THUNDERING BLURB » tight end rankings http://thunderingblurb.com ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Tue, 26 Oct 2010 03:04:29 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 NFL Draft: Positional Class Grades http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/04/nfl-draft-positional-class-grades/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/04/nfl-draft-positional-class-grades/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2009 22:45:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=428 Each season a new crop of college athletes take part in the NFL Draft Process, and every year what the overall strengths and depths of the class are will change as often as the needs of the teams doing the drafting.

This year is no exception.

In 2008, we saw a class with good overall running back talent, quicker than anticipated impact at the quarterback position and great depth at the defensive spots.

The 2009 class has its own set of advantages and strong spots, but also more than a few positions of questionable depth and talent.

When the layman looks at the Draft, they think in terms of the ‘sexy positions’. The quarterback, the running back, the high profile names on the offense. It’s where many new draftnicks and casual observers get caught up.

But once you’ve spent any time listening to any analyst or scout worth his salt, it turns out that’s not always where the value is in any given year.

This year is no different and while there is some value and depth in those skill positions, once again the most value appears to be in the trenches and on the defensive side of the ball.

Let’s take a look at the overall talent in the NFL Draft class of 2009.

PositionQuarterback
High SideMatthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez
Low SideCurtis Painter, Graham Harrell
Overall GradeC+
Explanation – While I am a big fan of Stafford and Sanchez, I don’t know either would have cracked the top of last year’s class. Still, both athletes have the tools to be worthy of a top pick in 2009. Stafford solidified a high pick slot with an outstanding Pro Day showcasing his accuracy and arm strength while Sanchez will have an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong by showing off his own accuracy and allaying injury concerns on April 1st at USC’s workout. In his own tier behind them is Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman. I’ll be honest – any other year and Freeman isn’t going in round one. His accuracy issues, streaky nature and occasional lapses in decision making worry me. Still, after Sanchez and Stafford, Freeman is the guy you want, though he’ll take more time to develop than the first two. After that – it’s personal choice. Every quarterback behind them is a big question mark and a project, so it becomes about who teams fall in love with. One team might love Pat White’s versatility, while another may love Sam Houston State QB Rhett Bomar’s huge arm and intangibles. Or a team may wait a bit and snag any number of high upside, long term projects like Fresno State’s Tom Brandstater (good short touch vs shaky deep throws), Alabama’s John Parker Wilson (great intangibles vs lack of size and arm strength) or recently hot prospect Mike Reilly from Central Washington (good short accuracy and touch vs spread offense worries). My choice for dark horse? Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State. Tough, determined and with good accuracy on the West Coast-Style slants and short passes, Carpenter played behind an atrocious offensive line, with no run game and still managed to put up very good numbers. Sure thing? Not at all. But in the right scheme? Could be very successful. But he’s indicative of the class – all upside, all projects. Few sure things. Here is where I think a smart team can make a big future impact with a pick that’s low risk, but potentially high reward. One of these guys in the right system and with patience could turn out to be another Matt Cassel – assuming people remember the patience it took over almost four years to develop him.

PositionRunningback
High SideKnowshon Moreno, Chris Wells, LeSean McCoy
Low SideIan Johnson, Marlon Lucky
Overall GradeB
Explanation – These backs don’t have the marquee value of a Peterson or a McFadden but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any solid backs here. Knowshon Moreno has great instincts and is a big, tough runner with good hands. Chris Wells is a strong runner with good burst, but injury and durability worries. UCONN running back Donald Brown is quick to the hole and had very good vision and can catch the ball well out of the backfield. Behind the big three are a ton of solid, though perhaps unspectacular running backs. It’s not to say that a guy like Pitt’s LeSean McCoy, Liberty’s Rashad Jennings or Andre Brown from North Carolina can’t have a very good and very productive careers. But none of these backs hold the excitement that the top of the line studs usually do. The class has some depth, players with defined roles versus the projects that litter the quarterback class. A guy like Jeremiah Johnson out of Oregon would make an outstanding change of pace back. While he doesn’t have elite speed and has never been a workhorse, he’s shown ability, can play in special teams and has shown good vision and patience. He may never become the bell cow, but he also shouldn’t take three years to develop into a solid player. Or a team can grab a guy like Marlon Lucky from Nebraska, a runner who has a good combination of size and speed, who can run for tough yards but doesn’t have the ability to be an every down back. He can certainly fill in – and quickly – on special teams as well as be the type of back to grind yardage out and get the hard yards. Though he will never be a home run hitter, Lucky could be another guy who can be picked late and yet still contributes early in his career. The running back class is filled with these solid, though perhaps unspectacular, backs. Because of this, a team can lay in the weeds and fill other positions of need, yet still have a shot at a quality back who can contribute in a specific role pretty quickly. While the ceiling isn’t extraordinarily high, the floor for many of these guys is pretty good.

