2024 Pre-NFL Draft Rookie TE Dynasty Rankings


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2024 Pre-NFL Draft Rookie TE Dynasty Rankings

In this article, I will be ranking the top rookie tight ends for your dynasty fantasy football rookie drafts.

I will be approaching this year’s article only slightly differently from past seasons (2023, 2022, 2021). Rather than rank these prospects entirely by their analytics profile, I am now more heavily weighting both projected draft capital (courtesy of NFL Mock Draft Database) and Brett Whitefield’s film score as key variables. However, the bulk of the analysis below will remain very analytics-driven.

For a deeper dive into a player’s film-based evaluation, please consult the (totally free to read) Fantasy Points Prospect Guide.

With the TE position in particular, it’s important to remember that (in any given season) very few TEs actually matter for fantasy. Historically, it’s been a position marked by immense income inequality, ruled by only a few wealthy elites, and existing wholly without a middle class. There are typically only 1-2 what I call “Oligarch TEs” ruling over the rest of the peasants. The Oligarch TEs are true fantasy cheat codes, but beyond them, TEs are significantly less valuable than RBs, WRs, and QBs in the game of fantasy. For this reason – paired with the naturally high bust rate at the position – you’ll notice I seem to care a great deal more about upside than perceived safety.


1. Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia Bulldogs

Height: 6-3, Weight: 243 lbs, 40-yard-dash: N/A

SPORQ: DNQ, Former: 4-star, Age: 21.4 (2nd-youngest in class) Proj. Draft Capital: Round 1 (TE1)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 90.4 out of 100 (TE1)

Brief Bio

High School: 4-star recruit. As a high school junior Bowers turned 39 catches into 1,098 yards (28.2 YPR) and 14 touchdowns, while also adding 316 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns on the ground. His senior season was cancelled due to COVID.

Freshman: At 18 years old, Bowers put together the best freshman season by any FBS TE on record. With a 56-882-13 receiving line through 15 games (4-56-1 rushing), Bowers led all Power 5 TEs in receiving yards, and his 14 touchdowns were the most by any Power 5 TE in any season all-time. His production also dwarfed that of any Georgia teammate. His 58.8 YPG was 1.7X that of Jermaine Burton (proj. Round 3), 2.0X that of Ladd McConkey (proj. Round 2), 2.1X that of Adonai Mitchell (proj. Round 2), and 4.2X that of Darnell Washington (Round 3). Throughout the playoffs, he posted a 19-230-3 line through 3 games, well above top WR Jermaine Burton’s 6-121-1.

Sophomore: Bowers was more productive as a sophomore, compiling a 64-942-7 line as a receiver, and 9-109-3 as a runner. He again led all Power 5 TEs — and his team — in receiving yards, en route to winning the John Mackey Award. In the National Championship, he posted a 7-152-1 line (team-high 45% YMS).

Junior: Bowers missed some time due to injury, compiling a 56-714-6 line as a receiver and a 6-28-1 line as a runner in 10 games. In other words, Bowers led the Bulldogs in receiving yards for the third straight season (despite missing 4 games), and he improved in receiving YPG for the third straight season: 58.8 to 62.8 to 71.4. (For perspective, Ladd McConkey averaged 53.1 YPG in his best season.) Bowers returned to the field only 26 days after tightrope surgery on his ankle and reportedly wasn't quite right throughout the remainder of the season. Before that injury, Bowers was averaging an even more impressive 90.8 YPG through 6 games. (Georgia saw a 24% dropoff in passing YPG across the 4 games he missed.) Once again, Bowers won the John Mackey Award, becoming the first TE to accomplish this feat multiple times. (It was a travesty he didn’t also win as a freshman.)

Dank Stats

Not technically a stat, but just in case this isn’t clear… It is absolutely insane that Brock Bowers, a TE (and only 18 and 19 years old) was glaringly the best receiver (possibly the best player) on two incredibly stacked National Championship-winning teams.

As a runner, Brock Bowers totaled 19 carries for 193 yards (10.2 YPC) and 5 touchdowns. He had more NCAA career rushing touchdowns than Vikings RB Kene Nwangwu (Round 4).

