2014 NFL Combine Preview: Five Tight Ends to Watch

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Oct 12, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Jace Amaro (22) rushes after catching a pass against the Iowa State Cyclones in the second half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than a week away from the NFL combine, which means we are getting closer and closer to figuring out who the Kansas City Chiefs are going to select in the 2014 draft. For the next few days we are going to take a look at some of the guys who could play in to the Chiefs draft thoughts and therefore, should have your attention at the combine.

On tap today is the tight end position. Tight end has been a target on some fans and pundit’s mock drafts due to the lack of production the Chiefs got out of the position last season. Kansas City went into the year thinking Anthony Fasano, Tony Moeaki, and Travis Kelce would be their tight ends, but the three combined to appear in just 10 games, with Fasano being the only one of the three to make a catch in a regular season game.

There is a lot to like with Kelce and Fasano returning next season, but there is an understandable unease after all of the injuries. Does this merit the Chiefs taking a tight end in the first round? Or should they supplement the tight end position with more of a project type?

Here’s five guys the Chiefs may be interested in.

1. Jace Amaro

School: Texas Tech
Watch to Watch: Medicals, Blocking Drill, Bench Press, Interview
2013 Stats: 106 catches, 1,352 yards, 12.8 ypc, seven touchdowns
Met with Chiefs: No

A frequent first round selection for the Chiefs in mock drafts, Amaro is a skilled receiver who should help any passing game quickly. He has very good hands, with good body control and positioning when the ball is in air. He’s also a pretty physical guy after the catch.

There are issues with him as first round prospect, however. Amaro technically played tight end but really he was more of a receiver in Tech’s pass-happy offense. Rarely was Amaro asked to be an in-line blocker, which will likely be a big issue for him as a rookie.

Also, Amaro comes with two “red flags.” The first involves maturity as he was arrested for felony cred card abuse in March of 2012. The charges were later dropped. The second involves injuries. Amaro missed time in 2012 with a lacerated spleen and was forced out of games in 2013 with knee, head, and shoulder injuries.

Still, there are a lot of raw skills, which could turn Amaro into a very good tight end. Amaro enters the NFL combine with projected elite size, speed, and athleticism, so strong numbers should be expected there. What we need to learn from Amaro is whether or not his body can handle developing into a good enough blocker in the NFL, and whether or not the “maturity tag” is a fair one.

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