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Reed83HOF

Case against first round TEs

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Peace Frog said:

Passing on Hock at 9 would be inconceivable!

Knowing what we know now, would you have drafted any of these TEs in the first round?

 

 

No, I wouldn't.

 

Ridiculous argument, though.

 

I mean, sure, if we knew how Hockenson was going to turn out, then yeah you'd draft him based on that. But we very much don't know the future.

 

They got drafted where they were based on what people knew at the time, same as will happen this and every year.

Edited by Thurman#1
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10 hours ago, dubs said:

 

Paraphrasing: What are you going to do with Hock?  Put him at D Tackle or watch him sit on the bench while the bills get the ball stuffed down their throat!?!?

 

did I do that right?

 

 

Thanks for pointing out that The Bills have just one pick in this Draft and are completely out of cap space so signing any FAs is off the table too. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, billsfan89 said:

 

Heath Miller in 2005 drafted 30th overall borderline HOF career contributor on some very successful Steelers teams. 

 

Vernon Davis in 2006 was drafted 6th overall and he turned in a good career.

 

Mercedes Lewis in 2006 drafted 28th overall and he played a long career turning in a 6 year stretch where he was one of the top 10

tightends in the league and probably would have been better had he not been on an awful team most of his career.

 

Greg Olsen in 2007 was drafted 30th overall and turned in a HOF career

 

Dustin Keller in 2008 was drafted 30th overall and turned into one of the top 5 TE's in the league for a 2-3 year period before a catastrophic injury derailed his career. 

 

Brandon Pettigrew in 2009 was drafted 20th overall never an elite TE but turned in a 4 year stretch of top 10 to 5 production before injury derailed his career. 

 

Jermaine Gresham in 2010 was drafted 21st overall opened his career with a 5 year stretch turning in top 10 to 5 production before injuries knocked him down a peg although he hung around longer than Pettigrew and Keller.

 

Tyler Eifert the first true bust of this bunch although Eifert put together a very good 2015 he never eclipsed 500 yards outside of that one season. 

 

From 2005 to 2013 there were 8 Tight Ends drafted in the first round. I would say 3-4 were great players. Davis, Olsen, and Miller that more than justified their first round billing. I would then say that Lewis is borderline as while he was never elite he was a good player consistently for a long time and probably would have been a top 5 TE in the league had he been on a better team. 

 

I would then say 3 players Pettigrew, Gresham, and Keller gave you 4 years or more of top 10 production at their position before injuries derailed their careers or declined their careers. So can you call them busts? That depends, in the NFL 4 years isn't a short time to produce at an elite level, but for a player drafted in the first round you at least want 7-8 highly productive years. So I would put them as a semi-bust. 

 

I would only say that 1 TE drafted in the first round is really a bust and that's Eifert who only turned in one good season. That leaves the TE position in the first round at the following hit rate. 

 

50% Hit (HOF or borderline HOF career) 

37.5 Somewhere in the middle (4-5 years of high end production) 

12.5% Outright Bust (No prolonged stretch of production)

 

 

Heath Miller is a borderline HOF player? No, he really isn't. With two pro bowls in eleven seasons, he really is not a borderline HOFer.

 

Marcedes Lewis managed 1006 yards total in his first three years. A good solid guy, but as a first rounder, not a great pick. One pro bowl in 13 years.

 

Greg Olsen may indeed be a HOFer, though it's not a sure thing. But as the OP points out, he was not especially productive in his first five years. Do we want to wait that long?

 

Dustin Keller ... "one of the top 5 TEs in the league for a 2-3 year period"? Really? Not seeing that, dude, not at all. One year over 687 yards and was never a great blocker. In what year was he top 5? 2011, when he ranked 17th in both receptions and yards? 2010, when he was 11th in receptions and 9th in yards? In 2011 he was at least a bit close, 9th in receptions and 6th in yards. Not much of a blocker and was never a big TD guy, which is one of the main reasons you want a TD ... 17 TDs in five years. Zero pro bowls. Yeah, not seeing that at all. 

 

Brandon Pettigrew? "4 year stretch of top 10 to 5 production"? Zero pro bowls. 

 

Good grief, dude, are you trolling your own argument here? 17 TDs in 7 years? You've wildly overestimated pretty much every one of these guys. "50% HOF or borderline HOF career"? Of that bunch of mostly pretty decent players? Seriously? Good grief. Most of them wouldn't be in consideration for the Hall of Very Good.