He holds PFF College-era records in career… receiving grade (94.1), receiving yards (2,541), receiving touchdowns (26), receiving yards after contact (689), and receiving missed tackles forced (44). No one else comes close. Among all Power 5 TEs, he also leads in career receiving YPG (63.5) and career touchdown-adjusted-YPRR (3.19).

Georgia QBs had a near-perfect 148.9 passer rating when targeting Bowers. This ranks best of any TE (min. 80 career targets) since at least 2014, and 2nd-best of any receiver (min. 140 targets), behind only DeVonta Smith (153.4). When targeting all other receivers, Georgia QBs earned a passer rating of just 105.6.

Since 2015, only two Power 5 TEs have ever cleared 2.80 YPRR in a single season (min. 175 routes run): Kyle Pitts in 2020 (3.26) and Bowers in 2021 (3.01). Before his injury against Vanderbilt in 2023, Bowers was averaging 3.15 YPRR.

In 2021, Bowers converted 53% of his red zone targets into touchdowns. Justin Jefferson’s 2019 season is the only Power 5 season (since 2014) to rank higher.

By first downs per route run, Bowers’ 2021 (0.126) and 2023 seasons (0.125) both rank top-6 among all Power 5 TE seasons since 2014. The only other seasons within that top-6: Kyle Pitts (2020), Dalton Kincaid (2022), Charlie Kolar (2020), and Mark Andrews (2017).

Bowers averaged 12.4 YPT in 2021, the most of any Power 5 TE (minimum 60 targets) since at least 2015. His 2022 season ranks fourth best, behind seasons from Kyle Pitts and T.J. Hockenson.

Jermaine Burton is the only WR from this year’s class to post a better career YPT average (12.1) than Bowers’ 11.3. Keep in mind, Burton’s aDOT was more than twice as high (16.8 vs. 8.1). On non-screen targets (for all players), Bowers leads all positions in career YPT average (13.0).

By one of my all-time favorite stats – YPT over expectation – Bowers easily leads all receivers in this class and all TEs on record (+33.5%), ahead of the previous record holder Dalton Kincaid (+28.2%).

If we exclude Jaylen Samuels (who was drafted as an RB), Bowers’ three seasons rank first, second, and fourth in yards after the catch since 2014, with David Njoku’s 2016 season ranking third.

Bowers’ numbers don’t merely appear to be the best of possibly any TE ever. They also stack up favorably against any WR in this stacked class. For instance, among all Power 5 WRs in this class, only Marvin Harrison Jr. (2.98) and Malik Nabers (2.83) would rank better by career YPRR (2.64). If age-adjusted, Bowers’ numbers would look even more impressive.

Bowers has 3 more career 100-yard receiving games (10) than Ladd McConkey (2), Roman Wilson (2), and Adonai Mitchell (3) combined.

Prospect Profile

If I put Bowers into my WR model, he’d rank as the 3rd-best WR in this class.

If that’s not good enough, there’s also a very compelling argument to be made that Bowers has the best analytics profile of any TE of all time.

I don’t quite agree with that personally – I think Kyle Pitts is a slight step ahead as “the best TE prospect ever,” but would say Bowers is almost certainly 2nd-best.

The key separating factors are:

1) Athleticism. Kyle Pitts is the 2nd-most athletic TE of all-time by SPORQ Score (99.7). Meanwhile, Bowers is a little small for the position (6’3”, 243 pounds), and his athleticism is somewhat of an unknown (but only somewhat [1, 2, 3]) – he opted not to test at the Combine and then his Pro Day.

2) Bowers was far more of a “screen merchant” than Pitts. He holds the College PFF-era record (since 2014) in career screen receiving yards (515) and he’d become the first TE ever drafted over this span to see over 35% of his career catches coming on screens.

However, that’s not to say he has a “fraudulent production profile” as is more likely to be the case with our TE2. Sure, it’s a lot easier to force missed tackles and rack up yards after the catch on the screens. But, crucially, Bowers was still elite without it.

