I wanted to make Tight End Tips 2 short-and-sweet, so we’re going to finish-up with some quick analysis of the future Hall of Famer, Tony Gonzalez.
As you know, the list of skills we’re going to observe in-action come from credible sources; a late-great 3-time Super Bowl Champion head coach in Bill Walsh, and Mr. Greg Gabriel, with nearly 30 years of scouting experience in the NFL.
If you want to personally check out their articles on tight ends, check out Bill Walsh’s How I Evaluate Each Position: Tight End and Gabriel’s Scouting Tight Ends and Receivers from the National Football Post.
Observing the Skills In-Action
Jumping ability is one of the abilities NFL scouts look for in receiving tight ends and wide receivers, and Tony Gonzalez’ leaping ability is incredible for a guy is size.
His size, combined with his jumping ability makes it nearly impossible for a defensive players to compete with him in the air. At the beginning of the video, he shows off his jumping ability where he dunks the ball on the goal post after his TD against the Bucs. He claims to have a 38-inch vertical.
And for a tight end, his route running is exceptional. At about the 1:31 mark, Coach Tomlin of the Steelers talks about how well he runs his routes.
…his savvy approach to route-running… The way he creates separation, the way he utilizes his body…
Tony arguably has the best footwork of any tight end that’s ever played the game. Around the 3:13 mark, check out how well-coordinated his feet are as he lands with the ball in the end zone for those last couple plays in the video.
Scoot the video back to about the :12 mark, and watch how he stops his feet and jukes the defender… backwards.
In the wide receiver articles, remember when Coach Walsh said he looked for plays that showed extreme focus on the part of the receiver he’s analyzing? Yeah? Well check out the play at the :23 mark, where he catches a ball while jumping, with a man on his back… and another defender gunning for his head after he caught the ball, and tell me that’s not “extreme focus.”
In part 1, I mentioned how Gabriel said that when he looked for Y tight ends, he wanted them to be able to block like a smaller offensive tackles. The video doesn’t show him blocking, but next time you watch a Falcons game, watch him in action.
You know you’re a good blocker when eight-time Pro Bowl and Hall of Famer tight end Shannon Sharpe says you’re a great blocker.
Who’s the best tight end in the game right now? I don’t know who’s the best, but I do know that Tony Gonzalez has to be in your top 3, unless you’re blind.
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