 

Other than Olsen these guys were disappointments for first rounders. And Olsen as pointed out took till well into his second contract to become top-flight.

Edited by Thurman#1
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11 hours ago, Reed83HOF said:

Outside of the quarterback position, tight ends have the steepest learning curve when transitioning to the NFL. The reason it can take years for a player to acclimate to an offense and develop into a starter is that the position demands a player to be a dependable piece in both the running and passing game. That means understanding the blocking scheme and how to read defenses from a blocking and passing game perspective. It's also a time for these 21-22-year olds, who are competing against the most athletic and skilled players they've ever faced, to continue to fill out their frame and learn technique because there is zero room for error in the trenches. Then there is always the time it takes to polish your route running, possibly expanding your route tree and gaining rapport with your quarterback. Until a player can develop an all-around game they'll be pigeonholed into a limited role.

 

Drafting and developing a tight end is the ultimate patience play and it can understandably be uncomfortable and difficult to hold strong when you see other first-rounders become instant impact players. The Lions are a perfect example of this. They drafted Eric Ebron 10th overall in 2014 and low and behold the next seven picks would make a Pro Bowl while still on their rookie deal.  Those players selected would include the likes of Aaron Donald and Odell Beckham. Last offseason, Detroit decided to move on from Ebron as they determined that he wasn't worth the price tag of his 5th-year option ($8.25M). 

 

Both the franchise and the player are in a tough spot. Eric Ebron arguably wasn't worth paying $8.25M but he also was progressing like the majority of successful tight ends do. And that's exactly the point! It is really worth investing your most important draft asset into a player who may take years to develop and you may not see the benefit until four years down the road or until their second contract? Is there a better use of your resources?

 

Greg Olsen has a similar story to Ebron. He was taken 31st overall in the 2007 draft by the Chicago Bears. He put up respectable production his first four years and heading into his 5th season he was shipped off to Carolina where he continued to grow and later became a Pro Bowler and All-Pro on his 2nd and 3rd contracts.

 

http://www.optimumscouting.com/news/replacing-gronkowski

 

Numerous tight ends made a huge impact early on...

Gronk, Kelce, Ertz, Reed- They just happened to be picked up in rds 2-3.

 

if you re did those respective drafts today, they’d certainly be first rounders. 

 

To me this whole line of thought speaks more about a past problem projecting TEs from college to pros or teams overvaluing a position they don’t use enough in their scheme.  

 

So whatever tangibles have pushed some of these others into rd 1 in the past look to be the wrong ones. 

 

At some point folks are going to start getting it right 

 

 

 

 

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I'd be surprised if we went TE in the first. Hockenson is going to be a very good TE and would be a good fit in Buffalo but I just don't see him as a special talent. The TE class is super deep this year and it is a position that teams regularly find excellent talents in the middle rounds. Here are my top reasons against TE in the first for the Bills.

 

1. People are sleeping on Tyler Croft. The Bills signed him quickly in free agency and he appeared to be high on their target list. He got a decent contract and when he got the starting spot in 2017 he was a productive tight end for the Bengals. I believe Croft is still only 25 years old and we may not have seen his best football yet. I do believe the Bills need to draft a tight end this year, but I don't think it is as big a need as some would have us believe.

 

2. The tight end class this year is very deep. It begins with Hockenson and his teammate Fant but there are at least 10-12 talented prospects at this position. A player like Trevon Wesco can be had in the 5th or 6th and if you watch his blocking ability (excellent) and how nimble he is with the ball in his hands he has some potential. There are a lot of interesting tight end prospects in the middle rounds from Jayce Sternberger to Kaden Smith. Many of these players show excellent potential and have had excellent college production. If the Bills wait, they can still find a good prospect in the middle rounds. George Kittle was an afterthought in the 2017 draft (5th round) as he had little production at Iowa and we have seen how he has exploded in the NFL.

 

3. If you examine the quality and elite tight ends playing in the league right now, you will notice that the majority of them come from the 2nd and 3rd rounds. In fact, when I looked at the numbers more came from the 2nd (30%) and 3rd (30%) than the 1st round (20%). And with the depth this year at the position I see no reason to think this trend won't continue. Hockenson may be the safest tight end pick, but can anyone really say that he will be better than a player like Jayce Sternberger. To me it is too close and for that reason I would wait at the position and draft for value beginning in the second round. And with the depth this year, I think there will be a productive player or two found in the 4th and 5th rounds.

