TE Jace Amaro (Texas Tech) 6-5, 265, 4.74 40yd dash
Projection: 1-2 Description: The Jets brought Amaro in for a visit and met with him at the Combine. This is NFL.com's profile of him. "Also played basketball as a Texas prep. Was a reserve as a true freshman in 2011, when he caught seven balls for 57 yards (8.1-yard average) and two touchdowns in 12 games. Was arrested in March 2012 on charges of credit-card fraud, though charges were later dropped. In the fall, started six of seven games played -- three at tight end, one at "H," one at "Y," one at "Z" -- and managed 25 catches for 409 yards (16.4) and four TDs. Missed the last six regular-season games after taking a hit against West Virginia, which caused a lacerated spleen, fractured rib and internal bleeding. Was ejected from Meineke Car Care Bowl against Minnesota for throwing a punch. Set an FBS record for receiving yards by a tight end in 2013, though he was used primarily as an inside receiver. Started 10 of 13 games and piled up 106 catches for 1,352 yards (12.8) and seven TDs. Excellent size with a well-proportioned frame and room for added bulk. Releases cleanly into routes. Moves like an oversized receiver. Good balance. Enough foot speed to stretch the seam. Good hands to extend and catch. Gives effort as a move blocker and can block out defensive backs. Flashes nastiness. Historic one-year production. Very productive, finesse, detached tight end who racked up exceptional production as a junior when he was essentially deployed as an inside receiver for the Red Raiders. Will be best utilized in a similar role in the pros."
TE Ted Bolser (Indiana) 6-6, 248, 4.72 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: The Jets met with Bolser at the East-West Shrine game. Tony Pauline has a great scouting report of him. "Four-year starter named team captain as a senior. Career-best 41 receptions and 445 yards receiving came during his junior season. Well-sized tight end with average athleticism. Quickly releases off the line into pass routes, immediately gets to top speed, and extends his hands to make catches away from his frame. Runs solid routes, quickly getting into breaks then stays low on exit. Extends his hands and snatches the pass from the air. Breaks down and for the most part blocks with leverage. Bolser was highly thought off in the scouting community but a prospect who's been very average in all areas throughout his college career. He possesses the size and growth potential to line up as a third tight end if he takes his game to the next level."
TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa) 6-6, 265, 4.73 40yd dash
Projection: 3-4 Description: Fiedorowicz visited the Jets on Wednesday, April 9th. Ryan McCrystal explains what he brings to the table. "Prototypical size and strength. Reliable hands as a short-yardage possession receiver. Has a reputation as a hard worker and a respected teammate—given Coaches Appreciation award in 2013. A tough, physical and scrappy blocker. Displays consistent fundamentals when blocking on the move—decisive and clearly understands his assignments. Shows decent athleticism in tight spaces. Good body control—knows how to position himself when in tight coverage and when working along the sideline. Does a nice job adjusting to poorly thrown balls. Height and overall length gives him an impressive catch radius. Strong field awareness and is capable of finding space against zone coverage. Extremely durable throughout his career. Has experience on special teams coverage. Fiedorowicz is the prototypical No. 2 tight end. He can contribute in every aspect of the game: blocking, receiving and special teams. However, his limited athleticism holds him back in every area. Like most No. 2 tight ends in the NFL, he is most valuable as a blocker but has the skills necessary to occasionally break free off the line of scrimmage and make some key short-yardage receptions to help move the chains. While his ceiling is clearly limited, he's the type of valuable role player every good team needs."
