Detailed Look at the 2009 TE Prospects

The 2009 class of TE's is among the deepest in recent history, which works out perfectly for the Eagles, as they will almost definitely be drafting at least 1 TE this year, and probably 2. 

According to Scouts Inc, there are af total of 8 TE's rated among the top 86 overall players in the 2009 Draft.  It would be great if the Eagles could get one of these guys with their 2 or 3, and hope that one of them drops to the 5th round.

Here is a detailed look at those 8 TE's.  Scouts Inc rates them like this...

Trait Scale
1 = Exceptional 2 = Above average 3 = Average 4 = Below average 5 = Marginal

1) Brandon Pettigrew

Rated 14th overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 2 Productive receiver with big, soft hands. He can pluck on the run and also catches the ball consistently over his head. Rarely drops a 'catchable' pass and when he does it typically has been due to a lapse in concentration.
Separation Skills 3 Big target; knows how to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball. Is fluid and smooth for his size. Shows adequate-to-good initial burst off the line. But he doesn't run all of his routes with the same level of urgency. He is sloppy with his breaks and needs rounds too many off. Shows an overall lack of discipline at times.
Blocking 1 Better blocker than most at his position. Big frame with long arms and big hands. Good overall strength for a TE. Is able to anchor at the point of attack when he stays low. Displays good upper-body power for the position and flashes a mean streak. Does a good job with his first step. He is a more effective blocker in-line than he is in space, though. He needs to be more consistent with his technique in space, rather than looking to bury the defender with his initial pop.
Toughness 2 Flashes a mean streak. Will make tough catches in traffic. Won't back down from a challenge. Only concern here is with his mental toughness. Tends to turn motor on and off. Can get lazy and undisciplined at times.
Big-Play Potential 4

This is one of the big areas of concern regarding his pro potential. While smooth and fluid for his size, he lacks the speed necessary to consistently stretch the seam as a receiver. Additionally, while he is a tough runner after the catch, he's not going to make many defenders miss in space, nor will he run away from many LB's or DB's in the NFL.

2) Cornelius Ingram

Rated #46 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 2 Hands continue to improve with more experience. Does an excellent job of catching the ball thrown over his head (see: first quarter TD catch vs. Kentucky in 2007). He can make the acrobatic catch. Adjusts well to the poorly thrown pass. Sometimes will lose focus, though. Will let the ball get into his pads rather than snatching it with his hands.
Separation Skills 2 He's fluid and quick for his size. Can get in and out of breaks smoothly. Still improving his savvy finding soft spots in zone coverage. Also will struggle to get off the bump versus bigger LB's. But simply put; he creates a lot of matchup problems for opposing defenses because he's too fast for most LB's and too big for most DB's to cover man-to-man.
Blocking 4 Is undersized for the position. Spent most of his time flexed out as a slot-receiver at UF. Rarely used in-line as a blocker in college. Will need to significantly improve his bulk/strength in order to matchup better at the point of attack as a blocker in the NFL. Very much a finesse blocker. Does a good job of getting into position in space and will try to wall off, but he really struggles to sustain his blocks versus bigger/stronger defenders.
Toughness 4 Not overly tough. He is willing as a blocker in space but he's clearly not wild about initiating contact. He will go over the middle and make some tough catches in traffic, but he's much more in his comfort zone when getting a clean release and catching the ball on the run.
Big-Play Potential 1 Excellent athlete for the position. Can consistently stretch the seam. Combo of size and speed generates lots of mismatches for opposing defenses to worry about. Also a good weapon after the catch. He's quick to get up the field and he shows a second-gear in space.


3) Shawn Nelson

Rated #53 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 1 A big target and natural pass catcher.  Uses long arms to pluck the ball out of the air and doesn't have to break stride to haul it in.  Does a nice job adjusting to balls thrown behind him and shows good body control for size. 
Separation Skills 2 Generally gets a clean release coming off the line. Quick enough to separate from most linebackers and big enough to shield defensive backs from the ball.  Does a nice job of setting up breaks and then sticking cuts when working against man coverage. Doesn't appear to read defenses that well and has some problems locating soft spots in zone coverage.  
Blocking 3 Needs to develop a violent punch and get more push once in position. Reliable blocker in space. Does not have the size to consistently hold own as an in-line blocker at the NFL level but has improved in this area. Moves feet well and gets into proper position.  Gets adequate hand placement and flashes the ability to stay engaged with defenders.  Takes good angles to downfield blocks and can cut off linebackers at the second level. 
Toughness 2 Good overall effort. Willing to go over the middle and lay his body on the line to make reception.  Showed willingness to play hurt during the 2006 season. (See durability)
Big-Play Potential 2 Clean release and good top-end speed allow him to stretch the middle of the field.  Strong runner after the catch and can turn a catch underneath into a big gain. 


4) Jared Cook

Rated #56 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 1 Displays excellent body control and opens his well enough to adjust to balls thrown behind him. Times jumps well and can highpoint the ball. Has soft hands and concentration to make tough catches in traffic.
Separation Skills 2 Gets a clean and quick release off the line. Wades through zone coverage and does a sound job of avoiding contact when probing for soft spots. Possesses good sideline awareness. Can throttle down and drag feet. Makes crisp cuts coming out of breaks and can separate from man coverage.
Blocking 4 Doesn't take sound angles to assignments. Struggles to anchor and gives up too much ground. Doesn't lock on and allows defenders to disengage far too easily.
Toughness 3 Needs to be much more aggressive as an inline blocker. However shows willingness to go down the middle and hold onto the ball after taking a hit.
Big-Play Potential 2 Long strider that has excellent top-end speed and can make safeties pay for biting on play action. Plucks ball out of the air without breaking stride and elusive enough to make defenders miss in the open field.