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11 hours ago, fansince88 said:

47 hours and 12 minutes to go!!!! will we make it?

 

We shall all expire, my friend. Take heart, though... there's always next year 😭😭😭

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, #34fan said:

Hm. Maybe go back and watch some Iowa games... Because of Iowa's offensive style, Hock ended up doing may of the things he'll be asked to do in the pros.

 

I don't think he's anything like Ebron at NC or Olsen at the U.... TBH, I've never seen a better route running TE at the college level... And a better run-blocking TE, you simply won't find.

 

Hock is one of a kind... If you were talking about Drew Sample, or kahale Warring, I might agree, but Hock is in a completely different category... -Easy money at 9.

Have you ever considered that:

 

#1 the Iowa tight ends got more catches and more targets then ALL their wide receivers.

 

#2 they mostly were playing against college linebackers who ever will play in the NFL.     Look at their schedule last year:

     and look at when they played against.   Here are the best linebackers they played.    How will they do when the LB's are smarter and a half second faster in the 40?

 

Using Walter Football

college OLB

#17   Andre Van Ginkel                Wisconsin               round 5-7

#18  R. Connelly                            Wisconsin               round 5-7

 

college ILB

#7  Blake Cashman,                  Minnesota                round 3-5

#11 T.J. Edwards,                     Wisconsin                 round 3-5

 

By the way,  the success rates of drafted LB making the nlf by round is approximately

round               success %

3                           34%

4                           16%

5                           4%

6                           5% 

7                            2%

 

Might you suspect that a team who throws more to the TE than all the WR is runnng a gimmic offense?  Does that translate to the pros?

Edited by maryland-bills-fan

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3 minutes ago, maryland-bills-fan said:

Have you ever considered that:

 

#1 the Iowa tight ends got more catches and more targets then ALL their wide receivers.

 

#2 they mostly were playing against college linebackers who ever will play in the NFL.     Look at their schedule last year:

     and look at when they played against.   Here are the best linebackers they played.    How will they do when the LB's are smarter and a half second faster in the 40?

 

Might you suspect that a team who throws more to the TE than all the WR is runnng a gimmic offense?  Does that translate to the pros?

This just might be the worst assessment I have read regarding Hockenson….

 

Have you actually watched any film on him? 

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Very, very few players dominate as soon as they step on an NFL playing field - regardless of position played. There is a learning curve that ALL players go through. You are drafting a player for the long term. That is one reason coaches don't like to play rookies if at all possible. It simply takes time for a player to adjust to going up against the best of the best on a weekly basis. TE's also tend to be handicapped a bit because they usually excell at either blocking or pass catching but usually not both. Remember that in college an athlete can get by on natural ability because he is not going up against great opposition on a weekly basis. College results can be very misleading. If you draft an OT early with the intent to play him from day one he is gonna be playing all 3 downs for you every offensive series. That is not necessarily true of TE's. A lot also depends, as others have pointed out in this thread, on how many other offensive weapons are present on the roster as well. Eric Moulds and Bruce Smith were not all everything in their rookie seasons just to name a couple. I could name many, many more players who didn't shine straight away.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, billsfan1959 said:

This just might be the worst assessment I have read regarding Hockenson….

 

Have you actually watched any film on him? 

Yes.  I'm an old guy. If you put me in a football uniform and had me run pass patterns against an even older slower guy, I might look pretty good.  Be aware of what most nfl rookies say.  They can't believe the speed of the pro game.  Part of that is speed and part of that is that the players are all smart and instictive.

 

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Totally flawed logic. The TA position has gone through a rapid transition and change in its role and importance in the game. By this failed argument, you should ignore that evolution, the stats put up by the players list by round and not draft a TE in round 1 even if you feel like he's a 100 catch, 1,000 yard player. But if a WR is projected as such, then get him in round 1. Got it. Totally logical. 

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28 minutes ago, maryland-bills-fan said:

 

Might you suspect that a team who throws more to the TE than all the WR is runnng a gimmic offense?  Does that translate to the pros?

 

I would suspect that means that Iowa, a noted NFL TE factory, had NFL talent at that position and not at WR...