PositionFullback
High SideTony Fiametta
Low SideBrannon Southerland
Overall GradeC-
Explanation – Like with centers and kickers, top shelf fullbacks are few and far between and that’s why guys like Tony Richardson get the dollars he does blocking for backs like LT and Adrian Peterson. You aren’t likely to see any fullbacks go on day one, and maybe just a handful will be drafted over all. In the last nine drafts, the top fullback has been selected in the fourth round four times and the fifth round three times. The top fullback has only been pulled in the third round twice including last year when Jacob Hester went to the Chargers. And while he was the top fullback in the 2008 draft he was also the type of guy San Diego looked at as a potential full time running back. Again, it’s rare for a full blown fullback to go early. While a blocking fullback is worth his weight in gold, it’s easier to convert a running back or sign a fullback off the street. So even the top guys like Syracuse’s Tony Fiametta will be unlikely to go earlier than the middle rounds. This is not to say Fiametta isn’t a capable player. The former Orangeman is a fantastic blocker who works hard and has the versatility coaches love which allows him to block for other backs, catch the ball out of the backfield or even work special teams. It’s that flexibility which will attract teams and players like Fiametta. But many other guys have too many question marks. Georgia’s Brannan Southerland has some real conerns about his ability to stay healthy, Eric Kettani needs to fulfill his Naval service before he can play and lack experience in receiving and special teams so is limited while Jason Cook from Ole Miss is basically a blocker – and that’s all. Once you get past the top one or two players, a team might as well wait and sign these guys after the draft or look for a late round running back, see if they can develop him as a regular RB and if not, move him to fullback. Less fullbacks are being used in College football, and Pro teams are using tight ends and other players to block when necessary. As a result, this class which is thin on depth will likely see few players taken on draft weekend and perhaps even during the rookie free agency signing period.

PositionWide Receiver
High SideMichael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin
Low SideSammie Stroughter, Tiquan Underwood
Overall GradeB+
Explanation – A huge step up from last year and we should see a bunch of receivers pulled in the first round and over the course of the first day. There are some projects, but there are also plenty of very solid top prospects here. You can start with the names we’ve all become familiar with over the last few months. Michael Crabtree with his phenomenal size, body control, reach and outstanding ball skills. Fluid and elusive Jeremy Maclin with his ability to stretch the field and vertical ability. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Kenny Britt, Percy Harvin. All are names you’ve heard about endlessly. But this class differs from the 2008 bunch in more than just the top end players. This class has a full compliment of depth, guys who will be effective early in their career and could have long-term impact. Some, like OSU wideout Brian Robiskie seemingly emerged out of nowhere, lighting up the NFL Scouting Combine with an outstanding 40 and showing more athleticism than expected. He continued to impress at his Pro Day and is poised to get picked somewhere in the second or third rounds. Robiskie’s route running and instincts make him a player who could be ready to contribute immediately and while he may not be the next Calvin Johnson or Randy Moss, he’s a solid player and could be so for a long time to come. Slipping down a few spots to Ramses Barden, from Cal Poly. Barden has the size and strength to dominate defenders, he just needs to use it a little more confidently. And he can get yards after the catch. A little more of a project, but he can still develop into a good wide receiver and an excellent guy to move the chains or red zone target. Other guys who provide the depth on this squad are Washington State’s Brandon Gibson (experience, great hands, good routes, so-so speed, not enough separation), USC’s Patrick Turner off a great Pro Day (great routes, hands and tough attitude but not a great blocker or much of a deep threat), Quon Cosby out of Texas (athletic, quick, great ball skills, but a little older and limited separation) and Dominique Edison from Stephen F. Austin (decent speed, great hands and a good vertical threat, but not too physical nor sudden off the line) all will go second day and could carve out roles as at least #3 receivers. Even guys like the players at the bottom of my list, like Oregon State’s Sammie Stroughter and Rutgers’ Tiquan Underwood could contribute, though it might take a little longer.

