Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Combine: Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert Emerging as Top Tight End in Draft Class

The tight end position in the 2013 NFL Draft isn’t a position that people are watching above any other but it is an interesting race to watch. When we entered the NFL Combine there were two clear cut front runners to be named the best tight end prospect in the draft class but so far it seems only one of them is running with the title. Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert ran a 4.60-second 40 yard dash in Indianapolis which is one of the fastest among those at his position.

Eifert is doing everything right at the Combine so far and in combination with his success at Notre Dame and the emergence of the tight end as a viable target in the NFL, Eifert is not only solidifying his stauts as a first round draft pick but he’s quickly becoming one of the best offensive prospects in the draft.

Zach Ertz from Stanford was viewed as the best tight end in the draft but despite posting a solid 40-yard dash time, Ertz has fallen behind Eifert as the top tight end in the draft. But while Ertz is still viewed as a 1-B option to Eifert, a third tight end has used the Combine to emerge as a serious candidate to be the third or even the second tight end off the board in April.

Arkansas’ Chris Gragg ran the fastest 40-yard dash time of any tight end at the combine making him the fastest tight end prospect in the draft class. He’s also managed to impress scouts in other areas as well and is putting together a first-class body of work. To add to his accomplishments at the Combine, Gragg’s former quarterback and current New England Patriots backup Ryan Mallett has compared Gragg to Arron Hernandez, one of the most prototypical tight ends in football.

Mallett has told me that we’re kind of the same size but that he thinks I’m a little faster,” Gragg said. “Hopefully I can go out and show that this week.”

Of course, Ryan Mallett isn’t the best endorsement a prospect can get but most people only hear the comparison to Hernandez rather than the source it’s coming from.

The importance of the tight end in the NFL is undeniable so it’s no surprise that the group of prospects entering the draft this year are getting a large share of the attention. Eifert seems to be the top tight end in the draft, but he’s far from being the only good prospect at the position, as the Combine is clearly roving.

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft NFL NFL Combine NFL Draft Notre Dame Stanford Cardinal Tyler Eifert Zach Ertz

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