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Brian Parker, Mycole Pruitt, and the Rest of the 2015 Rookie Tight Ends


We recently published our rookie tight end rankings, so I thought I’d briefly offer some thoughts about this year’s class. Last season I spent a lot of time analyzing TEs; this year, not so much. This year’s class lacks the star power of last year’s, and given the time it generally takes for TEs to master the pro game, there hasn’t been much urgency for identifying promising rookies this season.

That said, it’s always good to have an idea of who might be a diamond in the rough. Let’s take a look. There are two in particular I like.

2015 Rookie Tight Ends

Jesse James792614.8312.03158.50.1821.2
Brian Parker762654.7511.43157.50.223.3
Mycole Pruitt742514.5811.621560.3823.4
Wes Saxton752484.6511.781550.0622.1
Jeff Heuerman772544.810154.50.0522.8
Tyler Kroft782464.7511.681540.0922.9
Maxx Williams762494.7811.67151.50.5321.4
Jace Amaro772654.7411.721510.2322.5
Clive Walford762514.7911.89150.50.2923.9
CJ Uzomah782624.6211.791490.0822.6
Blake Bell782524.811.171490.1524.1
Ben Koyack772554.7911.841460.0722.4
Nick Boyle76268511.36142.50.2222.5
E.J. Bibbs742584.8811.74141.50.2524.0
Nick O'Leary752524.9311.9140.50.2223.0
Gerald Christian752444.8711.8200.1622.0

Some comments about the table. I included last year’s top three tight ends for comparison. You’ll also notice a “Hit” and “Miss” entry. Based on my work last season studying over 160 TEs, the Hit entry represents the average of the top 20 percent, while the Miss entry represents the average of the bottom 80 percent. DR is Dominator Rating. Agility is the sum of 3-cone and shuttle times. Explosion is the sum of vertical and broad jumps.

  • There are plenty of reasons to like Maxx Williams. He has good explosion, he’s young, and really dominated his team’s passing game. On the other hand, he’s on the slow side for his size, and his agility is less than ideal.
  • Clive Walford is even slower and less agile at essentially the same size. He’ll also be almost 24 years old when the season starts. Because he’s likely to be drafted higher than everybody except Williams, I have him ranked as my second TE this year, but I’m not really a fan. In a vacuum, I much prefer the next two guys.
  • As a default, the table is sorted by Explosion. It’s not that I think Explosion is the most important trait. But sorting this way puts Jon Moore favorite Jesse James next to my personal favorite Brian Parker. Other than age,1 Parker compares very favorably to James. Even though he’s older, he’s basically the same age as the top 20 percent of TEs were when they entered the league.
  • Athletically, Parker compares very well to Jace Amaro.
  • Parker’s agility, given his size, is really impressive, and something that bodes well for his potential.
  • Parker also boasts an impressive SPARQ score – and highlight reel.
  • Speaking of agility, I’m not sure how Nick Boyle can be so agile, and yet so slow.
  • Another intriguing name in this table is Mycole Pruitt, whose blazing speed, explosion, and DR really stand out. He also averaged an incredible 6.8 receptions per game last season.
  • If I could re-do my TE rankings, I’d move Pruitt ahead of Nick O’Leary, whose lack of athleticism is really clear in this table.
  • In dynasty leagues, if I think I need to add to my TE depth and can’t snag Williams, I’d look to scoop one of Parker, James, or Pruitt after the draft.

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