TE Troy Niklas (Notre Dame) 6-7, 270, 4.85, 40yd dash
Projection: 2-3 Description: Niklas was at the Jets facility for a visit on April 23rd. This is what Rob Rang of CBS Sports has to say. "Prototypical build for today's matchup nightmare at tight end. Excellent height, long arms and a well-built frame. Experience on the defensive side of the ball is shown with his physical nature on the field. Seems to enjoy blocking, rocking opponents with an impressive initial punch and latching on to control throughout the play. Keeps his legs driving through contact. Uses his height and strength to get open against tight coverage, consistently winning the physical battle with opponents to create space. Good leaping ability, flashing the ability to extend and pluck. Used in a variety of roles for the Irish, including as an inline blocker from both sides, split out wide and even used as an occasional H-back or as a third tackle in pass protection. Secures the football quickly and turns aggressively upfield, dragging would-be tacklers along the way. Good bloodlines. Nephew of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. Niklas signed with the Irish as one of the country's most highly regarded preps, distinguishing himself as an offensive and defensive lineman, as well as a tight end in high school. While overshadowed throughout his early career by future Mackey Award (and Cincinnati Bengals 2013 first round pick) Tyler Eifert, Niklas' imposing frame certainly caught the attention of Notre Dame's coaching staff, which moved him to linebacker as a true freshman to get him on the field. Niklas played in 12 games at outside linebacker, including starting against Michigan State. He recorded 20 tackles, including half a tackle for loss in his first year at the position. He made the switch back to tight end as a sophomore but clearly was a secondary target to Eifert, serving primarily as a blocking specialist. In 13 games (including seven starts), Niklas caught just five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown against Boston College. Niklas started all 13 games for the Irish and was third on the team in receiving with 32 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. With only one full season as a starter, Niklas was a surprise early entrant into the 2014 draft. His imposing frame and underrated athleticism, however, scream upside. While still a bit inconsistent as a receiver, Niklas also shows off the ability to extend and pluck tough passes outside of his frame. Scouts certainly are excited about his potential. The normally conservative Advisory Committee reportedly gave Niklas a second round grade, potentially hastening his early departure from South Bend."
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington) 6-6, 262, 4.56 40yd dash
Projection: 2 Description: The Jets brought Seferian-Jenkins in for a visit. They also attended his Pro Day and TE coach Steve Hagen met with him at the Combine. Here's Rang again. Broad-shouldered, long-armed mismatch in the passing game with rare body control and soft hands for a man of his size. Good initial quickness off the snap and possesses very long arms and strong hands to get a clean release off the line of scrimmage. Reliable route-runner. Finds holes in the defense and settles, presenting a massive target to his quarterback. Catches the ball with defenders in close proximity due to his size advantage, as well as concentration and toughness to hang on while absorbing a hit. Impressive flexibility and body control for a man of his size. Adjusts well to the ball, showing the range to leap high or bend low, exhibiting an impressive catch radius. Smooth accelerator with at least fair top-end speed. Imposing ballcarrier with the ball in his hands, capable of running through arm-tackles. Improved significantly as a blocker in 2013, showing greater strength and aggression as the Huskies featured others in a new high-octane spread offense. Displayed humility and accountability by serving one-day sentence in jail and speaking to youth (along with the arresting officer, and a mother of a high school-aged student killed in a DUI-related accident) about the dangers of alcohol after pleading guilty to a DUI rather than pleading out and taking a lesser sentence. The Fox Island, Wash. native was a two-sport star at Gig Harbor high school and was rated as the No. 32 overall prospect in the country by Scout.com. Seferian-Jenkins caught 41 passes for 538 yards as a true freshman, and followed that up with 69 receptions for 850 yards in 2012. Seferian-Jenkins won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end in 2013 and was given a second-round grade by the NFL Advisory Committee, according to the Seattle Times. He holds the school career records for tight ends for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder announced he would forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2014 NFL Draft. "I'm going to be enter the 2014 draft," Seferian-Jenkins said after the Huskies' 31-16 victory over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl. "(It's) very exciting. The idea that I can provide for my mother and play at the highest level I the world for football and compete against the best guys in the world - it's a very exciting idea. I'm very exciting for the next chapter in my life." Seferian-Jenkins was expected to declare for the draft with the Washington program transitioning from former coach Steve Sarkisian to Chris Petersen and with senior quarterback Keith Price also leaving. Seferian-Jenkins entered the 2013 season already holding the Washington career record for tight ends with 110 catches, 1,390 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. He was suspended after being charged with a DUI on March 9, but returned for the second game of the season and went on to catch 36 passes for 450 yards and eight touchdowns, including a 16-yarder from Price on Friday night. "I've done everything I can at the University of Washington. ... I know I'm ready for the NFL," he said, per the Times. "I need to take care of my mom and making sure she's financially OK. She's done so much for me, it's the least thing I can do."