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Just now, maryland-bills-fan said:

Yes.  I'm an old guy. If you put me in a football uniform and had me run pass patterns against an even older slower guy, I might look pretty good.  Be aware of what most nfl rookies say.  They can't believe the speed of the pro game.  Part of that is speed and part of that is that the players are all smart and instictive.

 

And this is relevant to Hockenson, how?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, maryland-bills-fan said:

Gee, you forgot to consider whether these were pretty damn good offensive teams BEFORE they got this TE, or did the TE make them an offensive juggernaught.     A high draft pick TE, is a luxury AFTER you get the rest right.  High grade OT before spending a high 1st pick on a TE.

The Buffalo Bills went out and drafted their franchise QB before the offensive line was worth a damn!

My lord that 2018 Buffalo Bills O line was one of the worst the last two decades! Then, they only had one good player on that line out of five and his play went south due to such inferior talent next to him. 

 

Ever hear the phrase, "you strike while the fire is hot"? The Bills did that last year with the QB because the Bills FO saw their future franchise QB in a very rich QB draft. The prospects this year pale in comparison. 

 

This year the draft looks to have a "Tony Gonzalez" type TE. Now, top tight ends aren't usually considered first round material...unless of course the scouts grade them as such!

 

Gonzalez was was graded as a first round pick back in 1997 and KC decided to trade from #18 to #13 and draft him. This year the draft has a possible three tight ends graded in the first round, TJ Hockenson, Irv Smith and Noah Fant.  The thing is, Hock isn't just graded as a first rounder! He has been graded as a top 10 pick by the majority of the media/ex-scouts.

 

Look at the people grading this player,

Gil Brandt, Has Hock as the 6th best player in the draft.

Todd McShay has Hock going #7 to the Jags.

Ex-scout for several NFL teams Daniel Jeremiah compares Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson to former TV broadcaster Jason Witten and a top 10 pick.

Ex-Buffalo Bill, ex-NFL scout NFL.com Analyst Bucky Brooks lists Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson is one of the "gold jacket" prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft class. A top ten pick.

Walter Football's Charlie Campbell compares Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson to Philadelphia Eagles TE Zack Ertz.

The Athletic's Dane Brugler believes Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson has a "complete skill set."

Mel Kiper sent Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson to the Lions at No. 8 overall

 

I could go on and on with the scouts. The point here is that not many tight ends have ever been graded this high...ever! for several reasons. Like Josh Allen and watching him play at Wyoming, it was like watching a eighth graders playing against a senior. Hock was the same way.

 

TJ Hockenson doesn't just block people, he "rag dolls" them! He pancakes them! He is an elite blocker.

 

Hock doesn't just "catch" footballs...he catches everything!  In his two seasons at Iowa he dropped only two passes. Last season he dropped one out of 49 passes. 

 

Some of you can go on and on whining about no tight end is first round worthy... and yet there is an exception to everything. I can recall before last years draft 98% of this board hated the idea of drafting Josh Allen and most wanted Josh Rosen. So much so that I kept reading that the Bills FO should give up the farm in 2018 (meaning the majority of the early draft picks) to trade up with the NY Giants at #2 and ahead of the Jets at #3 to draft Josh Rosen. Some even wanted to give up this years first rounder too. Just goes to show...

Edited by Nihilarian
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38 minutes ago, billsfan1959 said:

And this is relevant to Hockenson, how?

You failed to notice that Hockenson's performance was all against linebackers who will probably not make a NFL roster.  Film showing wonderful things needs to consider that it shows the performance against relatively slower linebackers who don't react as quickly as the best linebackers.  When you watch film, you don't see the absolute speeds but the relative speeds of those players. 

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12 hours ago, mrags said:

 

I was was a big Fant guy over Hock. I’m starting to turn. 

 

After seeing Fant's Wonderlic scores I'm wondering how he ties his own shoelaces.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, mrags said:

You can make an argument that besides Line and QB. The TE position is in the field more than any other position in football (assuming they are very good). I say go without shock at 9. 

 

I was was a big Fant guy over Hock. I’m starting to turn. 

 

I was in your shoes last fall. Was digging into receivers the Bills should target and came away unimpressed.

 

Just too little gap between the guys that had a late 1st round grade and the crowded field with 2nd round grades. I started focusing then on the TE class in particular Fant who was considered the top prospect.

