Inside The Bills

TE class saved by juniors

Posted by Chris Brown on February 15, 2013 – 9:15 am

Tight end is a position that Bills GM Buddy Nix added to the team’s ‘want list’ earlier this week with respect to the draft this spring due mainly to the uncertainty of Scott Chandler’s availability come the start of the regular season after he sustained a torn ACL at the end of the season. Fortunately for the Bills what looked like a weak tight end class was saved by the juniors that declared early this year.

“It’s a pretty good year because of the juniors,” said ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper. “Had it not been for the juniors it would’ve been awful. With (Notre Dame’s) Tyler Eifert and (Stanford’s) Zach Ertz, Jordan Reed out of Florida, Dion Sims out of Michigan State has made it a good tight end crop at the top. Gavin Escobar out of San Diego State is another good underclassman. Levine Toilolo from Stanford is coming out early. Travis Kelce is the top senior in my opinion from Cincinnati. Vance McDonald from Rice deserves to be in the discussion.

“So it’s become a pretty good tight end group because of the juniors. Chris Gragg out of Arkansas had he stayed healthy all year would’ve been in the mix. Joseph Fauria the kid out of UCLA and Ryan Otten out of San Jose State are two guys to watch for late. Phillip Lutzenkirchen with the injury out of Auburn is a versatile kid that can help you. Lucas Reed at New Mexico can catch the football. Jack Doyle out of Western Kentucky has ability. So there are going to be an awful lot of tight ends looked at, but the junior influence at the top are the reason why tight end is pretty doggone good.”

That’s good news for Buffalo, who is looking for a young prospect that could help stem the tide at the position until Chanadler is ready again.

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