Don’t rush to draft a tight end this year!

With a couple of drafts under my belt at this point, I wanted to point out that this year’s tight end class is DEEP! To the right you can see a list of the free agent tight ends in Matt and my League of Champions league. If I hadn’t drafted a backup, you’d also find Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez on that list. Realistically, beyond the top 4-6 tight ends (Gates, Finley, Clark, Witten and maybe Daniels and Davis) there is no saying how the final numbers will end up for the position. Are you really confident that someone like Marcedes Lewis is going to be better than some of the guys on that free agent list? Lot’s of people do apparently, since his average draft position is in the 9th round somehow.

New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, a second year player who has 31 catches in his career, is currently being drafted in the 6th round! You have to have some serious confidence that he’s going to pick up exactly where he left off at the end of last season to invest that much in him. Personally, I’d much rather grab a receiver like Mario Manningham or Kenny Britt in the 6th round, then pair them up with a tight end like Tony Gonzalez, Kellen Winslow or even Zach Miller (who should be solid with John Carlson now out for the year.)

It might not be the norm in most years, but this season, as long as your league has around five bench spots available, you might consider drafting a backup tight end (specifically Aaron Hernandez.) Hernandez and his teammate Rob Gronkowski can produce like a top flight tight end on any given week. Zach Miller, Todd Heap and Jermaine Gresham could also end up being very good as their inexperienced quarterbacks continuously look for safety valves.

Similar things can be said about the quarterback position this year, so make sure to focus much of your attention early in the draft on the running back and wide receiver positions. The talent at those positions is not as deep and you don’t want to find yourself rolling out some scrubs each week just because you wanted to gamble on Jimmy Graham (who could end being awesome…but could end up not being awesome too!)