It's no secret that one of my favorite non-Patriot tight ends is the Colts' Dallas Clark. At 6-3 252lbs, Clark is setting the standard for hybrid TE/WR guys in the NFL, much like Wes Welker is setting the standard for quick, underneath slot guys. The days of the huge, lumbering, bull rush tight ends are numbered. Sure, you need a guy big enough to clear the way for running backs, but in the pass happy era we're in, more and more teams may look to tight ends to give QBs target options. And they're usually cheaper than WRs.
Clark has the quickness of a WR, but possesses enough size to get busy when he needs to. Such is the case with the current crop of ends at the combine. Many of the top guys are in the 6-4 range and sitting at 240lbs. And they're FAST. I've been watching the combine, tight end 40's in particular, and these guys can move. As an example, Dorin Dickerson just clocked a 4.4 40 yard dash. At 6-1 222lbs he is lighter than most tight ends, but who cares. Again, this is a pass happy league and speed and good hands may be worth more than an ability to push defensive lineman around.
With the Patriots receiver ranks looking very thin right now, do we go after more wide receivers in the draft or FA market? Should we look for a young, fast tight end to draft? Should we just leave well enough alone, feeling like everything is ok?