PositionTight End
High SideBrandon Pettigrew, Jared Cook
Low SideRyan Purvis, Bear Pascoe
Overall GradeB-
Explanation – There are at least 5 TEs in this class that could be impact players at the next level, but not much depth and overall it won’t dominate the draft. You may never be able to have too many wide receivers or running backs, but you don’t need that many tight ends. Also, the position plays a little different now. You want a tight end who can block AND catch, not one but able to learn the other. Pettigrew is the class of the positional group, he can run, he can block, he can catch – and he’s a tough SOB. The guys behind him are all very athletic – Jared Cook (great speed and quicks, great hands, but little blocking ability), Cornelius Ingram (great ball skills, soft hands, can go vertical, but not tough, inexperienced) and Travis Beckum (great speed, good routes, elusiveness after the catch but not bulky enough, not physical enough and there are durability issues) – but have some question marks. Still, they have the offensive skills to play for some time. The low end like Bear Pascoe (great blocker but very stiff and not fast) and Ryan Purvis (good hands, willing blocker but not fast or explosive) seem to be the flipside – blockers who might develop into full tight ends. The fact you could get production from the late rounds with guys this deep into the class is what makes this class just a bit better than average.

PositionOffensive Tackle
High SideJason Smith, Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith
Low SideGarrett Reynolds, Joel Bell
Overall GradeB+
Explanation – Once again a great crop of OTs and we could see another run on the position in the first round. The game is won in the trenches and there are a lot of fine tackles in the 2009 class, even if it isn’t quite as deep as the 2008 group. Jason Smith, Monroe, Andre Smith and Oher will be gone in the top 15 in all likelihood and you could see guys like Eben Britton out of Arizona and recently hot Phil Loadholt from Oklahoma who could sneak into the first as well. There are other good tackles behind these guys but they could go anywhere from late second to beginning of the third, guys like William Beatty (UCONN), Troy Kropog (Tulane) or Jamon Meredith (South Carolina). All have something they need to work on be it a lack of prototypical size, mobility or a lack pf perfection either in the run or pass portion of the game. But all of them will be productive. As you go further away, the projects grow more shaky but there are so many who could slip in or will get picked up immediately as a street free agent, if a team misses out on one guy, they have the possibility of grabbing a project late and spending less money, yet still seeing production.

PositionGuard
High SideDuke Robinson, Andy Levitre
Low SideRyan Durand, Travis Bright
Overall GradeB-
Explanation – A decent group, but not a ton of depth. You’ll see them go starting in the second, but there aren’t more than a dozen guys who are good bets to go. A bunch of guards will go as rookie free agents, but not much excitement. Most interesting thing I have seen is the contradicting evaluations of Greg Isdaner of West Virginia. Some rankings have him as the second or third guard. But some don’t even have him going on Draft weekend. The top of the class are definitely Oklahoma’s Duke Robinson and Oregon State’s Andy Levitre. But while maybe one slips into the first, guards don’t go early. Overall it’s a decent class but there are not a ton of guards who will go on draft day, especially when some tackles can move over to guard if they don’t work out.

PositionCenter
High SideAlex Mack, Max Unger, Eric Wood
Low SideCecil Newton, Dallas Reynolds
Overall GradeC
Explanation – Top flight Centers are tough to come by, which is why Jeff Saturday just got re-signed by the Colts. You don’t let one go. This class is ok at the top, but there is a significant drop-off after that and if we hit double digits drafted, I’d be surprised. But the top of the class is pretty good. Cal’s Mack is whip-smart and incredibly flexible in what he can play – center, guard, what have you – he not only can do many things, he’s willing to. I have seen him slip a bit in some mocks, with Wood jumping in as the center taken in the first round. The Louisville center isn’t the most powerful guy and finds himself pushed around a little too much for me. But again, a smart guy who is a hard worker.

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Interesting Dustin Keller stat http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/12/interesting-dustin-keller-stat/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/12/interesting-dustin-keller-stat/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2008 17:49:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=345 So, now this is not turning into a Jets blog, despite my interview with Eric Boland of New York Newsday on the Blurb last night and now this story.

This morning, Eric posted this story on his blog at Newsday.com regarding rookie TE Dustin Keller. Here’s the link but the gist of it is that Keller is having a ridiculous rookie season, only trailing Shockey for production by the recent era of guys at the position.