 

I was trying to understand why the Hawks coach Ferentz was sitting Fant and playing their red shirt sophomore Hockenson and came away understanding why Hock was a special 3 down TE that was hard to take off the field.

 

That did not fully explain why Fant "the destroyer of secondaries" was warming the pine. Sure he has critical drops on occasion and the blocking was not as polished, but IMO the effort was there and he was almost impossible to cover.

 

He was certainly in the coaches doghouse and I have no idea why. We have seen rumors from scouts that he is a "coach killer" not sure why.

 

The difference maker to me was that Fant was the athletic flex TE more in the mold of Ebron and Hernandez, Hernandez had better hands. Hockenson was more that complete TE a coach could leave on the field and as a red shirt sophomore there was still room for the kid to grow into his frame and get stronger.

 

I still think Fant has amazing athletic skills and could end up being better. His resume just has more unexplainable questions. That and the occasional drops. I admittedly had a low tolerance for dropped passes after last season.

 

Skills alone they are both very good TE prospects in a year where the WR class lacks clear blue-chip talent hence I think the bump into the early 1st round.

 

 

 

Edited by WideNine

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22 minutes ago, Nihilarian said:

The Buffalo Bills went out and drafted their franchise QB before the offensive line was worth a damn!

My lord that 2018 Buffalo Bills O line was one of the worst the last two decades! Then, they only had one good player on that line out of five and his play went south due to such inferior talent next to him. 

 

Ever hear the phrase, "you strike while the fire is hot"? The Bills did that last year with the QB because the Bills FO saw their future franchise QB in a very rich QB draft. The prospects this year pale in comparison. 

 

This year the draft looks to have a "Tony Gonzalez" type TE. Now, top tight ends aren't usually considered first round material...unless of course the scouts grade them as such!

 

Gonzalez was was graded as a first round pick back in 1997 and KC decided to trade from #18 to #13 and draft him. This year the draft has a possible three tight ends graded in the first round, TJ Hockenson, Irv Smith and Noah Fant.  The thing is, Hock isn't just graded as a first rounder! He has been graded as a top 10 pick by the majority of the media/ex-scouts.

 

Look at the people grading this player,

Gil Brandt, Has Hock as the 6th best player in the draft.

Todd McShay has Hock going #7 to the Jags.

Ex-scout for several NFL teams Daniel Jeremiah compares Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson to former TV broadcaster Jason Witten and a top 10 pick.

Ex-Buffalo Bill, ex-NFL scout NFL.com Analyst Bucky Brooks lists Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson is one of the "gold jacket" prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft class. A top ten pick.

Walter Football's Charlie Campbell compares Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson to Philadelphia Eagles TE Zack Ertz.

The Athletic's Dane Brugler believes Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson has a "complete skill set."

Mel Kiper sent Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson to the Lions at No. 8 overall

 

I could go on and on with the scouts. The point here is that not many tight ends have ever been graded this high...ever! for several reasons. Like Josh Allen and watching him play at Wyoming, it was like watching a eighth graders playing against a senior. Hock was the same way.

 

TJ Hockenson doesn't just block people, he "rag dolls" them! He pancakes them! He is an elite blocker.

 

Hock doesn't just "catch" footballs...he catches everything!  In his two seasons at Iowa he dropped only two passes. Last season he dropped one out of 49 passes. 

 

Some of you can go on and on whining about no tight end is first round worthy... and yet there is an exception to everything. I can recall before last years draft 98% of this board hated the idea of drafting Josh Allen and most wanted Josh Rosen. So much so that I kept reading that the Bills FO should give up the farm in 2018 (meaning the majority of the early draft picks) to trade up with the NY Giants at #2 and ahead of the Jets at #3 to draft Josh Rosen. Some even wanted to give up this years first rounder too. Just goes to show...

 

...FWIW, seems to be that TE spot is 2nd most neglected right behind QB spot (pre Josh) in this club's lore......Pete, Jay R and probably Campbell were the last good ones.....some day we need to get a top flight TE so we can smoke the opposition like they have smoked us for YEARS......

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So the thesis of this post is “Tight Ends aren’t worth a first round pick because they rarely develop into elite 1st round football players before their rookie contract runs out”.

