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NFL Draft Stock Report: Tight Ends

The NFL Draft is far away but as college football hits its stride for 2017, we take a look this week and next week at the top prospects at each position. Today we continue with the tight ends.

MORE NFL STOCK REPORTS: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers

Mike Gesicki
Mike Gesicki (AP Images)

Recruiting: Gesicki took official visits to both Penn State and Ohio State and he determined he would play for the Nittany Lions. Duke and many others were also involved in his recruitment.

Stats: Gesicki is second on the Nittany Lions behind running back Saquon Barkley with 17 receptions for 148 yards and a team-high four scores.

Farrell’s take: We liked Gesicki, especially his athleticism, out of high school enough to make him a four-star, but we had questions about how physical he was willing to be and how he would fare as a blocker. We underestimated his athleticism and he’s obviously done well in other aspects of the game as well. He started off in our database as a wide receiver and he played a lot from the flex position and even outside. The NFL loves tight ends that can stretch the field and he can do that as well as be a red zone threat.

Mark Andrews
Mark Andrews (AP Images)

Recruiting: In the summer before his senior season, Andrews committed to Oklahoma during a trip to Norman. A bunch of Pac-12 schools along with Alabama, Ohio State and others were involved. After his commitment, Andrews said “(heck) no,” about Oklahoma coaches mentioning him transition from wide receiver to tight end.

Stats: Andrews leads the Sooners in catches and receiving yards with 16 receptions for 305 yards. He also has two TD catches. The former four-star averages about 19 yards per reception.

Farrell’s take: A tight end with size but wide receiver skills, he is right up there when it comes to athleticism at the position. He slid in the final rankings because he was a bit underwhelming at the US Army Bowl week and didn’t use his size properly, but he has clearly learned to do that as he transitioned from wide receiver to tight end in college. He’s a big target and can get downfield, so he could land in round one or two.

Caleb Wilson
Caleb Wilson (AP Images)

Recruiting: Wilson was rated as a two-star quarterback in high school and then walked-on as a tight end at USC. After one season, Wilson transferred to UCLA. Old Dominion and others had offered him out of high school.

Stats: Wilson is tied with WR Darren Andrews for the team lead with 32 receptions. He is second with 425 receiving yards and one touchdown so far this season.

Farrell’s take: Talk about an interesting route to stardom, huh? His dad was the defensive line coach at USC and he had no big offers as a quarterback, so he headed to become a Trojan. His transfer across town is rare and his knowledge as a former quarterback has helped him greatly. He’s a tall and versatile target who wasn’t high on many boards coming in but now is rising.

Troy Fumagalli
Troy Fumagalli (AP Images)

Recruiting: A bunch of MAC schools had offered Fumagalli early on, but he waited for a Big Ten offer that never came. NC State was also a player in his recruitment but Fumagalli stuck with the Badgers despite not being guaranteed a scholarship until his third season.

Stats: Fumagalli leads the Badgers with 15 catches for 236 yards, averaging 15.7 yards per reception. He is also tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches.

Farrell’s take: Fumagalli was a three-star walk-on at Wisconsin, a program that is becoming known for churning out amazing non-scholarship prospects. Turning down a full-ride from NC State for a partial scholarship from Wisconsin is a big deal and it has clearly worked out well for him. He was a talented kid out of high school, a three-star who should have had more offers and now his size, blocking ability and red zone touch have NFL scouts watching.

Deandre Goolsby
Deandre Goolsby (AP Images)

Recruiting: From Derby, Kan., Goolsby committed to Florida over Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Kansas State. The three-star was the second tight end to join Florida’s 2014 recruiting class, joining C’yontai Lewis.

Stats: In three games this season, Goolsby has only two catches for 18 yards. The Gators average just 200 passing yards per game.

Farrell’s take: Goolsby emerged as one of our top three tight ends in his class after a great performance at our Rivals Camp Series in Phoenix (our first one ever) but after a down senior year and not being nearly as physical as we hoped, he lost that fourth star and dropped quite a bit. When you watch him now, you can see how fluid he can be and how he can get separation, but he’s a bit underutilized and underwhelming in that awful Florida offense and it’s hurting his stock a bit.


Christopher Herndon
Christopher Herndon (AP Images)

Recruiting: Then-Miami assistant coach Michael Barrow stopped at Herndon’s high school for a spring practice and was surprised to see Herndon doing so well. Soon after, he had an offer from the Hurricanes and committed after a visit to Coral Gables. Mississippi State and Western Kentucky had also offered.

Stats: In two games this season, Herndon has nine catches for 75 yards and one score. The Hurricanes have only played two games because of a bye week and the Arkansas State game being cancelled because of Hurricane Irma.

Farrell’s take: Herndon and Goolsby passed each other in the rankings in our second-to-last ranking as Goolsby’s senior season wasn’t as impressive as we’d hoped and he dropped that fourth star while we moved Herndon from athlete to tight end as he showed much improvement on offense. He played wide receiver in high school but could have been an H-back, tight end and was an excellent blocker. A true late bloomer, Herndon is a very good athlete.

 C.J. Conrad
C.J. Conrad (AP Images)

Recruiting: In the spring before his senior season, Conrad committed to Kentucky with Indiana being the biggest competition to the Wildcats. Arkansas, Duke, Illinois, Louisville, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and many others were involved.

Stats: Conrad has nine catches along with 195 receiving yards and three touchdown catches, both team highs. He’s averaging more than 21 yards per reception and has more than half of Kentucky’s receiving TDs so far.

Farrell’s take: Conrad was a big target out of high school and filled out, which was intriguing. He looked like he only had about 15-20 pounds to add and he was very strong. He used that strength to overpower defenders at times and box out, but he did lack downfield speed. He was a four-star outside our Rivals250 due to his potential as an inline tight end with good hands but wasn’t higher because of the speed questions. He could be a nice mid-round steal in the draft.