travis Kelce and longtime No. 2 tight end Demetrius Harris, but Kelce is 29 and Harris is a free agent after this year. Besides, the offense could really be unlocked with a plus-plus blocker at tight end, were general manager Brett Veach to acquire one.

1. MIKE GESICKI, Penn State

Measurables: 6-6, 247, 4.54

Bio: Two-year starter who caught 57 passes for 563 yards (9.9 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns in 13 games in 2017.

Consensus: Terrific athleticism shows on the field, where his receiving skills, speed and leaping ability could make him a Pro Bowl-caliber weapon; isn’t much of a blocker and needs to improve his strength to even be functional.

Grade: 6.7

2. DALLAS GOEDERT, South Dakota State

Measurables: 6-5, 256, N/A

Bio: Three-year starter who caught 72 passes for 1,111 yards (15.4 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns in 14 games in 2017.

Consensus: Did not run a 40-yard dash due to a lingering hamstring injury but did pretty well in other drills and his natural receiving ability shows up on tape; will have to prove he can hang with the big boys as a blocker.

Grade: 6.7

3. HAYDEN HURST, South Carolina

Measurables: 6-5, 250, 4.67

Bio: Two-year starter who caught 44 passes for 559 yards (12.7 yards per catch) and two touchdowns in 13 games in 2017. Declared after true junior season.

Consensus: Over-aged 25-year-old prospect (failed baseball career) with loads of enthusiasm, fluidity and ball skills; could make an early impact due to his reliability as a pass catcher, though his age and average collegiate production will concern some teams.

Grade: 6.7

4. MARK ANDREWS, Oklahoma

Measurables: 6-5, 256, 4.67

Bio: Two-year starter who caught 62 passes for 958 yards (15.5 yards per catch) and eight touchdowns in 13 games in 2017. Declared after redshirt junior season.

Consensus: Proven, consistent touchdown threat (22 TDs since 2015) who doesn’t give much as a blocker but will get drafted because of his natural receiving gifts, which include good long speed and a willingness to work the middle and make the tough catch.

Grade: 6.5

5. IAN THOMAS, Indiana

Measurables: 6-4, 259, 4.74

Bio: One-year starter who caught 25 passes for 376 yards (15.0 yards per catch) and five touchdowns in 10 games in 2017.

Consensus: Lack of overall production is a concern — he only caught three passes in 2016 — but he’s got big-time athleticism and strength and could be developed into a starting-caliber receiving tight end; could develop into a good blocker with time and technique work.

Grade: 6.5

Others to watch: Jordan Akins, Central Florida; Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan; Will Dissly, Washington; Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin; Chris Herndon, Miami (Fla.); Ryan Izzo, Florida State; Dalton Schultz, Stanford; Durham Smythe, Notre Dame; David Wells, San Diego State; Andrew Vollert, Weber State



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