TE Eric Ebron (North Carolina) 6-4, 260, 4.56 40yd dash
Projection: 1 Description: Ebron recently refused to confirm that the reported visit he supposedly made to the Jets in April had actually taken place. However, he did acknowledge that they were interested in him, even though he suggested he'd had no contact with any coaches. This is Dane Brugler's scouting report. "Smooth, gliding athlete with easy acceleration to speed past defenders in coverage and finish. Agile feet and dangerous after the catch to create with quick cuts to make defenders miss. Quick release off the LOS with route fluidity and natural flexibility. Smooth adjustments to pluck the ball with his hands away from his body - large catching radius. Physical when he wants as a blocker with strong initial power at the point of attack. Very good toughness and plays unintimidated and confident. Good football awareness and plays alert. Versatile experience lining up in-line, but mostly in the slot - also plays on special teams coverage. Still far from his ceiling. The highly athletic Ebron caught 28 passes for 682 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior in high school, and played wide receiver for the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team.He appeared in 10 games as a true freshman at North Carolina, catching 10 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown. However, Ebron did not play in the Independence Bowl game due to academic reasons. Ebron caught 40 passes for 625 yards and four touchdowns in a breakout 2012 season, setting school records for a tight end in both categories. He earned second-team All-ACC honors and caught at least two passes in all 11 games.He ratcheted up the production another level in 2013, establishing school records for single-season receptions (62), single-season receiving yards (973), career receptions (112) and career receiving yards (1,805) at the position "I'm proud of what he's accomplished and how he's represented North Carolina," Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora said upon Ebron announcing on Nov. 25 that he was leaving for the 2014 NFL Draft despite having a year of eligibility remaining. "We're sad to see him go but excited for his future."With multiple tight end formations becoming all of the rage in today's NFL, oversized, athletic pass-catchers have never been more valued. Ebron needs polish but he boasts the tools to warrant strong first round consideration."
TE Paul Carrezola (Rutgers) 6-2, 244, 4.84 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets invited Carrezola to their Local Pro Day workouts. The following is College2Pro's scouting report. "Good all around athlete. Nice size. Easy for a quarterback to spot. Can beat linebacker in coverage. An Excellent competitor. Good intangibles. Tries tremendously hard. At times can be highly effective blocker. May not be a draft pick but has shown enough to be in a NFL training camp competing for a roster spot. Carrezola also can long snap."
TE Mike Naples (Boston College) 6-4, 243, 4.83, 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: Naples was another player who attended the Jets local workouts. According to NFL Draft Scout, he missed time in 2013 with a back injury. He ended up with 10 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown. Naples, who ran a 4.81 at his pro day but did put up some good numbers in the other disciplines, is also capable of long snapping.
TE Mike McLafferty (Monmouth) 6-4, 252, 4.82 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: McLafferty was also at the Jets Local Pro Day. Tony Pauline gives us more. "Efficient tight end who does the little things well. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and strong at the point. Turns defenders from the line of scrimmage and seals open the running lanes. Fluid releasing off the line into pass routes, stays low exiting breaks, and extends to make the tough catch in a crowd. Sturdy receiver who takes a pounding but holds onto passes. McLafferty really does not stand out in any single aspect of his game but gets the most from his ability. His play on special teams this summer will dictate whether or not he lands on a roster."
TE Crockett Gillmore (Colorado State) 6-6, 260, 4.80 40yd dash
Projection: 4-5 Description: The Jets were at his Pro Day. McCrystal again: "Prototypical size for the tight end position. Has the height to contribute as a possession receiver. Size and overall strength gives him potential as a blocker once he refines his technique. Shows flashes of dominance as a move blocker, and has the skill set to continue to develop in this area. Quick off the snap as a blocker and gets into position to engage his assignment. Has big hands and he's developed into a fairly reliable target on short-yardage throws. Consistently catches the ball away from his body and quickly secures it. An extremely tough runner after the catch who looks for contact and will gladly lower the shoulder and flatten smaller defensive backs. Has just enough speed and quickness to get open on short and some intermediate routes. Route running is consistent, and he's mastered the short comeback route and in and out routes. Relatively quick in his breaks which gives him just enough room to create some space for targets on those shorter routes. Lined up in a variety of spots in Colorado State's offense, including on the line, in the slot and occasionally out wide. Praised as a team leader by coaching staff."
TE Jordan Najvar (Baylor) 6-6, 256, 4.88 40yd dash
Projection: 7-UDFA Description: Jets attended his Pro Day. McCrystal once more: "Elite height and good overall bulk. Strong enough to hold his ground as a blocker. Leaping ability is only average, but coupled with his height he has potential to be a weapon in jump-ball situations. Demonstrated reliable hands with solid fundamentals on his limited opportunities. Good all-around athleticism, coupled with his height and long arms, gives him a huge catch radius. Ability to get to the second level and block on the move made him an extremely valuable asset to Baylor's running game. Shows good mobility as a blocker and is capable of hitting his assignments on the move. Has experience lining up as an in-line tight end and also as an H-back in Baylor's offense. Does a nice job setting up as a blocker off the snap and sliding off into a delayed route. A tough runner after the catch who will lower his shoulder and break some tackles. Performed well at the Shrine Game, showing he has the tools to play a more expanded role in an offense than he did at Baylor. Intelligent player on and off the field. Najvar's role in Baylor's offense doesn't really exist in the NFL, at least not in a full-time capacity. While he doesn't stand out in any one area, he's well-rounded and should be able to be used situationally to create mismatches. His blend of size and modest athleticism makes him an ideal second option at tight end because he can be used to block but is also capable of sliding off the line and turning himself into a quality possession receiver. His route running will need to be developed, but he has potential as a weapon in the red zone."
