There’s an article on The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Packers Blog about today’s NFL tight end. The position has changed in the last few years and the classic, complete, do-it-all tight ends that block and catch are in short supply. Phil Savage, executive director of the Senior Bowl, points out the upside to a player like Crockett, “The last two seasons, he played in more of a pro-style system under Jim McElwain. I think he’s got some potential. He’s athletic and he’s got enough height and range where he’ll be 260, 265 pounds. He’s more of a mid-to-late round find, but a nice value pick for somebody.”
“In the classic sense of the term ‘tight end,’ you’re not going to see as many of them in college football now as you would have 15 years ago,” Savage said. “You don’t see the Mark Bavaros in the college game as much as you did 25 years ago. But I do think that teams in the NFL are looking for these guys who can play in space and give you a threat down the middle of the field.”
“Really the development of the second tight end is where you’re seeing the biggest change. Most teams have enough to contend with one of these hybrid athletes defensively. But it’s tough when you have two of them — when you have a traditional tight end and the other one is in the slot. It puts the defense in a bind and that’s why these clubs do it. If you play base personnel, they’ll extend you out and play in space. If you play a nickel package, they’ll bunch back in and run the ball on you. It’s an ingenious way to maximize your personnel if you have these hybrid athletes who can do a little bit of both or a lot of one and a little of the other in terms of the pass and run. It definitely gives you an advantage offensively.”
Read the article at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.