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Top 5 tight-ends in college football for 2018

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
115   //    13 Aug 2018, 01:30 IST

Hawaii v UCLA
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Now that we've talked about the running backs and wide receivers, we move on the best tight ends in the country heading into this upcoming season.

To make things clear once more, this is a ranking of these players at this stage of their career, not scouting reports for the NFL.

Honorable mentions: Tom Sweeney (Boston College), Matt Bushman (BYU), C.J. Conrad (Kentucky)



#1 Caleb Wilson, UCLA

Oregon State v UCLA
The Bruin pass-catcher has quicks out of his breaks, exceptional hands and the speed to gain yards after the catch

As far as receiving tight-ends go, I don’t think there’s a more dynamic guy in the country than Wilson.

The Bruin pass-catcher has quicks out of his breaks, exceptional hands and the speed to gain yards after the catch.

He has the shake at the top of his routes to expose defenders in man-coverage as well as the understanding of how to find openings in-between the zones.

Texas A&M got to know that in the season-opener when Wilson was a crucial piece to UCLA’s 27-point comeback in the fourth quarter.

Wilson started by eating up the Aggies zone-coverage before leaving their best defender Amani Watts standing routinely on those stick-nod routes towards the post, leading to a ridiculous 15 catches for over 200 yards.

Unfortunately, he only played in five games, but he was the nation’s top tight-end according to Pro Football Focus, before going down with an injury.


#2 Noah Fant, Iowa

Iowa v Nebraska
The Hawkeye tight-end gets after it in the run game and creates major movement at the point of attack

If you are looking for a premier combination of size, speed and hands, Fant is your guy. The Hawkeye tight-end gets after it in the run game and creates major movement at the point of attack.

Opposing defenses have to leave someone over the top of Fant or he will burn the next-closest defender, who trails him down the seams, and he tracks the ball over his head like a wide receiver.

He is deadly on crossing routes underneath and over the top of linebackers is a potent YAC target coming across the formation towards the flats off bootlegs.

On an offense that ran the ball ten times more than they threw it on average per game, Fant only caught 30 balls for just under 500 yards, but 11 of those went for touchdowns.

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