Breaking down the 2012 TE class

Blocking, catching and toughness all important for tight ends

Updated: April 24, 2012, 11:03 AM ET
By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl | Scouts Inc.

Offensive cheat sheets: Insider QB | RB | WR | TE | OL

When evaluating tight ends, it is important to consider all aspects of their games -- separation skills, ball skills, big-play ability, competitiveness and blocking.

Here's how we rank the top 2012 tight ends by skill set (non-seniors noted with an asterisk), as well as a look at all draftable prospects, recent timing and measurement averages for combine tight ends, market trends at the position and Round 1 and 2 picks from 2011.

[+] EnlargeCoby Fleener
Marc Serota/Getty ImagesCoby Fleener's athleticism helped vault him to the top of the tight end class.

Separation Skills

The challenge when evaluating a tight end's separation skills is to sift through those potentially deceptive variables, which include his supporting cast, the offensive system he plays in and the types of defensive coverages and level of competition he faces. While there's no exact formula, some of the key ingredients include recognition skills, initial burst, change-of-direction skills and competitiveness.

Top three in class
1. Coby Fleener, Stanford
2. Dwayne Allen, Clemson
3. Michael Egnew, Missouri

Ball Skills