Who are the best tight ends coming into the 2018 college football season? Here are the projected 30 top players.
Preview 2018: Top 30 Tight Ends
Based on projections for this college season – and not necessarily based on pro talent and potential – here are the 30 best tight ends coming into the season.
30. Isaac Nauta, Jr. Georgia
The former super-recruit has yet to do too much as a receiver, but the talent is there. He caught nine passes for 114 yards and two scores last season after catching three touchdown passes as a freshman. He’s not massive at 6-4 and 240 pounds, but he can move.
29. C.J. Conrad, Sr. Kentucky
The 6-5, 252-pound veteran has NFL upside with good moves and big-play ability to go along with the right frame. He’s been banged up a bit, but he still averaged almost 18 yards per catch with four scores last season after catching 19 balls for 262 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore.
28. Logan Hessbrook, Sr. Central Michigan
If healthy, lookout. The JUCO transfer stepped in and caught ten passes for 132 yards and a score before getting hurt and missing the rest of the season with a concussion. He’s only 6-3 and 235 pounds, but if he can go, he’s a potential All-MAC star.
27. Irv Smith, Jr. Alabama
He’s got all the next-level talent in the world, but Alabama has to decide to get him the ball. He’s not OJ Howard, but the 6-4, 244-pounder is the son of former NFL tight end Irv Smith, with good blocking skills and coming off a 14-catch, 128-yard, three-score season.
26. Collin Reed, Jr. Appalachian State
A big-time high school receiver, he only has 13 career catches so far at Appalachian State, but he’s making them count making five touchdown grabs last year. The 6-3, 248-pounder has the speed and the hands to do far, far more.
25. Chase Allen, Soph. Iowa State
A star in the classroom and Second-Team All-Big 12 performer on the field, the 6-7, 240-pounder is a brilliant athlete with a world of upside. He can block, but he’ll be more of a receiver after catching four passes for 39 yards in his first season.
24. Tyler Mabry, Jr. Buffalo
A great safety valve for a the fantastic Buffalo quarterbacks, the 6-3, 250-pounder caught 24 passes for 242 yards and a score. He’s got the speed and skills to become more of a deep threat for what’s about to be a high-powered passing game.
23. Daniel Helm, Sr. Duke
Steady over the last two seasons, the 6-4, 255-pound veteran has caught 43 passes for 496 yards and four scores, averaging 11.5 yards per catch. The former Tennessee transfer has the hands and quickness to be even more of a go-to target.
22. Luke Farrell, Soph. Ohio State
It’s going to be his turn to be one of the key parts of the Ohio State offensive puzzle. The 6-6, 250-pound former star recruit only caught two passes for 19 yards, but he should make around 30 grabs.
21. Evan Butts, Sr. Virginia
The veteran ACC academic all-star turned into a dangerous part of the offensive puzzle. At 6-4 and 250 pounds he has the size, and he has the receiving skills catching 32 passes for 266 yards and two scores. The ability is there to start stretching the field more.
20. Mitchell Wilcox, Jr. USF
He only caught 17 passes for 158 yards, but he’s got the 6-5, 245-pound size and he’s got the speed to be devastating down the field, averaging over 23 yards per catch as a freshman but just 9.3 yards per grab last year.
19. Kam McKnight, Jr. Louisiana Tech
Built like a fullback, the 6-2, 232-pounder can hit, and he’s also one of Conference USA’s better receiving tight ends, making 19 grabs for 288 yards and two touchdowns. With his build, he’s great around the goal line, running for three scores, too.
18. Joey Magnifico, Jr. Memphis
While not a big bulky blocker, the 6-4, 235-pounder can hit a little bit. However, his job is as a dangerous downfield target in the high-powered Tiger offense, making 21 grabs last season for 280 yards and three touchdowns averaging over 13 yards per catch.
17. Brandon Fritts, Sr. North Carolina
Great when healthy, he missed a bulk of time as a sophomore, but bounced back to catch 25 passes for 177 yards and four touchdowns for a limited passing game. If the 6-4, 250-pounder gets better quarterback play, he could be a star. He might turn out to be a better pro than a college player.
16. Ravian Pierce, Sr. Syracuse
While not all that huge at 6-3 and 244 pounds, the former JUCO transfer can get down the field, catching 29 passes for 263 yards and four touchdowns. He’s got the speed to make bigger plays and be a much, much bigger part of the high-powered Orange passing attack.
15. Tyler Petite, Sr. USC
A solid target for Sam Darnold, he caught 23 passes for 307 yards and three touchdowns earning all-conference honors. The 6-4, 250-pounder is built like a big wide receiver, and now he’s got the experience to do more.
14. Dax Raymond, Jr. Utah State
He’d be devastating in a high-end passing offense. The 6-5, 245-pounder is built like a big wide receiver, finishing second on the team with 41 catches for 456 yards and a score.
13. Jake Breeland, Jr. Oregon
He might not be the pro prospect some of the other top Pac-12 tight ends are, but he’s going to be among the league’s most productive receivers. The 6-5, 243-pounder averages 18.5 yards per catch making five touchdown grabs last season on 18 catches.
12. Jared Pinkney, Jr. Vanderbilt
A fantastic receiver in his first two seasons, he followed up a 22-catch freshman campaign with 22 catches for 279 yards and three scores. At 6-4 and 255 pounds, he’s a big target who’s turning into one of the most dependable receivers for a terrific passing attack.
11. Harrison Bryant, Jr. Florida Atlantic
After a promising freshman season, he took to Lane Kiffin’s offense finishing third on the team with 408 yards and five touchdowns on 32 catches. The 6-5, 240-pounder missed the last three games of the season, but he was steady throughout.