 

Most football analysts will say that the easiest, most plug-and-play out of the box from college to pro position is running back. I have also heard football people saying that one of the hardest transitions (outside of quarterback) is O Line because collegiate football is so different offensively than pro. 

 

So if we apply the original thesis to all positions, we should take running backs in the first round and offensive linemen in the latter rounds. 

 

I find the OP’s thesis to be a recipe for failure.  Null and void. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Jumpsuit Jim said:

So the thesis of this post is “Tight Ends aren’t worth a first round pick because they rarely develop into elite 1st round football players before their rookie contract runs out”.

 

Most football analysts will say that the easiest, most plug-and-play out of the box from college to pro position is running back. I have also heard football people saying that one of the hardest transitions (outside of quarterback) is O Line because collegiate football is so different offensively than pro. 

 

So if we apply the original thesis to all positions, we should take running backs in the first round and offensive linemen in the latter rounds. 

 

I find the OP’s thesis to be a recipe for failure.  Null and void. 

 

A well thought out counterpoint.

 

Also, the past is not always a clear predictor of the future. A good place to start, but should be a weighted consideration.

 

We should also consider the game where player roles evolve with schemes that rise and fall in popularity, where CBA and free agency limit how players can be used or coached.

 

All these things impact the importance of positions and the kind of investment and expectations fans should have regarding their team's approach to filling those roles.

 

All this being said, my support of taking a solid TE early does not mean I will be upset if the Bills go defense first.

 

 

Edited by WideNine

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13 hours ago, Reed83HOF said:

Outside of the quarterback position, tight ends have the steepest learning curve when transitioning to the NFL. The reason it can take years for a player to acclimate to an offense and develop into a starter is that the position demands a player to be a dependable piece in both the running and passing game. That means understanding the blocking scheme and how to read defenses from a blocking and passing game perspective. It's also a time for these 21-22-year olds, who are competing against the most athletic and skilled players they've ever faced, to continue to fill out their frame and learn technique because there is zero room for error in the trenches. Then there is always the time it takes to polish your route running, possibly expanding your route tree and gaining rapport with your quarterback. Until a player can develop an all-around game they'll be pigeonholed into a limited role.

 

Drafting and developing a tight end is the ultimate patience play and it can understandably be uncomfortable and difficult to hold strong when you see other first-rounders become instant impact players. The Lions are a perfect example of this. They drafted Eric Ebron 10th overall in 2014 and low and behold the next seven picks would make a Pro Bowl while still on their rookie deal.  Those players selected would include the likes of Aaron Donald and Odell Beckham. Last offseason, Detroit decided to move on from Ebron as they determined that he wasn't worth the price tag of his 5th-year option ($8.25M). 

 

Both the franchise and the player are in a tough spot. Eric Ebron arguably wasn't worth paying $8.25M but he also was progressing like the majority of successful tight ends do. And that's exactly the point! It is really worth investing your most important draft asset into a player who may take years to develop and you may not see the benefit until four years down the road or until their second contract? Is there a better use of your resources?

 

Greg Olsen has a similar story to Ebron. He was taken 31st overall in the 2007 draft by the Chicago Bears. He put up respectable production his first four years and heading into his 5th season he was shipped off to Carolina where he continued to grow and later became a Pro Bowler and All-Pro on his 2nd and 3rd contracts.

 

http://www.optimumscouting.com/news/replacing-gronkowski

This is quite interesting.   I'm not sure it's correct, but it has logic on its side.  

 

So it follows that the smart move in looking for tight ends is to draft one in later rounds and keep doing it until one turns into a star.   And look for a star in free agency.  In the meantime, what you need is a guy (exactly the kind of guy McDermott loves) who will spend all of his time and energy and whatever athletic ability he has learning all the difficult stuff you describe.  That guy likely will be as productive as a first-round, future Pro Bowl guy while the future Pro-Bowl guy is learning all the stuff he has to learn.   

 

This analysis brings me back to a conclusion I reached several years ago, which is that tight end just isn't that important a position that it makes sense to use an early first-round choice on one.  It's not so much that the position isn't important, because it's become more important in the past 10 years; it's just that you get better value at other positions high in the first-round.  It just isn't very likely that you're going to find a tight end high in the first round who is going to change your team in his first two or three years.   Sure, you MIGHT find a Gronk, but you can get a good offensive tackle high in the first round, and he's going to play for you from day one and make an impact on your team.  The chances of finding a Gronk, who impacts your team from day one, are pretty small.  

