The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel always provides the best draft information due to writer Bob McGinn's contacts in the scouting world. Every year he'll talk to people on the ground to get their opinions on prospects and he packages it up for us to consume.
He recently went over the wide receivers and the tight ends in the draft, the latter position being of great interest to Patriots fans.
According to the 17 personnel folks that he spoke with, UNC's Eric Ebron is the unanimous choice for top tight end in the draft, garnering every first place vote (68 points), with one scout calling him a "top 10 talent."
In a tier below, Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins came in second with 37 points and was said to have "a chance to be real good", but was deemed "hard to coach" and "lazy."
Texas A&M's Jace Amaro close behind with 33. It was implied that he has potential due to his size, but was hard to evaluate due to his excessive use in the slot. He was labeled "soft."
Notre Dame's Troy Niklas comes in the third tier with 16 points, ahead of Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz (11), with both labeled as "steady" or "reliable". They both have potential, but both aren't considered impact players in year one.
In the final grouping, Utah's Jake Murphy and Georgia's Arthur Lynch received the final votes, with Colorado State's Crockett Gilmore earning the "Unsung Hero" label.
Oregon's Colt Lyerla was the 6th ranked tight end overall, but the scouts believe he's "80% of the teams' draft boards."
The main point from the scouts:
"Once you get past the first two or three everyone else you just put them in a bag and kind of shake them up," one scout said. "There's nothing that really stands out. The tough part is all the guys that are talented have off-field issues."
So after Ebron, and then ASJ and Amaro, there's an understood fall in talent that is fairly interchangeable. So if a tight end isn't selected in the top 50, the teams might as well wait until later where the talent is comparable.
Give the article a read. What do you think?