Over the last two drafts, there have been 30 TEs drafted-- an average of 15 per year for those of you bad at maths.
This year's TE crew is considered to be very deep, one of the deepest in many years, and although Mayer is the only one predicted to go in the first round, there are at least 15 guys who show up on most lists of draftable TEs. When I look at their various ratings, one thing occurs to me... the gap between #2 and #15 (or so) isn't large. Then I add in the fact that so few TEs are worth a damn early in their career and I start thinking about value.
Who might slide down to our pick in the 6th round, and would we be willing to play a year with Smythe, Long, and Conner?
If you are believer in the value drafting game, I propose that this is a prime spot for this approach.
I agree in general. But to me TE is far more valuable to Miami's O then most teams. Also while TE is deep our O requires a more traditional/all around TE. So a lot of these TE basically are off the board for Miami as they can't handle the TE position in Miami.
The importance of TE (a solid all around one) is huge in our O. Most NFL teams run 11 personnel a vast majority of the time. Miami is one of the few that doesn't. We run 12,21 and 22 a lot. So not only do we not have 3WRs on the field we may have 2 TEs. Look at most teams the top 3 WRs get a lot if targets, in Miami (SF as well) after the top 2 WRs the targets start going to TEs and RBs at a much higher rate.
We really need a all around TE. One that can block inline, block in space, and be a receiver. Smythe was a good inline blocker but below average blocker in space and below average receiver(slow as heck into his routes). MG well he was a disaster in preseason (a few early games) we asked to play that role. Long who knows showed so decent iline blocking but nothing else yet. So TE is a major need.
As I mentioned earlier while the draft in deep in TEs, a lot won't fit the TE position in Miami. I haven't look at all the TEs in this draft but a couple I like so far. Of the top guys (outside Mayer) I really like Washington. Maybe the most physically gifted in the draft. He has length and size. He also as good feet and quickness Good inline blocker in pass pro, and good run blocker in space. Has shown to be a good receiver when targeted (played with Bowers). Biggest weakness is he doesn't have the high gear so wouldn't draw much safety over the top help. Though that really isn't huge as that is Hill and Waddles job. I think he would have huge upside in our O. But would need to use 2nd round pick and if he tests good may not even drop to there.
Another guy like (michigan fan so have seen a lot) is Shoonmaker as a later round guy. While nit amazing at any one thing, he is all around solid. Got plus length and solid pass pro blocking. Solid hands and toughness over the middle. Played a lot in a NFL heavy TE O at Michigan, so learning curve should be less. Big knock on him is also lack of second gear, so not a downfield seam TE.