Just wanted to throw out a quick update with some of the tight ends that tested well yesterday from a physical standpoint, and the three most impressive in the group were Missouri's Michael Egnew, Louisiana-Lafayette's Ladarius Green, and Oklahoma's James Hanna. I watched the drills as well - there were some drops here and there but and this trio looked okay - each had a drop here or there but neither set themselves apart nor hurt themselves badly in that portion, in my opinion. But, in terms of physical prowess, these guys really set themselves apart.
I'm going to talk about these guys briefly because they're all long, fast, and deep threats in the "touchdown maker" mold that Pete Carroll was talking about when it comes to offseason priorities for the Seahawks. Then wanted to flip the script a bit and point out another guy to keep an eye on as well - H-Back Drake Dunsmore out of Northwestern.
Ladarius Green, 6'6, 238:
Green looks more like a big receiver than a tight end but with the direction the NFL is going at that position, he's an intriguing athlete. Green ran his 40 in 4.53 seconds and had a 1.58 10-yard split, both numbers very impressive. He did 16 reps on bench and registered a 34.5" vertical. He ran the 3-cone in 7.12 and the short shuttle in 4.47, so his short area speed wasn't as impressive. Regardless, pretty decent numbers for a guy his size. In terms of measureables, Green is hard to match - at 6'6, he's the tallest TE in the group, has the longest arms (34.5") and the biggest hands (10 1/8"). A physical specimen.
Green is Mike Mayock's 5th ranked TE in his pre-combine list, and he's NFLDraftScout's 4th ranked TE and projected to go somewhere in the 3rd round.
Michael Egnew, 6'5, 252:
Egnew ran his 40 in 4.62, which was fairly impressive, but did so with a 1.57 10 yard split - the best of the TE group. He did 21 reps on bench and recorded a 36" vert. He ran the 3-cone in 7.03 and the short-shuttle in 4.32 and had a ridonkulous 10'11" broad jump. 33" arms and 9 3/4" hands. Egnew had 90 catches two seasons ago with Blaine Gabbert and as Mike Mayock put it on the broadcast, "you know he's never, ever put his hand in the dirt, so he'll have to catch everything." Similar to Green, he's the TE/WR hybrid type, and is NFLDraftScout's #6 ranked TE and projected to go in the fourth round.
James Hanna, 6'4, 252.
Oklahoma's James Hanna is now officially a sleeper. Hanna had 25 catches for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2011 to follow up his 2010 season where seven of his 18 receptions were touchdowns. Iffy production in the passing game with the Sooners, but the 17th ranked TE by NFLDraftScout.com and projected late-round/UDFA player blew up the physical test portion of the Combine on Saturday.
Hanna ran the 40 in 4.49 seconds, had a 1.59 10-yard split, put up 225 pounds 24 times and registered a 36" vert. He ran the 3-cone in 6.76 seconds and the short-shuttle in 4.11. Both 2nd best of the group and both were better than any TEs from last year's Combine. He has 33 1/8" arms and 9 7/8" hands. So, in other words, the measureables are all there.
So, I mentioned that James Hanna finished 2nd in the 3-cone and short-shuttle and that begs the question - who beat him? That would be Northwestern TE/FB Drake Dunsmore. Dunsmore is NFLDraftScout's 7th ranked fullback but for whatever reason worked out with the tight end group at the Combine this week. He's a likely late round guy and he caught my eye for a number of reasons.
The Seahawks showed a lot of interest in H-back type players last season, both before and after the Draft. They were rumored to have been very interested in Ryan Taylor, a 6'3 254 TE/H-back/FB out of North Carolina that was subsequently drafted by the Packers. The Seahawks also brought in small school TE/FB tweener Ryan Travis during training camp and I seem to remember others along the way of the same ilk so it would appear that they have interest in this type of player.
Northwestern called Dunsmore a 'superback" or a "slotback" and he caught at least 40 passes in his last three seasons. YouTube search his name and you'll see a couple of pretty damn impressive catches and runs. At the Combine, he measured in at 6'2, 241 and ran the 40 in 4.64 seconds. Decent. He put up 225 pounds 21 times and had a 35.5" vert. Decent. His 3-cone and short shuttle times, though, set him apart.
Dunsmore ran 6.72 in the 3-cone drill and 4.03 in the short shuttle. His 3-cone time, as a tight end, is second only to Baltimore's Dennis Pitta in the last six years and his short shuttle is second only to Tony Sheffler's mark set in 2006. Very impressive short-area quickness and agility and we all know that the Seahawks value this type of athleticism. His numbers are impressive especially considering some of the athletic tight ends that have entered the league over the last half dozen years. Anyway, he's someone to keep in mind as we get into the later rounds.