Chicago Bears 2015 Draft Prospects : Tight End


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With the Bears season on the brink of being over at 5-7, it’s time to turn our focus to next year and what prospects might be available to fix our beloved Bears. With the draft being in Chicago this year, the draft is even more exciting than most years for Bears fans. Even if the Bears manage to win out and sneak into the playoffs, they still have plenty of holes on both sides of the ball and need to build some quality young depth. I will be breaking down prospects at every position with some focus on players I think the Bears could target. At some positions that aren’t as glaring of a need for the Bears like RB (unless they trade Forte) and maybe guard, I will focus less on the players projected to go early and focus more on mid-round prospects who the Bears presumably could target.

If you are sick of watching the Bears, there is some really exciting football being played on Saturdays this season and these lists will identify some players to keep an eye on during the last few weeks of the college football season and the initial college football playoff.

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* These aren’t ordered rankings, just TEs I think could end up on the Bears depending on how the offseason shakes out.

Position Summary: Starter Martellus Bennett is a top-10 talent who looks unstoppable at times, but needs to be more consistent. After Bennett, the Bears have very little talent on the depth chart. Donte Rosario is nothing more than a blocker who the Bears have cut 3 times already in the last year. It’s safe to say that the Bears may be looking for another TE or two this offseason.

1.) Devon Funchess, JR Michigan

Attributes – 6’5, 230, 4.64

Scouting report – Played WR at Michigan, but most scouts see Funchess as a tight end at the next level. His lack of production is partly due to inconsistencies at QB, but Funchess effort level has been questioned as well. He has all the tools to be a dangerous receiving weapon at tight end. Has the burst to get deep in a hurry and has shown the ability to adjust to the ball in the air, but has dropped way too many passes in his career. Funchess’ blocking ability heeds a lot of work as well, but he has the potential to be a difference maker at tight end.

NFL comparison – Jermichael Finley

Projection – 2nd round

2.) Maxx Williams, SO Minnesota

Attributes – 6’4, 250, 4.64

Scouting report – Is under-utilized in Minnesota’s run-heavy offense but Williams has all the tools to be a receiving threat in the NFL. He’s already a solid blocker, but has the speed and hands to be a weapon in the passing game. Williams has excelled as a red zone weapon for the Gophers with one 3 TD game already, but has also shown the ability to run after the catch the few times he has gotten the ball in the open field. He’s under-rated right now, but if declares for the draft Williams stock will skyrocket after the combine.

NFL comparison – Kyle Rudolph

Projection – 3rd round

3.) Nick O’Leary, SR  Florida St

Attributes – 6’3, 247, 4.65

Scouting report – Solid all around receiving option with good hands, good route-running ability and a knack for getting open in the end zone. His blocking needs work, but he has the potential to develop into a 3-down TE. O’Leary is a very intense player on the field and seems to have good leadership qualities.

NFL comparison – A smaller, saner Jeremy Shockey

Projection – 4th round

4.) Clive Walford, SR Miami

Attributes – 6’4, 258, 4.7

Scouting report – Has become one of Miami’s most consistent receivers this year after being ignored by QB Stephen Morris last season. Walford is already a solid blocker, has good hands, and isn’t a stiff after the catch. His lack of speed or explosiveness will keep him from ever being a dominant receiver but his all around skills could keep on the field for 3 downs.

NFL comparison – Larry Donnell

Projection – 4th round

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5.) Ben Koyack, SR Notre Dame

Attributes – 6’5, 254, 4.75

Scouting report – Didn’t see much playing time early in his career backing up Tyler Eifert and Troy Niklas, but Koyack has been a solid TE for the Irish this year. He isn’t as good of a receiver as Eifert, but is a better blocker and not quite the blocker Niklas was, but is a better receiver. He has the size, blocking ability, hands, and enough speed to play on Sundays and eventually could be a starting caliber TE in the league.

NFL comparison – Andrew Quarless

Projection – 4th round

6.)  Jeff Heuerman, SR Ohio St

Attributes – 6’5, 265, 4.68

Scouting report – Many expected Heuerman to have a breakout 2014 but once QB Braxton Miler went down, the Buckeyes offense pretty much ignored the TE position. Heuerman has 10 less catches this year (16) than he did in 2013. His spot on this list is more about potential than anything else. Heuerman is strong enough to be a dominant blocker, reportedly has been timed as low as 4.5 and according to the OSU media guide has a 38″ vertical. If Heuerman ends up in an offense that likes to utilize TEs in the open field he could end up being the best pro on this list. He plays with an aggressive demeanor that will make him a fan favorite wherever he ends up and is always looking to inflict pain on defenders.

Projection – 4th round