TE Jacob Pedersen (Wisconsin) 6-4, 238, 4.82, 40yd dash
Projection: 5-6 Description: The Jets flew to Madison for his Pro Day. McCrystal provides a better look at Pedersen's game. "A versatile weapon who was used as an in-line tight end, H-back and in the slot. Height and weight will limit the teams interested in him, but his size and athleticism are ideal for an H-back or a flex tight end in certain systems. Uses leverage to hold his ground against bigger lineman in pass-protection. Does a great job getting to the second level as a blocker—locates assignments quickly and takes efficient angles to get into position. Reliable possession receiver on short routes with good hands. Excels as a receiver when working against zone coverage—does a great job finding the soft spot. A reliable check-down option who does a nice job working back to the quarterback and fighting to get open when the initial play breaks down. Shows great body control adjusting to poorly placed and difficult to handle passes. Has experience on the kickoff coverage team. Three-year starter with plenty of experience against top competition and has remained durable throughout his career. A tough competitor who was always willing to do the little things for the team—despite limited stats, he played a crucial role in Wisconsin's offense the past three seasons. Pedersen's measurables will cause him to be removed from some draft boards. However, he has the tools to play a very specific role as an H-back or a flex tight end and his experience in that role could make him an intriguing prospect for certain teams. He may be limited to a backup job, but in the right system he can certainly play a valuable role due to his specific skill set."
TE Kaneakua Friel (BYU) 6-4, 254, 4.89 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets were also at his Pro Day. Here's Pauline. "Two-year starter who totaled 11 receptions, 128 yards, and 1 TD as a senior after junior totals of 30 receptions, 308 yards, and 5 TDs. Usually reliable pass-catching tight end coming off a disappointing senior campaign. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, displays reliable hands, and consistently makes catches away from his frame. Effectively finds the open space in the defense, adjusts to errant throws, and flashes athleticism. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage, and shows vision. Entering the season, Friel was graded as a potential late-round pick but failed to meet expectations in 2013 and will fall out of the seven rounds. He possesses the size and pass-catching skill to make a roster as a third tight end in a West Coast or timing offense."
TE Colt Lyerla (Oregon) 6-4, 242, 4.61 40yd dash
Projection: 3-4 Description: Jets Director of College Scouting Jeff Bauer attended his Pro Day.Rang continues. "Physical marvel with excellent athleticism, good hand-eye coordination and toughness after the catch. Possesses impressive straight-line speed, as well as the agility and balance to operate in space. Attacks defenders as a run-blocker, getting an explosive initial pop on his opponent and extending his arms and keeping his legs churning to sustain. Shows the competitive spirit befitting his prep past as a linebacker. Recorded a 40-inch vertical and 10'10 broad jump during the 2010 National Underclassmen Combine as a high school senior. Lyerla is a physical marvel with excellent athleticism, good hand-eye coordination and toughness after the catch. He possesses impressive straight-line speed, as well as the agility and balance to operate in space.Perhaps due to the incredible talent competing for the ball at Oregon, he never emerged as a statistically dominant player in Eugene. He caught just two passes for 26 yards in an abbreviated 2013 campaign and his career-high 25 catches for 392 yards and six scores in 2012 aren't exactly eye-popping, given his size and athleticism. Capable of lining up at tight end as well as receiver, athletic seam threats like Lyerla have never been more popular than now and he is clearly a first round talent.While he possesses tantalizing upside, NFL teams will certainly have to do their homework on Lyerla, who comes with alarming off-field issues, most important a Dec. 27, 2013 guilty plea for possession of cocaine. Lyerla had left the Ducks program on Oct. 7, 2013, believing he did so on good terms."I love everyone at Oregon; everyone's on good terms, I believe," Lyerla said at the time. "Just for my own benefit, it was time to move on."I wish nothing but the best for coach Helfrich and the team. I love the University of Oregon and am so thankful for every opportunity that I had. I'm going to use everything I learned from this program and do my best to be successful in whatever happens in the future."Lyerla said walking away from the No. 2 team in the country was "completely my decision," and had nothing to do with missing the Colorado game, which Oregon won 57-16."