 

I know fans love one tight end coming out, but I'll be disappointed if that's the Bills' pick at 9.   I mean, if he's the pick, I'm sure Beane will know what he's doing, but I view a tight end pick at 9 as a high risk proposition.   With a much higher likelihood of success, you can get an offensive or defensive lineman at 9, and I believe that success in the first round is one of the most important principles in good team building.   QB is the only position that merits a high-risk, high-reward approach in the first round.   Spiller and Maybin were high-risk, high-reward, and those picks impacted the Bills' future for years.  

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10 hours ago, YattaOkasan said:

So on positional value I think there is first round value (I think other posters agree) BUT the return on that capital takes longer. 

 

This is why I am intrigued with Hock but sorta just want a stud pass rusher instead because we seem to wanting to win now.  If you’re pounding for Hock you’re probably try to set up for the long term.  

The purpose of this post was to spur discussion on this topic and positional value in RD1. As I have said I like Hock and have high on my list of prospects based on talent, but there are some issues. 

 

The general thought on RD1 players is that they should be immediate contributors in today's NFL, it isn't the pre-free agency and pre-salary cap era, where they can sit on the bench and ripen; they need to play now. TE production there first few years is generally very low, the need to go through the learning curve of playing OL and WR in the NFL - that is 2 positions they need to become proficient in.

 

TE in the first round is a luxury pick and contribute very little during their rookie contract. If you can get 90% of the player in RD2 or lower, the contributions you rely on to win now are lessened, they have more time to develop and the cost of the contract is minimized so you can spend more on the premium positions that are able to contribute to winning now. Taking a player in RD1 to play in the long run is a waste of RD1 resources.

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4 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

This is quite interesting.   I'm not sure it's correct, but it has logic on its side.  

 

So it follows that the smart move in looking for tight ends is to draft one in later rounds and keep doing it until one turns into a star.   And look for a star in free agency.  In the meantime, what you need is a guy (exactly the kind of guy McDermott loves) who will spend all of his time and energy and whatever athletic ability he has learning all the difficult stuff you describe.  That guy likely will be as productive as a first-round, future Pro Bowl guy while the future Pro-Bowl guy is learning all the stuff he has to learn.   

 

This analysis brings me back to a conclusion I reached several years ago, which is that tight end just isn't that important a position that it makes sense to use an early first-round choice on one.  It's not so much that the position isn't important, because it's become more important in the past 10 years; it's just that you get better value at other positions high in the first-round.  It just isn't very likely that you're going to find a tight end high in the first round who is going to change your team in his first two or three years.   Sure, you MIGHT find a Gronk, but you can get a good offensive tackle high in the first round, and he's going to play for you from day one and make an impact on your team.  The chances of finding a Gronk, who impacts your team from day one, are pretty small.  

 

I know fans love one tight end coming out, but I'll be disappointed if that's the Bills' pick at 9.   I mean, if he's the pick, I'm sure Beane will know what he's doing, but I view a tight end pick at 9 as a high risk proposition.   With a much higher likelihood of success, you can get an offensive or defensive lineman at 9, and I believe that success in the first round is one of the most important principles in good team building.   QB is the only position that merits a high-risk, high-reward approach in the first round.   Spiller and Maybin were high-risk, high-reward, and those picks impacted the Bills' future for years.  

 

It has really made me re-think this position. Especially when I started to look into career stats, 500+ receptions, 50+ TDs etc = there are not many in NFL history ~11-14 of them with only 8 in the HOF. For a first rounder who catches passes I would want someone who will have more that 500 career catches and 50 TDs, especially in the top 10. I agree 100% with your conclusion. 

 

@BADOLBILZ has the best positions on what should be taken in round wise (QB, Pass Rusher, CB, LT, WR are Rd1 one guys - I'm close with this not exact LOL). There is a reason for this, they impact your chances of winning and losing each game the most and can contribute quickly. This matches up well with the free agency $$ you see when these guys hit the marketplace. 

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3 hours ago, Georgie said:

But,15 or so have gone in the first round since 03

Who are the 15 and what are their stats there first 2-4 years in the league? What other impact players who would contribute to wins or losses were bypassed to pick these players? I'm not doing the homework on your claim, show me the data...

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