San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (ICON Sports)

In the Tight End Tips series (click here for part 2), we discussed what NFL scouts look for tight end’s, but now what?

I mean, knowing what they look for is cool, but I think we need to take it a step further and take some action on this info!


If you’re like most guys with dreams of playing pro ball, you have to either foot the bill for training yourself, or you have to just flat-out train yourself.

To help you out, I’ve gathered a bunch of drills that you can do.

But not just any drills.  These are drills that’ll help you get better at most of the specific things NFL scouts look for when they’re analyzing tight ends.

A lot of drills out there require equipment of some kind.  But in case you’re on a budget, I made sure that these drills need either very little equipment, or none at all.

Disclaimer: If you’re injured, or have health issues, please consult with a doctor before doing any of this stuff.  I, nor is responsible if you hurt yourself, or tear-up your mom’s house trying to do these drills.

With that said, let’s continue.


There’s a difference between running a fast 40 and having football speed.  There’s a lot of guys that don’t play fast, but can run a 4.4 or below in a t-shirt and shorts.

You should want to do both well, but football speed is the more important of the two.

In fact, we did a post on improving football speed.  Check it out:

What Everybody Ought to Know about Football Speed

This guy gives you some largely unknown tips on running the 40.

I was really impressed with the information in this video.  He explains the strategy of every single part of the 40, but from the perspective of the scouts or personnel that’ll be timing you in the 40.

The more you know (and apply what you know) about how they time, the better. He then gives you a strategy to use to run the 40, that’s based on how they time the 40.

This guy gives you some strategies for running the 40 too, along with examples of specific exercises you can do to trim time off your 40 time.

If you’re a football player, you should be familiar with the names of the exercises that he mentions.  If you’re not, you may want to try Google’ing the terms and exercises he mentions to become more familiar.


Run Blocking


This video takes you through some drills you can do to get better at run blocking.

You might have something you can use around the house to substitute for the block pad.  If not, they’re not that expensive.  I’ve seen them online for $50, on the low end.

This video takes you through the footwork you should be using throughout the whole run block progression.


Pass Blocking


This one gives you the fundamentals of pass blocking, and even takes you throug some drills you can do to work on your technique.

This one show you some fundamentals of pass blocking, as well.

Notice towards the middle of the video, where he gives some instruction on what he calls “pounding the post”, which simulates the technique you’d want to use to stop a defensive end that starts out attacking your outside shoulder, then redirects towards your inside shoulder.

As a tight end, you’ll face this move pretty often squaring off against d-ends. (Courtesy

This video shows you a bunch of drills you can do that’ll help you with your pass and run blocking technique.



This video teaches you proper hand techniques on the offensive line.

The below video, courtesy of Kerr Athletics, gives some great insights on the different hand techniques to use in the different situations you’ll face as an offensive tackle.

In this video, Chris Gizzi(former NFL linebacker) and LeCharles Bentley (former NFL Center) go over the dynamics of the basics of hand placement and what you’re trying to do as an offensive lineman when it comes to working with your hands.

As the guy in the video below points out, strong hands are ok, but really be effective with your hands, you need to be quick with your hands.

The drills in the video will help you develop hand quickness, and can be done at home.  For the last drill, you should be able to find something around the house you can use to replace the bag that he’s swinging at the kid in the video.

The drills in the video below will show you some ladder drills you can use to help you get faster with your hands.  Again, you don’t really need to buy a ladder, you can just use tape, or chalk, or something, to mark your spots on the floor.




The world famous dot drill.  Great drill to do to warm up before your workout.

Wow.  That’s all I’m gonna say on this one.


Route Running


Former NFL wide receiver Wendell Davis gives some tips on running effective routes.  (Courtesy


This one, introduces you to the M Drill (and different variances of it), that’ll help you make sharper cuts in your routes.


Some great WR drills here…  They even have caption under some of the drills to explain what you should be trying to get accomplished in them.




This one gives you the proper stance for tight ends, and then gives you insight on how the rip and swim release techniques to use to get off the line on passing plays.

This video takes you through different techniques and drills to get a clean release against press and off-man.




This drill, helps tight ends improve their change of direction abilities.

This video below introduces the 2-3-2-3 drill, which’ll help you with your lateral agility and quickness.

They’re using speed hurdles on the video, but you might be able to find, or make, something around the house that you can use instead.

This drill is designed to help you develop the lateral speed you’ll need to excel as a tight end.

This drill reminds me of my db days back in college, but it’s great for tight ends, too.

I really like the drills in this video.  You can just watch these guys perform these drills and see how helpful they can be in helping you develop your abilities to change directions on a dime.


Body Control


I don’t think much explaining is needed on this one, just watching the video makes it pretty apparent that this’ll help you develop better body control.

This is the same drill as the one above, except this one is done with one leg, instead of two.

This drill will help you with you body control as well.

The 90 degree “hip popper” drill is great for body control. (Courtesy


OK family, gotta run for now.  

Click here to check out part 2.

By the way, if you have any other drills that can help tight ends, leave em in the comments!

Also, I’m curious…  Who’s the best tight end in the league right now?

Catch me on Twitter!  @alvingrier

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