Yes, better than Gates, Witten and Gonzalez. In fact, according to the article (given to Eric by a reader with even more time on his hands than I have) it lookes like only four tight ends in the history of the position have had better first seasons.

Shockey – 74 receptions, 894 yards, 2 tds
Keith Jackson – 81 receptions, 869 yards, 6 tds
Mike Ditka – 50 receptions, 1076 yards, 12 tds
John Mackey – 35 receptions, 726 yards, 7 tds

I haven’t fact checked these but damn. I’m not ready to crown him or anything, but he has played very, very well. Certainly worth what they paid to move up and grab him. On a side note, how often do we forget what Ditka did on the field? I forget he played sometimes, as if he sprang from the earth wearing a sweater vest and yelling. But that’s some damned good numbers for Iron Mike and we forget about that at times.

Should have a fairly good end stretch here as well, as Favre definitely loves his rookie target.

Check out the article – the guy who hooked Boland up with it did a good job.

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Late News Note – Witten with cracked rib http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/10/late-news-note-witten-with-cracked-rib/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/10/late-news-note-witten-with-cracked-rib/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2008 16:33:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=261 Hey folks – of course saw this RIGHT after the show.

From Rotoworld:

The Dallas Morning News reports that Jason Witten has been diagnosed with a broken rib, but wants to play through the injury Sunday against the Giants.

Witten doesn’t miss games, so he’ll play but let’s see how he practices before we get too excited. He’s one of the – if not THE – top TEs in Fantasy so this is one to watch close.

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TE Rankings Week 5 http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/10/te-rankings-week-5/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/10/te-rankings-week-5/#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2008 13:37:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=207 At this point the problem with the tight ends is that there are definitely the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have nots’ – there are very distinct tiers that won’t fluctuate all that much. So you should see a lot of lists and they may look the same.

Witten is Witten – until I see otherwise he’s almost on his own tier. Consistent, dynamic and a fave of Romo’s the only thing he could do more of is score mroe TDs. One through four games is a bummer but he puts up yards and is pretty darned consistent.

Gates is back BABY! Fully healed he should start producing numbers closer to what we have been used to in the past. Start him against a better than advertised but still middling defense – the Phins have given up 6 passing TDs to date and opposing teams average 200+ yards a game through the air. Gates should be good to go.

Oline back in shape? Check. Team fresh off a bye week? Check. Run game ready to go? Check. Manning back to his old self? Check. Dallas Clark helthy? Check. All the items point to Dallas Clark being back and ready to roll. He looked good in week 3. He’ll look good against a Texans D that has given up four passing TDs in their first three games. Manning and Clark should have a good day in Houston.

Damon Huard is a good thing for both Gonzo and Dwayne Bowe. While he’s no Joe Montana, Huard can find his stars and that’s good for Gonzo. It’s not an easy matchup against the Panthers this week but Huard will look to Gonzalez to help move the chains and the tight end should put up good numbers this week.

Chris Cooley? Yes, Cooley. While he was lackluster last week and had a rough first game as well, Cooley put up two solid fantasy games in between. I think against the Eagles that Campbell will look to his TE more to helpo move the chains. It’s a tough matchup for Campbell and he may not have time to stretch the field with his usual target of Santana Moss. Cooley may have more luck underneath this week and be a good safety valve for the Skins passing offense.

Right near the top five would be Anthony Fasano against a Chargers D that gives away TDs to TEs pretty consistently. If I trusted Fasano to be consistent on his own, he would have cracked my five. Owen Daniels has seen plenty of targets – and caught them – the last two games. He might crack the TD column this week. John Carlson still hangs in my top ten despite Engram and Branch coming back – I think he still gets plenty of work. And Heath Miller might find himself getting some work as Big Ben is forced to pass a little more to help give Mewelde Moore room to run.

Back with more rankings a little later.

