Overvalued Draft Targets: TE (Fantasy Football)
At this point in the NFL Draft cycle, few tight ends are overvalued in the market. Tight end is a strong historical investment in late Round 2 through Round 4 of rookie drafts.
For instance, since 2008, only seven tight ends have been selected with top 18 ADPs. This leaves a lot of tight ends in late Round 2 or Round 3 of rookie drafts.
Currently, there are no tight ends in the top 18 of FantasyPros rookie rankings, and only Mark Andrews (22nd overall), is a projected top 24 pick. So long as tight ends do not get pushed up into the early second or late first, there will be no glaringly overvalued players compared to other positions. Within the position, the following tight ends are ranked higher than warranted.
Mike Gesicki (Penn State) TE 2 – 35 overall
Gesicki is an intriguing athletic tight end. He was a good volleyball player before playing tight end at Penn State. Gesicki had quiet freshman and sophomore seasons before breaking out for 48 receptions, 679 receiving yards, and five touchdowns as a junior.
His senior season saw a drop in receiving yards (563) but increases in both receptions (57), and touchdowns (nine). For his career, Gisecki averaged 2.9 catches, 32.9 yards, and .33 touchdowns per game.
Gesicki profiles as a boom-bust prospect in the NFL. Physically, Gesicki is a thin build for a tight end, measuring 6’5″ and 242 at the Senior Bowl. Gesicki has a more delicate lower body and long legs, which could give him problems blocking and getting in and out of breaks in the NFL.
Gesick’s biggest strength is his vertical athleticism. He figures to run well in the 40-yard dash and perform well in the vertical and broad jumps. His profile is intriguing from an athletic upside perspective but warrants caution.
His draft position will be key to his value. If he is a Day Two pick, there is a better likelihood an offense will cater to his strengths as a pass receiver, while overlooking his blocking deficiencies. If he is a Day Three pick, Gesicki runs the risk of falling into a Bucky Hodges scenario, where he is a tweener that will struggle to see the field because of his blocking deficiencies.
The most significant concern with his value is that he is behind Dallas Goedert. Goedert was a prolific receiver in college, producing 2,988 yards receiving at South Dakota State. Goedert offers two-way ability as both a receiver and a blocker, with lesser concerns about his ability to translate to the NFL than Gisecki.
Despite playing for FCS South Dakota State, Goedert measured in at 6’4″ and 260 pounds at the Senior Bowl and should test well at the NFL Combine. Goedert is likely to be a late Round 1 or early Round 2 pick, likely before where Gesicki is drafted. Gesicki is a fair value in the late third round of rookie drafts, but profiles clearly behind Goedert at the position.
Jaylen Samuels (N.C. State) TE 6 – 52 overall
Jaylen Samuels is a well-rounded football player yet may be a jack of all trades, master of none type of player. Specifically, Samuels is a positional tweener.
In college, Samuels lined up all over the field. He had an H Back type of role, producing 202 receptions, 1,855 receiving yards, and 19 touchdowns over his four seasons at North Carolina State. Samuels also added 181 rushing attempts, 1,103 rushing yards, and 28 rushing touchdowns. This is a rare combination of college statistics for a tight end.
Samuels played at the Senior Bowl where measured 5’11” and 223 pounds. Notably, he was listed as a running back and performed drills and played as a tailback. For the 2018 Combine, Samuels is listed as a tight end.
At his size, Samuels is an undersized tight end and likely not a true tailback. This presents an interesting dilemma for his future.
As a do it all player, Samuels represents an excellent opportunity for a team that wants to be multiple in their offense. Samuels can line up all over the field and provide the ability to disguise formations and create mismatches against defenses.
This type of role for Samuels is an appealing role for an NFL team. The NFL has recently seen players like Evan Engram and Ty Montgomery defy traditional positional prototypes and find success with creative usage.
However, these types of players are not a good fit for all teams. This makes landing spot crucial to Samuels’s future.
Traditional conservative offensive philosophies may try and force Samuels into a defined role, which would sap his value. On the other hand, an innovative offensive team, like Philadelphia, Kansas City or Chicago, could utilize Samuels as a creative mismatch.
Samuels has strong supporters in the NFL and fantasy football community and will likely rise in value in the lead up to the NFL Draft, and draw Charles Clay comparisons. If he has a good landing spot, Samuels will come out of the overvalued category and become a potential value in rookie drafts.
Jordan McNamara is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jordan, check out his archive and follow him @McNamaraDynasty.