TE Ernst Brun Jr. (Iowa State) 6-2, 253, 4.80 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets were at his Pro Day. An All-Big 12 honorable mention pick by the Associated Press in 2012. Last season was named a team co-captain and played in eight games while slowed by injuries. Finished his career with 32 catches for 377 yards and six touchdowns. In, per the Iowa State website, "he had strong debut season for the Cyclones, earning Honorable Mention All-Big 12 honors by the AP … started last 11 games … made 26 receptions for 330 yards and six touchdowns … six TDs tied for the most in a season by an ISU tight end … his 26 catches tied for the ninth on ISU’s single-season list for a tight end … came up big for Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl, making four catches for a career-high 102 yards, including a career long 69-yard TD catch … made career high six catches for 76 yards in win over Baylor."
TE D.J. Tialavea (Utah State) 6-4, 267, 4.97 40yd dash
Projection: UDFA Description: The Jets were at his Pro Day. Pauline took a look at his film. "Part-time starter the past three seasons. Played in six games last year before undergoing foot surgery, finishing the year with 17 receptions, 93 yards, and 3 TDs. Blocking tight end who's limited as an offensive threat. Strong at the point, plays with a nasty attitude, and is always looking for someone to hit. Removes defenders from the line, opening up holes for the running game, and anchors in pass protection. Bends his knees and plays with leverage. Quickly releases into routes. Tialavea is an intense prospect who looks like a tight end in a guard's body. If healthy, he'll offer possibilities as a third tight end brought onto the field in goal- line and short-yardage situations."
TE Kevin Greene (USC) 6-3, 247, 4.43 40yd dashProjection: UDFA Description: A very impressive athlete, Greene spent the majority of career at DE. However, in front of multiple Jets personnel at his Pro Day, he worked at a TE where he had practiced with the Trojans last fall due to injuries. Greene ran a 4.40 forty yard dash at the Detroit Super Regional Combine.
TE Xavier Grimble (USC) 6-3, 247, 4.43 40yd dashProjection: UDFA Description: The Jets sent multiple scouts to his Pro Day. Here's Rang. "Grimble looks like a power forward on the field, possessing broad shoulders and a well-built frame. While he isn't exactly light-footed, he has deceptive speed down the seam due to his long strides and is an imposing runner after the catch who can bull his way through would-be tacklers. He can extend to make the tough catch and is a solid run blocker who keeps his shoulders square and has long, strong arms to lock out his opponent. Good vision and hand-eye coordination to track the ball over his shoulder. Uses his frame well to buy space and can make the contested catch with defenders draped over him. Coming off a poor season and could slip in the draft to the point where he's a steal. Draft stock took a hit from being considered a mid-round prospect entering his junior season. While star wideout Marqise Lee's struggles with durability in 2013 played a well-documented role in the Trojans' inconsistencies early in the season, nagging injuries to Grimble, another talented pass catcher, also had a big impact. Grimble earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2012, catching a career-high 29 passes for 316 yards and five scores to earn recognition in a conference boasting some of the elite tight ends in the country. Rather than build upon his breakout campaign, however, Grimble struggled in 2013, catching just 25 passes for 271 yards and watching his touchdowns plummet to just two on the season. The lack of ideal production led Grimble to announce as late as Dec. 10 that "it probably would be best for me to return to school." Instead, he surprised the Trojans and scouts by announcing that he was giving up his final year of eligibility to head to the NFL a year early. Grimble isn't an elite athlete but he does possess the frame as well as the strength and experience in a pro-style offense scouts are looking for. He isn't an elite receiver but has functional hands and is bullish after the catch."
Analysis: Tight end is a position where we can confidently predict that the Jets will add at least one player over the next few days. However, exactly where they make that move is up in the air. While the Jets moved quickly to retain Jeff Cumberland, the other three tight ends on the roster have just five catches between them in the NFL and none of them are especially accomplished as blockers. The Jets have had some bad luck with drafting tight ends in the first round in previous years, although the Dustin Keller pick in 2008 didn't work out too badly. There's often value to be found in the middle rounds though and Marty Mornhinweg was able to get good contributions out of Brent Celek, a 5th round pick.