The primary distinction here is that while Pitts was routing up CBs, and appeared to be a true fantasy cheat code… (Pitts looked like the next Travis Kelce. He was more akin to a “WR masquerading as a TE” – in our wildest dreams, “Calvin Johnson with a TE designation for fantasy,” or, in a worst-case scenario, still a TE who should be a team’s top-2 receiver, running routes and rarely ever blocking for the entirety of every game.) …Bowers, on the other hand, is more like “a George Kittle clone.”

If you’re confused as to why I’m using this as a sort of pejorative – when, obviously, Kittle is a fantasy superstar – it’s because Kittle’s blocking prowess puts him at a disadvantage for fantasy, at least in comparison to Kelce, who has run +26% more routes per game over the past three seasons.

I get that Pitts hasn’t yet lived up to the hype. Without getting too far into the weeds, just know there were a high number of complicating factors at play for him (injuries, bad QB play, misusage, incompetent coaching, etc.), and I’m still bullish on his long-term potential… But also, no college-to-pros projection is going to be perfect – it’s not uncommon for a player with an inferior analytics profile to outplay another one. That’s our best indicator, but it isn’t perfect.

Okay, so, basically, he’s probably not the best TE prospect ever, but he’s certainly no worse than 2nd-best. Or in other words, he should be a priority target for you in your rookie drafts – behind only Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and then Rome Odunze in non-superflex drafts, and a hair above Odunze in TE Premium drafts. Or, if in a startup draft, I’d be happy to take him as the first TE off the board.

TL;DR / Conclusion

There are a few other nitpicky concerns I can point to in case he busts. But I don’t think there’s anything there to shake me off of the reality that he’s pretty easily the 2nd-best TE prospect of the past decade. Given recent league-wide trends – the immediate success of Sam LaPorta and other rookie TEs last year, the ever-increasing rate of zone coverage league-wide [1], and the banning of hip-drop tackles – I wouldn’t be surprised if Bowers was already in the “GOAT TE” conversation five years from now.

Tier 2 (Round 3 Rookie Picks)

2. Jaheim Bell, TE, Florida State Seminoles

Height: 6-2, Weight: 241 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.61

SPORQ: 84.8, Former: 3-star, Age: 22.9

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 5 (TE6)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 76.9 (TE5)

Dank Stats

Bell averaged 3.67 YPRR in 2021, the best mark (minimum 125 routes) of any TE since at least 2015. Kyle Pitts had the next-closest season in 2020, with only 3.26 YPRR.

Bell averaged 2.31 YPRR throughout his career, behind only Brock Bowers (2.64), Isaiah Likely (2.42), and Kyle Pitts (2.36) among all TEs to come out since 2020. He averaged over 2.10 YPRR from all key alignments — from the slot (above Bowers), out-wide, or in-line.

Over the last two seasons, PFF deemed 65% of Bell’s targets open, the highest rate in this year’s TE class.

But the dankest stat is this… When it comes to breaking tackles and creating yards on his own once the ball is already in his hands, Bell is not merely the best play-making TE in the class, but the best in at least a decade. Since 2014, Bell has led all Power 5 TEs in both career yards after the catch per reception (9.24) and career missed tackles forced per reception (0.38). And no other TE comes even remotely close.[2]

Prospect Profile

If you look only at the “Dank Stats” section, you might think Bell is elite. And well, that’s at least partly true – he’s my TE2! But we’ll find some alarming red flags on a deeper look.

Bell was elite by YPRR in 2021 (99th percentile), but regressed in 2022 (51st percentile) and 2023 (65th percentile). And there are sample size concerns with that 2021 season – his 133 routes run are well below my typical minimum requirement to qualify for my model. And then, despite his hyper-efficiency in 2021, his route participation barely budged in the following season (33% route share in 2022). In fact, he had more rushing yards (261) than receiving yards (231), and spent more time in the backfield (139 snaps) than in the slot (45), out-wide (28), or in-line (45). That in and of itself is a pretty big red flag.

