How Much Does Speed Matter for Tight Ends?
In hindsight, it's pretty easy to see why Jimmy Graham has become one of the dominant tight ends in the NFL: a 6-7, 265-pound frame, a 38.5-inch vertical, and 4.53 speed. Graham is a bit of a freak, but he's not the only athlete-turned-tight end who has succeeded in the NFL.
Tight ends are used to cause matchup problems for defenses, and one of the ways the best receiving tight ends get open because is by outrunning linebackers. However, tight ends are unique in that they're often asked to utilize different aspects of their games based on various factors, such as the play-call or the defensive personnel. Tight ends must be versatile; in addition to beating linebackers with speed, they need to be strong enough to block and big enough to outmuscle defensive backs in the passing game.
That's displayed in the different types of tight ends out there; speedsters like Graham, Greg Olsen (4.50) and Dustin Keller You've reached the end of our free article preview.
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