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July 20, 2007

Category rankings: Tight ends

The Rivals.com recruiting experts have broken down countless hours of film and racked up plenty of frequent flyer miles to see the top prospects compete at events across the country to come up with the most extensive and accurate prospect rankings and evaluations you will find. In the process of evaluating overall talent, several prospects gained notice for their mastery of specific skills.

We've selected the best of the best in each category for every position and rank the top five in each. In a deep year for top-flight athletes at the tight end position, who is the best athlete of them all? The fastest? Who has the best hands? Read on to find out.

TE rankings: Fastest | Best athlete | Best hands

Jeremy Crabtree's take: For my money you don't get faster and quicker from the tight end position than Stoneburner. He's going to create some amazing match-up problems once he adds the weight of tight end in college. Baldwin and Rudolph are definitely elite at their positions and could register in almost all of these categories. Dion Jordan is another one that has some great ability to burn people.

Mike Farrell's take: A much quicker and more athletic group than 2007. Plenty of these guys can be a factor in a vertical passing game.

JC Shurburtt's take: Of interest is that the top two guys could very well end up at WR in college.

  • Vote: Who is the fastest?
  • 1. Jonathan Baldwin, 6-6, 225, Aliquippa (Pa.) Baldwin highlights
    2. Jake Stoneburner, 6-6, 223, Dublin (Ohio) Coffman Stoneburner highlights
    3. Kyle Rudolph, 6-6, 229, Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder Rudolph highlights
    4. Dion Jordan, 6-6, 215, Chandler (Ariz.)
    5. Dwayne Allen, 6-4, 243, Fayetteville (N.C.) Terry Sanford Allen highlights
    Best Athlete
    Crabtree's take: Rudolph is also a great basketball player and it's amazing to see a big guy like him do what he can do. Middleton is athletic enough that he's already been compared to Tony Gonzalez. Brandon Moore is going to mature into his great athletic ability when he gets older. Right now he's a great athlete that's still raw in some areas of the game, but can he jump out of the building.

    Farrell's take: Baldwin is a two-sport stud and he and Stoneburner could play WR at the next level while Kyle Rudolph can do things in the slot.

    Shurburtt's take: A tremendous group. This category really signifies the overall spirit of this great group of tight ends.

  • Vote: Who is the best athlete?
  • 1. Jonathan Baldwin, 6-6, 225, Aliquippa (Pa.) Baldwin highlights
    2. Kyle Rudolph, 6-6, 229, Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder Rudolph highlights
    3. Kavario Middleton, 6-6, 250, Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes Middleton highlights
    4. Brandon Moore, 6-6, 243, Trotwood (Ohio) Madison Moore highlights
    5. Dwayne Allen, 6-4, 243, Fayetteville (N.C.) Terry Sanford Allen highlights
    Best Hands
    Crabtree's take: All of these kids in this group have amazing hands. Biere caught everything that was thrown his way at the NIKE Camp, and Hanna's clips of his catches are amazing. Fauria has also some of the softest hands of anybody at the position.

    Farrell's take: Rudolph catches everything out in front and has tremendous hands.

    Shurburtt's take: A great deal of modern college football is about matchups. These guys all can cause pain in the red zone.

  • Vote: Who has the best hands?
  • 1. Kyle Rudolph, 6-6, 229, Cincinnati (Ohio) Elder Rudolph highlights
    2. Joseph Fauria, 6-8, 250, Encino (Calif.) Crespi Fauria highlights
    3. Blake Ayles, 6-4, 245, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran Ayles highlights
    4. James Hanna, 6-5, 216, Flower Mound (Texas) Hanna highlights
    5. Tim Biere, 6-4, 226, Omaha (Neb.) Westside Biere highlights

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