1st round possibilities
Manti Te’o Senior 6’2’’ 255 pounds
Before this year Manti Te’o was a first round draft pick, but the way this year has been going we see his draft stock going through the roof. Mel Kiper of ESPN has said that Te’o would have been a mid-first rounder last year for sure. Well what about this year Mel? Manti is currently 6th on Mel Kiper’s big board of NFL prospects and the best ranked inside linebacker. When Te’o was ranked among these draft experts that main thing they focused on wasn’t his great ability to tackle, read offenses, NFL size, or his closing speed to make plays. They focused on something that not many guys have, which is the combination of heart and desire that Te’o plays every down. The intangibles that Manti possess is what makes him special, the leadership, heart, and desire to play the game he loves with everything he has. When you add all of his physical tools into the mix I think some offense’s start to fret a little bit. His overall athleticism, nose for the ball and sure tackling makes him the player he is, but his added pass coverage (which he lacked last year) has made him into a complete player. Did the nation know of Manti Te’o before this year? They do now, being one of the most feared defenders in the country. A Heisman candidate as an inside linebacker is unheard of, and let’s be honest he will more than likely not win the award. After you discuss all the great things he does on the field look what he does off the field with charities, schools, etc. We will see Manti be the face of a franchise in a very short time. I have always said as a coach give me a guy that has a lot of heart and no talent over a guy that has a lot of talent and no heart, but if you find that rare player that is a combination of heart and talent you are one lucky coach. Manti is that guy.
Tyler Eifert Junior 6’6’’ 251 pounds
Currently sitting at number 25 on Mel Kiper’s big board and is the best ranked tight end in this draft class. Coming off a great year recording 63 receptions for 803 yards and 5 touchdowns, this year has been lack luster. Let’s get this straight it’s not because of how Eifert is playing, but the inconsistency at quarterback and very conservative play calling. So far this year Eifert has caught 11 passes for 189 yards and 1 touchdown. The difference from this year to last year is that he is being split out as a flanker on offense and is rarely at tight end, which puts him over the middle a lot less. Eifert has the tools to play as a flanker in college, but in the NFL he will be a tight end. The knock on Eifert isn’t his production this year, because we know he has the ability. It is his blocking skills that have not been great in the past. He is more than capable to block corners, which he has been doing all year. When you put Eifert in the box he can struggle to block the bigger defensive ends and outside linebackers. From the games I have watched it just seems to be a technique issue, because he gets off balance at times. He is more of a receiving tight end and with NFL teams looking for more guys like Gronkowski and Graham that have but up huge numbers last year. Can Eifert be that type of guy? Yes definitely, his ball skills alone will make him an elite receiving tight end and then you add in his athleticism, toughness, route running, and instincts and you could turn him into a great player. Tight end U (Notre Dame) has produced many NFL tight ends and has 3 of them in the league as of now (Carlson, Fasano, Rudolph). There about to add a 4th.