Tight ends

  1. Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. Bengals
  2. Antonio Gates, Chargers at Dolphins
  3. Dallas Clark, Colts at Texans
  4. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs at Panthers
  5. Chris Cooley, Redskins at Eagles
  6. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins vs. Chargers
  7. Owen Daniels, Texans vs. Colts
  8. Tony Scheffler, Broncos vs. Buccaneers
  9. John Carlson, Seahawks at Giants
  10. Heath Miller, Steelers at Jaguars
  11. Greg Olsen, Bears at Lions
  12. Bo Scaife, Titans at Ravens
  13. Desmond Clark, Bears at Lions
  14. Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings at Saints
  15. Donald Lee, Packers vs. Falcons
  16. L.J. Smith, Eagles vs. Redskins
  17. Billy Miller, Saints vs. Vikings
  18. Alex Smith, Buccaneers at Broncos
  19. Kevin Boss, Giants vs. Seahawks
  20. Alge Crumpler, Titans at Ravens
  21. Todd Heap, Ravens vs. Titans
  22. Vernon Davis, 49ers vs. Patriots
  23. Robert Royal, Bills at Cardinals
  24. David Martin, Dolphins vs. Chargers
  25. Ben Watson, Patriots at 49ers
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TE Rankings Week 4 http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/te-rankings-week-4/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/te-rankings-week-4/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2008 06:03:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=199 Witten has not scored TDs this season, but is getting both targets and catches. I think he breaks through to the end zone this week and continues his solid play otherwise. Antonio Gates is finally his old self and I think he gets his groove going against a Raiders team which will keep Rivers hopping, but not enough to shut the offense down. Winslow Jr will see a ton of action whether Anderson gets yanked or not and he is a good bet to get red zone looks as well. Damon Huard + starting Qb = Happy Gonzo. Gonzalez gets a godo Qb who can throw the ball and will look to the vet a lot this weekend. Finally, I think this will be a Sheffler UP game – streaky though he is, he hooks up often with Cutler on the road (they are road roomies) and they are away this week.

Tight ends

  1. Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  2. Antonio Gates, Chargers at Raiders
  3. Kellen Winslow, Browns at Bengals
  4. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs vs. Broncos
  5. Tony Scheffler, Broncos at Chiefs
  6. Chris Cooley, Redskins at Cowboys
  7. Owen Daniels, Texans at Jaguars
  8. Desmond Clark, Bears vs. Eagles
  9. Randy McMichael, Rams vs. Bills
  10. L.J. Smith, Eagles at Bears
  11. Jerramy Stevens, Buccaneers vs. Packers
  12. Heath Miller, Steelers vs. Ravens
  13. Greg Olsen, Bears vs. Eagles
  14. Bo Scaife, Titans vs. Vikings
  15. Alge Crumpler, Titans vs. Vikings
  16. Donald Lee, Packers at Buccaneers
  17. Billy Miller, Saints vs. 49ers
  18. Vernon Davis, 49ers at Saints
  19. Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings at Titans
  20. Dante Rosario, Panthers vs. Falcons
  21. Robert Royal, Bills at Rams
  22. Dustin Keller, Jets vs. Cardinals
  23. Zach Miller, Raiders vs. Chargers
  24. Todd Heap, Ravens at Steelers
  25. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars vs. Texans
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TE Rankings Week 2 http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/te-rankings-week-2/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/te-rankings-week-2/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2008 02:31:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=162 Huard will probably look at Gonzo a ton come Sunday and against a secondary that seemed gunshy about getting physical or giving tight coverage on the receivers. While the KC offense is, quite frankly, terrifying to consider as a whole with that O-line Huard is probably an upgrade over Croyle and Gonzo (as well as second year WR Dwayne Bowe) will probably be more productive. Jay Witten is a beast. I can’t see any week where he isn’t one of the top three on this list – mayeb even his bye week. Romo may have a down tick this week against a better D in Philly, Witten is still one of his favorite targets and he’ll get his. One of the players on the wrong side of the Dallas beatdown last weekend was Kellen Winslow and despite the fact that the CLE offense imploded, Winslow got his to the tune of 47 yards and a TD. He’ll be tested against a stout Pitt D, but will still get his numbers regardless of the matchup. Anderson looks for him often and whereas Braylon Edwards saw more targets, Winslow didn’t have 4 drops and Anderson knows he can count on his premiere tight end. With Marques Colston down for a month and a half, Jeremy Shockey will be a huge factor in how well the Saints rebound from this huge loss. Expect them to rely on him heavily and for him to step up and frustrate the heck of the Redskins all game long. At #5, Antonio Gates might seem misplaced. But his continuing injury issues and the misfiring offense last week, I am a tad worried about how he might perform. Still, with the tough Broncos coming off a win against Oakland and sensing a shot to take a huge step forward in the division, Gates and the Charger offense know they need to produce big time. Gates will get his chances and given that, you know he’ll perform.

