Comparing Colts to Combine: Top Tight End Prospects


The NFL Combine is currently underway in Indianapolis, and Friday saw specialists, offensive lineman, and tight ends peform their respective drills. As more of a “just for fun” comparison, we have compiled the measurables of two of the most highly regarded tight ends in this year’s draft class in Maxx Williams from Minnesota and Clive Walford from Miami (Fla.).

Like the two talented Indianapolis Colts tight ends they will be compared to in Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen, both tight end prospects are projected to be selected among the 1st 3 rounds of this year’s NFL Draft. It’s worth noting that Coby Fleener was taken in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft, while Dwayne Allen followed him in the 3rd round of the same draft.

Looking over the measurables, and Coby Fleener clearly blows up “on paper“. It clearly shows why he was so highly regarded coming out of Stanford with his combination of size, speed, and vertical jump. At 6’6”, Fleener ran an exceptional 4.51 forty-time to go along with an impressive vertical jump of 37.0 inches:

However, on the other hand, you also get to the limitations of measurables and “paper numbers” in general. Purely going off this, and one wouldn’t think that Dwayne Allen was all that great of a tight end prospect in comparison. However, NFL Draft Expert Mike Mayock always talks about making sure scouts don’t fall in love “with a player in gym shorts“, and players like Allen are a big reason why.

Despite so-so measurables, Allen has proven to be one of the most complete tight ends in all of football when healthy with his ability to both block and catch. On paper, a 4.89 forty-time isn’t all that impressive, but he possesses “in-game” speed, and it’s more than enough to make the burly 255 pounder a tremendous asset in the receiving game with his ability to run and catch. It reinforces the belief that actual game film should take precedent over strictly measurables.

It will be interesting to see how the careers of Williams and Walford ultimately turn out, yet if they perform like the Colts talented duo of tight ends has after 3 seasons in the NFL, they’ll be off to a more than promising start.

Dec 28, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Coby Fleener (80) catches a touchdown pass from Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (8) (not pictured) against Tennessee Titans strong safety Daimion Stafford (39)during the second half at LP Field. Colts defeated the Titans 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports