2013 Rookie Dynasty Drafts – TE Rankings
Photo By: Gary A. Vasquez / USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Eifert, CIN (1st Round) –
Perhaps a sign the Bengals aren’t happy with what they’ve seen from Jermaine Gresham as they went for the top tight end in this years draft, with one of their two first-round picks.
I had the chance to hear an interview with Eifert on Movin’ The Chains, about a week before the draft and they asked him if he’d visited any teams for workouts.
To my surprise Eifert told them he hadn’t visited teams, but radio host Pat Kirwan said that was a good thing in his case because it meant teams “knew” what they were getting in him.
While Eifert isn’t in the greatest situation for the early portion of his career, I believe it’s likely he will out play Gresham, and likely the Bengals will move on from their former first-round pick in a year or two. View Eifert as a low-end TE1 as a rookie with top five upside, once Gresham is kicked to the curb.
Travis Kelce, KC (late 1st / 2nd Round) –
If it weren’t for Kelce’s questionable off the field character, he would be my top dynasty tight end in rookie drafts, mainly because of where he went and Eifert’s landing spot. Kelce fell in a terrific spot as the Chiefs really only have one viable go to receiver in Dwayne Bowe, and Kelce should beat out Tony Moeaki, no later than 2014.
Perhaps Moeaki can hold him off to begin the season, but look for Kelce to start at some point in his rookie year. By his second season we should see a dependable TE1 emerge with top five upside.
Zach Ertz, PHI (3rd Round) –
With Brent Celek and James Casey already on the team, it’s not sure thing that Ertz will see enough playing time to warrant dynasty owners activating him off the taxi squad, year one. As a second round selection, you would think Ertz has a chance to be a TE1 but 2014; perhaps, but I’m not sure with should view that projection as a slam dunk.
Still, when compared to the tight ends below, Ertz skill and upside is head of the class.
Vance McDonald, SF (4th Round) –
McDonald is basically going to inherit Delanie Walker’s role in the offense and that means he will probably catch somewhere between 25 and 35 passes a year. I think McDonald is a great fit in football terms out in San Fransisco but as long as Vernon Davis is around, McDonald is just a backup in fantasy leagues.
Chris Gragg, BUF (5th Round) –
Looking for a sleeper who could come on in his rookie year, well Chris Gragg is worth a look. Gragg has the speed to push the field vertically and the Bills have a need at tight end with Scott Chandler coming off a major knee injury.
Gragg is worth a look somewhere around the 5th round of your dynasty rookie draft, so keep him in mind and watch his progress through the summer.
Mychal Rivera OAK / Nick Kasa OAK (5th Round) –
For all the short comings the Raiders have had on the field over the years, the tight end position has consistently been a productive spot for fantasy, no matter the quarterback. With Brett Myers gone to the Giants, Mychal Rivera and Nick Kasa have a chance to emerge as the next fantasy option.
Kasa is likely to be more of an inline option, and Rivera should be more of a move tight end or joker if you will. Flip a coin as to which player will prove to be the better fantasy play and both should receive competition through training camp.
Stash one or both players late in your draft and keep an eye on their progress.
Jordan Reed, WAS (5th Round) –
Coach Shanahan can’t help but to bring in a couple running backs each year through the draft, and he also likes to bring in tight ends. By next year, Reed could be another irrelevant project player like Niles Paul has become. That said, Reed will get his chance to prove he’s worthy of holding down a job as a move tight end.
He will never take over as an inline tight end as his size is too small for that area of the field. Because he’s young has some receiving talent and will play with Robert Griffin we need to pay attention to Reed. Just know that if you rank him after the Raiders tight ends and Chris Gragg on your board, he’s likely to come off the draft board before them.
Dion Sims MIA (5th Round) –
Yes the Dolphins brought in Dustin Keller this off-season but they only signed him to a one-year deal. The other tight ends that have been brought in over recent years have flopped so if Sims puts it together this year, he could be the starting inline tight end in Miami by 2014.
Gavin Escobar, DAL (6th Round) –
Escobar’s game is loved by some and hated by others within the draft community. Likely a reach for the Cowboys, Escobar will play second fiddle to Jason Witten, who still has good years in front of him. Those of you that have Witten, taking Escobar would obviously make the most sense, over other fantasy owners.
Levine Toilolo ATL –
Toilolo was drafted as a development player to potentially take over as the starter in Atlanta after Tony Gonzalez retires. Perhaps Gonzalez will retire next off-season, but just know he signed a two-year deal back in March so that’s not a sure thing.
Best Of The Rest
Ryan Otten JAX, Ryan Griffin HOU, Justice Cunningham IND, Luke Wilson SEA, D.C. Jefferson, Arz