The draft position for tight ends on your fantasy football team usually doesn’t cross your mind until the late rounds, except for Rob Gronkowski. However, since every fantasy football roster has a tight end spot, you’re going to need one. The perfect scenario is to steal a sleeper in one of the last two rounds, usually the place where other team owners are drafting their kicker.
In this year’s rookie draft class, some intriguing tight ends left the big board during the first three rounds. Teams that use a pick in the top 100 on a tight end, usually have plans for that player. Here are two tight ends taken in the second and third rounds, which might prove themselves worthy as late-round draft fliers, quickly providing steady TE production.
- Jonnu Smith
A competitive weight lifter in high school, Jonnu Smith has the brute strength to block in the NFL. The questions have surrounded his ability to catch the ball from the tight end position. He also comes to the Tennessee Titans with a little extra baggage. He had his share of difficulties during his college career at Florida International University.
NFL teams are prone to ignore some potential personality issues that a player may have, focusing on raw talent. Raw talent certainly exists with Smith, since he led all NCAA pass catchers in 2014 playing as a tight end. At the NFL combine, Smith displayed speed close to wide receiver numbers, with a 38-inch vertical leap.
Smith may not immediately impact the Titan’s offense, but he is walking into a potentially productive situation on a team that likes ball control. He will also be groomed to be the heir apparent at tight end, matched with their young quarterback Marcus Mariota. The future could be very bright for the former Panther tight end, and there’s a strong chance he could go undrafted in your fantasy league. Keep your eye on this one.
- Gerald Everett
With all the algorithms and calculations used to rate players, every good fantasy team owner should at least use them as a reference. Everyone seems to feel that former Alabama tight O.J. Howard is going to be an immediate success. However, the Rams chose a tight end that actually has better projected numbers according to the software.
The Rams staff took what they thought was the 44th best overall player coming out of college in 2017 and drafted a tight end. Gerald Everett slipped under many draft day projection radars since he played for a second tier school at South Alabama. Added to his intrigue, Everett is still green to the gridiron, having only played one year of high school football.
Obviously, the Rams focused on his outstanding athletic ability. Teams don’t usually spend a 2nd round pick on a player who they do not have an immediate plan for. Keep your eyes on Gerald Everett, as he might be available on the free agent boards in your fantasy league after draft day. If nothing else, he’s worth a late-round flier, especially in keeper leagues.
NFL rookie camps don’t open until July, however now is as good a time as any to break from the humdrum of daily MLB lineup choices and begin to strategize for the 2017 fantasy football season. Keep on the developments over the summer for these three definite sleeper tight end options. One of them might surface as a strong pickup for your fantasy roster.