Amongst the guys I dislike this week are #21 Todd Heap (injuries, rookie Qb, Hurricane), #22 Zack Miller (love the guy, hate the tired, misfiring, just plain bad offense) and #18 Heath Miller (too many other options and too little passing).

#25 Dante Rosario is a guy I want to point out is the last on the list – it’s totally health related. I have ni idea if he will play. If he starts, move him to the middle of the list. He needs to produce a few times before I annoint him anything else than that but what I saw was pretty imrpessive. Also, #17 Kevin Boss I like but he got too few targets – that might change this week but I have to see it. And I keep pimping #16 John Carlson in Seattle – watch this week, it may be the last week he’s on your free agent waiver wire.

Tight ends

  1. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs vs. Raiders
  2. Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. Eagles
  3. Kellen Winslow, Browns vs. Steelers
  4. Jeremy Shockey, Saints at Redskins
  5. Antonio Gates, Chargers at Broncos
  6. Chris Cooley, Redskins vs. Saints
  7. L.J. Smith, Eagles at Cowboys
  8. Randy McMichael, Rams vs. Giants
  9. Vernon Davis, 49ers at Seahawks
  10. Greg Olsen, Bears at Panthers
  11. Alge Crumpler, Titans at Bengals
  12. Owen Daniels, Texans vs. Ravens
  13. Desmond Clark, Bears at Panthers
  14. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins at Cardinals
  15. Robert Royal, Bills at Jaguars
  16. John Carlson, Seahawks vs. 49ers
  17. Kevin Boss, Giants at Rams
  18. Heath Miller, Steelers at Browns
  19. Tony Scheffler, Broncos vs. Chargers
  20. Donald Lee, Packers at Lions
  21. Todd Heap, Ravens at Texans
  22. Zach Miller, Raiders at Chiefs
  23. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars vs. Bills
  24. Dustin Keller, Jets vs. Patriots
  25. Dante Rosario, Panthers vs. Bears

Soem OSU/USC thoughts late tonight. News and notes throughout the weekend including some thoughts on the injury report from Friday.

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TE Rankings http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/te-rankings/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/te-rankings/#comments Sat, 06 Sep 2008 22:42:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=137 Here’s the last of the rankings for Week 1 – I will try to do a few news updates on the blog before gametime tomorrow morning and kickoff. A few guys (like Jamal Lewis) are even late game time decisions and I will try to keep track of that for you guys as well.

Here are the tight ends for Week 1.

  1. Jason Witten, Cowboys at Browns
  2. Kellen Winslow, Browns vs. Cowboys
  3. Antonio Gates, Chargers vs. Panthers
  4. Dallas Clark, Colts vs. Bears
  5. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs at Patriots
  6. L.J. Smith, Eagles vs. Rams
  7. Jeremy Shockey, Saints vs. Buccaneers
  8. Owen Daniels, Texans at Steelers
  9. Vernon Davis, 49ers vs. Cardinals
  10. Zach Miller, Raiders vs. Broncos
  11. Randy McMichael, Rams at Eagles
  12. Heath Miller, Steelers vs. Texans
  13. Todd Heap, Ravens vs. Bengals
  14. Alge Crumpler, Titans vs. Jaguars
  15. Tony Scheffler, Broncos at Raiders
  16. Donald Lee, Packers vs. Vikings
  17. Greg Olsen, Bears at Colts
  18. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars at Titans
  19. Alex Smith, Buccaneers at Saints
  20. Ben Utecht, Bengals at Ravens
  21. Dustin Keller, Jets at Dolphins
  22. John Carlson, Seahawks at Bills
  23. Desmond Clark, Bears at Colts
  24. Chris Baker, Jets at Dolphins
  25. Robert Royal, Bills vs. Seahawks

I think people are underestimating Gates this weekend and he’s a good start – despite coming off an injury, he’ll be ready to go and play well. But Witten is the top start – with a lack of receivers, the Cowboys will look to him a lot this weekend. I think both Jets rookie TE Dustin Keller and Seahawks rookie TE john Carlson could do much better than I have them ranked but in week 1, I won’t bet my week on them when we don’t know what will really happen in the game plan. But keep them on your radar.

News and notes later tonight (maybe late night for Easterners) and tomorrow morning.

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