5) James Casey

Rated #69 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 1 Snatches ball out of the air. Shows great focus when the ball is in the air, flashes the ability to make one-handed catches and can come down with the ball in traffic. (see early third quarter catch during 2007 Marshall game)
Separation Skills 2 Uses hands well and doesn't get muscled out of routes. Times jumps fairly well and shows excellent body control in the air. Doesn't show elite burst coming out of cuts but fluid changing directions and flashes the ability to run crisp short-to-intermediate routes.
Blocking 3 Gets adequate hand placement and drives legs once locked on but plays too high and lacks elite size. Lined up at quarterback, running back, receiver and tight end at Rice and is a marginal-at-best in-line blocker at this point. Takes adequate angles to blocks, can adjust to moving targets in space and can get into position at the second level.
Toughness 2 Isn't afraid to attack the middle of the field or expose body to big hit. Plays with an edge and tries to finish blocks once in position.
Big-Play Potential 2 Doesn't show a second gear when tracking the ball downfield but steadily builds speed and can make safeties pay for biting on play action. More elusive than size suggests and can make first defender miss after the catch. Powerful runner that excels at picking up yards after catch and can bulldoze defensive backs when gets into the open field. Has experience throwing the ball and can be used on 'gadget' plays.


6) Cameron Morrah

Rated #80 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 2 Long arms and natural hands. Displays above-average body control and adjusts well to poorly thrown balls. Shows the concentration necessary to make tough catch in traffic.
Separation Skills 4 Uses big frame to shield defenders from the ball and provide quarterback with a big strike zone. Does a nice job of working free when quarterback gets flushed out of the pocket. Tends to round off underneath routes and is going to have some problems separating from man coverage until footwork improves. Linebackers have had some success rerouting him at the line of scrimmage.
Blocking 2 Uses quick first step to beat defenders to the spot. Plays with a wide base, stays low and can root defenders off the ball. Takes sound angles to downfield assignments and generally does a nice job of covering up linebackers at the second level.
Toughness 2 Tenacious and does a tremendous job of finishing blocks. Appears fearless when working the middle of the field.
Big-Play Potential 3 Possess above-average straight-line speed and flashes ability to stretch the field when gets a clean release. Versatile and can line up in the slot. Won't make many defenders miss after the catch but displays good core strength and can pick up yards after contact.


7) Travis Beckum

Rated #83 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 2 Stays focused and generally looks the ball into hands. Will high-point the ball and does a great job of securing it in traffic. Plucks the ball on the run seamlessly. Only concerns here are that he occasionally lets the ball get into frame and appears to have some problems adjusting to balls thrown below waist.
Separation Skills 2 Explosive off the line and can separate vertically from most LB's. Is improving savvy as a route runner. Knows how to find soft spots in zone. Adequate footwork when running routes and shows good burst coming out of cuts. Reaches top-end speed quickly and can work the seam. Only concern is when he gets pressed at the line of scrimmage by bigger defenders. Needs to improve his technique getting off the press.
Blocking 4 Shows average upper body strength and gets adequate hand placement as a blocker. However, he's too lean to be an effective in-line blocker and gets rag dolled at times. Plays with a narrow base, doesn't show great body control when trying to adjust to moving targets in space and can struggle to get into position at the second level despite excellent athletic ability.
Toughness 4 Not overly interested as a blocker. Dives at the feet of defenders rather than squaring up and is too much of a finesse blocker. Isn't afraid to go over the middle and can make catches in traffic.
Big-Play Potential 2 Displays enough speed to stretch the seam as a pass-catcher. Does an excellent job of coming down with the jump ball. Fluid turning upfield, can make the first defender miss and shows a second gear when he catches a crease after the catch. Runs hard and flashes the ability to pick up yards after contact, but certainly not a bruising open-field runner.


8) Chase Coffman

Rated #86 Overall

Tight End specific Traits
Ball Skills 1 Hands are outstanding. A reliable target. Will make the tough catch in traffic. Can snatch the ball on the run and get upfield without losing much time in transition. Also has proven consistently capable of catching the ball thrown over his head.
Separation Skills 2 Spends most of his time working flexed out in the slot or split out wide, so still needs to learn how to release versus a LB in press technique from an in-line alignment. But he does display good initial quickness off the line of scrimmage for a tight end. Runs sharp, crisp routes. Knows how to read coverage and does a great job of finding soft spots in zone. Excellent on hot reads. Knows how to get open in a hurry in those situations.
Blocking 4 This is his biggest area of weakness. He's lean and has below average overall strength. Plays with a narrow base and really struggles to sustain blocks after locking on. Only positives are his mobility and effort, as he generally gets in good position and flashes a mean streak.
Toughness 2 He's tougher than expected. He's willing as a blocker and will get 'chippy' at times when challenged. He also is a fearless route runner and a tough to bring down after the catch.
Big-Play Potential 3 He's quicker than fast. Gets off the line quickly for a TE and occasionally will show the ability to sneak down the seam. In his defense, the TE does not run a lot of down-the-field type routes in Mizzou's offense. But the reality is his top-end speed is only adequate and he lacks the elusiveness/second-gear to break many long runs after the catch.