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What makes a guy a TE?

  • I've always been confused about what makes a guy a tight end. Is it their height, blocking ability, overall size,their build, speed or lack thereof, should they be the size of a defensive end with speed, athleticism, and good hands? This seems to be most confusing at the high school recruit stage as there are kids who are de/te recruits. In the NFL i don't see those as being close to interchangeable. I guess where I'm going is looking at guys like Christian French who is tall and has wide reciever speed, but then a guy like Dwayne Stanford is similar with maybe even less speed but is considered a wide reciever. If we need a big tall fast wide reciever why not Christian? Anyone with some input?

  • Bowerz101

    In order to be effective at TE, you have to be ideally taller than 6'4" and weigh more than 230 and have good hands. DE and TE are interchangable coming out of high school because they are usually the same body types. They don't switch in the NFL because they don't have time to develop people in the NFL and typically players only play one side of the ball. In high school, pretty much all these guys play both sides so there is much more interchangable parts when you are recruiting.

    There are obviously exceptions to the prototypical TE, but you have to be able to block somewhat effectively, be somewhat quick, and have good hands.

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  • Sniperduck said... (original post)

    I've always been confused about what makes a guy a tight end. Is it their height, blocking ability, overall size,their build, speed or lack thereof, should they be the size of a defensive end with speed, athleticism, and good hands? This seems to be most confusing at the high school recruit stage as there are kids who are de/te recruits. In the NFL i don't see those as being close to interchangeable. I guess where I'm going is looking at guys like Christian French who is tall and has wide reciever speed, but then a guy like Dwayne Stanford is similar with maybe even less speed but is considered a wide reciever. If we need a big tall fast wide reciever why not Christian? Anyone with some input?

    Just ask Colt Lyerla.

  • Hands is the primary difference. Plus, shedding blocks is not quite the same as blocking. No clue whether French has the hands or bulk for the TE position. Remember Jason Williams? The guy had everything except the ability to catch the ball during games. Hawkins appears to have a similar problem.

    Conversely, Paulson, DJ Davis, Jeff Maehl had hands like a gecko's tongue. DAT and Lyerla appear to have good hands but we do not yet know if they have great hands. Huff makes great catches and great drops. Tuinei is erratic as well. Barner may have worse hands than Hawkins. James is a far, far better receiver than he was as a freshman but, as a rule, receivers don't seem to progress at all when it comes to hands. They either have them as a Frosh or never have them. Jason Williams went through every cure known to man but, if anything, got worse. Drops get into a guy's head bigtime!

    Fumblitis is a whole afferent species than drops. It can be improved significantly with coaching and hand strengthening. James got a whole lot better. Barner has improved but is still really, really scary. DAT has to improve and probably will like James. Cliff Harris was equally frightening for both the Ducks and our opponents. Tuinei fumbles a lot, too.

    We really, really need receivers who can hold onto the ball. This is a major difference between the 2011 and 2012 Ducks.

  • A lot of it depends on body type, Stanford may have height and weight but he is too think to be a TE. In the NFL there are usually 3 types of TEs, blocking TE, pass catching TE, and a hybrid( reserved for elite TEs). Blocking TEs usually have very bulky bodies, they are too big to run routes yet too small to play tackle, usually 260-275 lbs. Blocking TEs are old school and seldom used in the NFL. Next there is the pass catching TE, who is a very athletic and agile big man, think LeBron body type. Some examples are Jimmy Graham and Jermichael Finley, both who are tall, lanky, and athletic. These guys are matchup nightmares because they are essentially huge WRs. Next is the hybrid, like Jason Witten, Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, and other elite TEs. These guys are incredible athletes, they can run and block. They usually range in weight but are incredibly strong and most of all have great hands. But they all have a few distinctions: they are tall, usually 6'4" and above, they are slower than WRs. TEs are usually matched up by LBs or Safety's for their routes. If a LB is on them, they usually will try and outrun the LB, but they will use their big bodies on safeties to essentially block them out. Look for TEs to have bigger frames then WRs in order to have an advantage no matter who they are up against.

  • Thanks for the responses guys. I get that in the NFL you only play one side of the ball but what I was talking about as far as being interchangeable was their bodies. What I'm gathering for a high school recruit is that it has more to do with physique and build as well as obviously having good hands. I'm probably getting hung up on a kids stats on these recruiting sites where towo kids have almost identical stats across the board but one is a wide receiver in the other is a tight end. I'm guessing if I had them in front of me the difference would be obvious

  • Simply put, I would say that your average TE is going to be a slightly undersized lineman with good hands and above average speed for his size, usually over 6'3" and weighing between 240-260 pounds at the college level. Of course some might weigh a little less and some might weigh a little more.

    Edit. I just read Adam's break down and he nicely sums it up.

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  • Sniperduck said... (original post)

    Thanks for the responses guys. I get that in the NFL you only play one side of the ball but what I was talking about as far as being interchangeable was their bodies. What I'm gathering for a high school recruit is that it has more to do with physique and build as well as obviously having good hands. I'm probably getting hung up on a kids stats on these recruiting sites where towo kids have almost identical stats across the board but one is a wide receiver in the other is a tight end. I'm guessing if I had them in front of me the difference would be obvious

    Another thing to consider is skill set a TE needs to block OL and LB consistently when lining up at the traditional TE position. A WR has different responsiblities than a TE which don't translate into stats.

    The stats don't show what plays they were used on. So the TE may have been racking up stats by running over would be tacklers, boxing out defenders in the red zone to get open, and releasing off of blocks as the safety valve. That stuff doesn't show up in the stats.

    At the NFL level players don't switch from TE to DE just like DL don't switch to OL. Players already play at or near to the position that maximizes their talent and have been honing the skills to play that position in college. In the NFL a college LB might switch to safety based on size, but almost never switches to offense.

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