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Draft Snapshot: 10 Tight Ends to Watch

Posted Apr 19, 2018

The 2018 NFL Draft is just around the corner.

One of the league’s most important events kicks off with the first round at 7 p.m. (CT) on April 26 in Dallas at AT&T Stadium. The second and third rounds will be held on April 27 and begin at 6 p.m. (CT). Round 4 will start at 11 a.m. (CT) on April 28 and be followed by Rounds 5-7.

The Vikings currently have eight selections in the draft, beginning with the 30th overall pick. Minnesota went 13-3 in 2017 and reached the NFC title game.

Vikings.com is taking a glance at the top prospects at each position leading up to the draft.

Schedule

April 16: Quarterbacks

April 17: Running backs

April 18: Receivers

April 19: Tight ends

April 20: Tackles

April 21: Interior Offensive Linemen

April 22: Defensive tackles

April 23: Defensive ends

April 24: Linebackers

April 25: Cornerbacks

April 26: Safeties

Where the Vikings Stand

Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has established himself as one of the more reliable players at his position over the past seven seasons. Rudolph has 322 career receptions for 3,153 yards and 37 touchdown catches, which is a franchise record by a tight end. Rudolph has been a favorite red zone target of Vikings quarterbacks over the past three seasons, totaling 20 touchdown catches. David Morgan took on an increased role in his second season as he combined steady blocking with 10 catches for 95 yards and his first-career touchdown. Blake Bell also played a versatile role before suffering a shoulder injury in the final month of the season.

Recent Draft History (over past five years)

Total number of tight ends taken: 71

Round 1: 5

Round 2: 11

Round 3: 11

Round 4: 6

Round 5: 12

Round 6: 13

Round 7: 13

Players at this position rarely hear their name called on the first day of the draft (less than 10 percent of all tight ends over the past five years were first-round picks). But teams take plenty of them after that. More than half of all tight ends drafted come in the final three rounds of the draft, when teams could look for special teams help in addition to role players.

The Prospects (based on rankings by CBS Sports)

1. Dallas Goedert

South Dakota State, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-5, 256 pounds

Combine numbers

Bench press: 23 reps of 225 pounds

Goedert did not participate in any other testing drills at the NFL Combine.

2017 stats: recorded 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games; also notched a tackle on special teams; ranked 10th in FCS for receiving yards

2. Mike Gesicki

Penn State, Senior, 6-foot-5, 247 pounds 

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds

Bench press: 22 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 41.5 inches

Broad jump: 10 feet, 9 inches

3-cone drill: 6.76 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.10 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 11.33 seconds 

2017 stats: recorded 57 receptions for 563 yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games; set school single-season record for touchdown catches by a tight end

3. Mark Andrews

Oklahoma, Redshirt junior, 6-foot-5, 256 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds

Bench press: 17 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 31 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 5 inches

3-cone drill: 7.34 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.38 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 12.39 seconds

2017 stats: recorded 62 receptions for 958 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games

4. Jaylen Samuels

North Carolina State, Senior, 5-foot-11, 225 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds

Bench press: 18 reps of 225 pounds

Broad jump: 10 feet, 1 inch

Vertical jump: 34.5 inches

3-cone drill: 6.93 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.28 seconds

60-yard shuttle: did not participate

2017 stats: recorded 76 receptions for 597 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games; also had 76 rushes for 404 yards and 12 touchdowns

5. Ian Thomas

Indiana, Senior, 6-foot-4, 259 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.74 seconds

Bench press: did not participate

Broad jump: 10 feet, 3 inches

Vertical jump: 36 inches

3-cone drill: 7.15 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.2 seconds

60-yard shuttle: did not participate

2017 stats: recorded 25 receptions for 376 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games

6. Troy Fumagalli

Wisconsin, Senior, 6-foot-5, 247 pounds

Combine numbers

Bench press: 14 reps of 225 pounds

Fumagalli did not participate in any other testing drills at the NFL Combine.

2017 stats: recorded 46 receptions for 547 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games

7. Hayden Hurst

South Carolina, Junior, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds

Bench press: did not participate

Vertical jump: 31.5 inches

Broad jump: 10 feet

3-cone drill: 7.19 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.37 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 12.15 seconds 

2017 stats: recorded 44 receptions for 559 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games; had nine rushes for 30 yards and a touchdown

8. Durham Smythe

Notre Dame, Graduate student, 6-foot-5, 257 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.81 seconds

Bench press: 18 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 31 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 2 inches

3-cone drill: 7.17 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.23 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 11.86 seconds 

2017 stats: recorded 15 receptions for 244 yards and a touchdown in 13 games

9. Adam Breneman

UMass, Graduate student, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds

Combine numbers

Breneman was not invited to the 2018 combine. 

2017 stats: recorded 64 receptions for 764 yards and four touchdowns

10. Tyler Conklin

Western Michigan, Senior, 6-foot-4, 240 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 4.8 seconds

Bench press: 18 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 38 inches

Broad jump: 10 feet

3-cone drill: 7.13 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.23 seconds

60-yard shuttle: 11.43 seconds

2017 stats: recorded 35 receptions for 504 yards and five touchdowns in eight games