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NFL Draft 2018: Day 3 Tight Ends the Eagles Should Target

Looking for more depth.

Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles have a clear need for tight end depth, one that the signing of former Green Bay Packer Richard Rodgers does not help assuage. The same can be said for TE Billy Brown, who is a raw project that needs a leap in development before he can make meaningful contributions. Thus, the Eagles are doing their homework on this crop of tight ends coming out in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Beyond the big names we all know like Penn State’s Mike Gesicki, South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert, and South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst, there exists a cluster of prospects that the Eagles could target in Day 3 of the draft. There are complete three-down and heavily specialized prospects that could fill a variety of roles for the Eagles. Here are six names that could be targeted.


Hidden behind athletic freak and eventual first round selection David Njoku, Herndon recorded his best season for the Hurricanes as a senior in his first time in a full-time starting role. Amassing a 40-477-4 stat line in 11 games before suffering a season ending MCL tear, he flashed NFL level athleticism and play-making ability.

Herndon was moved around the Miami offense, contributing from WR, FB, and TE alignments. This is similar to how the Eagles deployed TE Trey Burton and bodes well for Herndon’s scheme acclimation early in his career.

Possessing plenty of size to be an effective blocker (6’3” 253lbs), Herndon has decent tape in that role, but can improve his technique, functional strength, and mentality to help him sustain and finish blocks more consistently. Still, his baseline ability grades him above several of the “move” only tight ends in the class.

As a receiver, he is a threat after the catch and is a fluid mover. Teams would be wise to feed him manufactured touches that allow Herndon to use his athleticism in the open field.

Better as a chain mover than a contested catch receiver, Herndon has the ability to provide reliable production with a well-rounded skillset that could come with a discount sticker due to the MCL injury. The Eagles have brought him in for an official visit, indicating their interest in the ascending talent.


Smythe’s production is as anemic as they come, but his role as a blocker coupled with terrible quarterback play during his senior season had plenty of impact on his stat line (15-244-1). When he did have a chance to show his ability as a receiver, he showed strong hands, good body control, concentration, and the ability to work the seam. As for the negatives, Smythe’s speed has one gear and he lacks the technique at the top of his routes to snap out at hard angles.

One of the better blocking tight ends in the class, one look at his reps against NC State’s Bradley Chubb tells you all you need to know about his strength/technique translating to the next level. Adding to this ability and his fit with Philadelphia is his experience in the Notre Dame zone concepts where he displays excellent timing working off combo blocks to get to and seal at the second level.

Not the flashiest player by any means, Smythe’s rock solid contributions as a blocker will translate to a career that lasts much longer than several of the prospects drafted ahead of him. You could do a lot worse than Smythe if the Eagles are looking for a Brent Celek replacement.


Eagles TE Zach Ertz and TE coach Justin Peele have been pounding the table for Schultz throughout the pre-draft process, and with good reason. With solid athleticism and blocking chops, he represents a solid, well-rounded piece that comes from an emerging line of quality Stanford tight ends that have experience in a pro-style offense.

Schultz isn’t going to bring eye-popping production, but he does possess baseline skills as a receiver. He could stand to add 5-10 pounds to his 6’5” 244lb frame, but rumor has it that adding bulk is part of the plan with him already.


One of the more underrated three down tight ends in the class, there’s a lot to like about Conklin’s skill set. His basketball background, 33” arms, and strong hands led to some highlight reel catches at the Senior Bowl. Not just a one-trick pony, Conklin lacks nuance at the top of his stems but has the requisite skills as a route runner and is fearless attacking the middle of a defense.

His blocking ability is on the low end of the spectrum, but it’s just enough to not take him off the field and his effort is never waning. Conklin can be moved around freely and also will find production early in his career isolated out wide in the red zone.


Dissly’s cabinet as a receiver is fairly bare, but that’s not how he’s going to make his money in the NFL. Having only played two full years on offense, Dissly’s experience as a defensive end has helped him become one of the most cerebral and technically sound blockers in the class.

His 6’3” 262 pound frame boasts a strong base, violent punch, and the technique to consistently drive blockers at the point of attack. Dissly brings value in the run game by essentially creating a heavy formation every time he’s on the field.


A bonus wildcard for the Trey Burton role, Lazard is basically a move tight end that has played at wide receiver. He possesses very good technique as a route runner but simply lacks the separation quickness to consistently produce on the outside. By moving him to a Burton role, you manufacture favorable matchups via alignment. Linebackers and safeties will have fits trying to contend with Lazard at the catch-point, as he boasts a rocked up 6’4” 227 pound frame with bunnies (38” vertical jump) and a large catch radius.

Lazard is a projection as a blocker, but he handled defensive backs easily with a good base, strong hands, and solid technique. He brings enough from a traits perspective to comfortable use him on seal blocks, which is all the Eagles asked from Burton.

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