As I mentioned on Thursday, the battle between Tight End Prospects Zach Ertz of Stanford and Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame is an intriguing one. Today the two had a chance to take the field at the combine and display some tangibles in an attempt to separate themselves from one another.
I had the opportunity to watch closely as these two lifted weights, sprinted, shuffled, and most importantly, caught passes. Here are some of the numbers they posted:
Bench Press: 22 (225 lbs.)
40 Yard Dash: 4.68
Broad Jump: 9’ 11”
Vertical Jump: 35.5
Bench Press: 24 (225 lbs.)
40 Yard Dash: 4.76
Broad Jump: 9’3”
Vertical Jump: 30.5
As you can see, the numbers posted by the two shows how similar they are to one another; it is truly like splitting hairs. With that being said, if I had to give an edge to one of these pass-catchers based solely off their performances at the combine, I would have to say Eifert performed better. Now I do not like to put too much stock in the combine, considering the players are in shorts. But, from a pure metrics standpoint, I think Tyler Eifert solidified his worthiness of being a first round pick.
As an aside, it was interesting to listen to GM Thomas Dimitroff speak at the combine today and discuss the chances of Tony Gonzalez returning. Dimitroff noted that he was being “optimistic” when he mentioned that there is a 50-50 chance Gonzalez will suit up for another season. He went on to say that the tight end position will be one of emphasis this weekend, from a scouting perspective. I wonder which tight end, if any, stole his heart earlier this afternoon.
Below I have posted a graph, courtesy of secondroundstats.com, that Dimitroff may find particularly interesting. The graphic shows on which down each player caught the highest percentage of passes. Considering how much Matt Ryan loves finding Tony Gonzalez on third down, I think it is relevant to see which of these ends corralled more footballs on third down. Take a look: