Mel Kiper Breaks Down Second-Round Tight Ends


The tight end draft class isn't particularly strong this year, but there is still talent to be found.

ESPN's Mel Kiper said he doesn't anticipate any tight ends being drafted in the first round. He envisions three could fly off the draft board in the second round, which is perhaps right when the Ravens would be interested.

Baltimore is in need of tight end help after Owen Daniels departed for Denver via free agency and with Dennis Pitta's uncertain future as he recovers from a second major hip surgery.

Minnesota's Maxx Williams is the top tight end in the class, and has been linked to the Ravens in some first-round mock drafts. But Kiper thinks Williams' 40-yard dash time of 4.78 seconds will push him down boards.

"I think Maxx is a real good option in the second round now," Kiper said. "I don't think he ran well enough to be a first."

Williams' 40-yard dash was still the third-fastest at his position group. Last year, however, it would have been the eighth-fastest among the rookie tight end class.

The 6-foot-4, 254-pound Williams played just two years at Minnesota. He caught 36 passes for 569 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He showed some explosiveness, leading all college tight ends with nine catches of 25 or more yards.

Williams has NFL bloodlines as his father played for the New York Giants and grandfather was drafted by the Chicago Bears.

Outside of Williams, Kiper sees two other tight ends going in the second round.

One is a name Ravens fans may be familiar with: Devin Funchess.

Months ago, Funchess was linked to the Ravens in first-round mock drafts as a wide receiver. But after he ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at the combine, he was seen as more of a tight end and his stock dropped. Funchess did bounce back to run times of 4.47 and 4.53 at his pro day.

Funchess made the switch from tight end to receiver in his junior season, and caught 62 passes for 733 yards and four touchdowns.

The final second-round tight end Kiper pointed to is Miami's Clive Walford, who was impressive at the Senior Bowl.

He's perhaps the best blocker of the bunch, and showed a lot of wiggle to get open during Senior Bowl practices. Walford had 44 catches for 676 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season at Miami.

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