Bell earned more of a full-time role in 2023, after transferring to Florida State, but had half as many touchdowns and only 6 more yards than he did in 2021 – on almost twice as many routes run. That said, a more charitable way to look at his 2023 season is that he finished within 155 receiving yards of teammates WR Keon Coleman (proj. Round 2) and WR Johnny Wilson (proj. Round 3).

Although – unlike with YPRR – he was still elite in each season by missed tackles forced per reception (94th > 95th > 90th percentile) and yards after the catch per reception (99th > 84th > 82nd percentile), there are concerns here as well. An obscene 54% of Bell’s career catches have come on screens. Since at least 2014, there hasn’t been a single TE drafted who was over 30%. Jaylen Samuels – a TE in college who converted to RB in the pros – at 29.9%, and Jonnu Smith (29.0%) come closest.

This is worrisome for multiple reasons. Primarily, it’s easier to force missed tackles and generate yards after the catch on screens. On top of that, an over-reliance on screens for production can indicate a lack of route-running ability. Or perhaps most damning yet, this raises the possibility – further amplified by his usage in 2022 – that Bell isn’t even really a TE. He’s more of an H-back[3], a tweener, or a gadget player — an archetype that has never panned out for fantasy.

Among the TE prospects in my database who fit this profile and have found some modicum of success at the NFL level, we’ll find the following names: Jaylen Samuels, Charles Clay, Brevin Jordan, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Gerald Everett, Jonnu Smith, Aaron Hernandez, and Delanie Walker.

And this is more or less how I’m viewing Bell. He’s my favorite “sleeper TE” in this class because his upside feels insanely high. But of course, the bust risk is still massively high as well. Let’s say there’s like a 40% chance he never finishes a single season as a top-25 fantasy TE, a 40% chance he’s somewhere on the Jonnu Smith/Gerald Everett spectrum, and a 20% chance he’s Delanie Walker or better. But if you do that math – while remembering that upside is more valuable than downside is detrimental (especially at the TE position) – you can see why that’s still good enough to rank as my overall TE2 in this class, a pretty weak class that is otherwise devoid of upside.

Another key reason I want to lean into Bell’s upside argument is that – ironically – he wasn’t all that productive on screens. His profile actually looks even better without them. For instance, his career YPT average climbs by +25.8% with screens removed. By career YPT average (minus screens), he ranks 2nd-best among all receivers in this class, barely behind Bowers (13.0 vs. 12.8). And remember, from the “Dank Stats” section, Bell was uber-efficient from every alignment.

TL;DR / Conclusion

I know this is going to look like a “hot taek,” ranking Bell ahead of Ja’Tavion Sanders, who is expected to be drafted three rounds earlier. But you see this a lot at the TE position—lesser-drafted TEs with an elite pass-catching profile dominating earlier-drafted TEs in the game of fantasy football (Mark Andrews vs. Hayden Hurst, Isaiah Likely vs. Jeremy Ruckert, etc.).

Not only does Bell have the better analytics profile, but he’s also significantly more athletic (84.8 SPORQ vs. 46.0) – something that matters a great deal at the TE position. (He’s undersized for the position, but also, only one inch shorter and two pounds lighter than Bowers, with longer arms and bigger hands.) And Bell’s film score wasn’t too far behind Sanders either (76.9 vs. 81.6).

I know I just alluded to Bell’s vast range of outcomes, but to me, he looks like a very rich man’s Gerald Everett.

Tier 3 (Fringe-Round 3 Rookie Picks)

3. Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas Longhorns

Height: 6-4, Weight: 245 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.69

SPORQ: 46.0, Former: 5-star, Age: 21.1 (youngest in class)

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 2 (TE2)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 81.6 (TE2)

Brief Bio

High School: 5-star recruit, top TE in his recruiting class.

Freshman: Sanders ran just 2 total routes in 2021, playing mostly on special teams.

Sophomore: Recorded 54 receptions for 613 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2022 (13 games played). Within the Power 5, only Bowers (942), Dalton Kincaid (890), and Sam LaPorta (648) had more receiving yards. Impressively, Sanders finished just 144 yards shy of projected Round 1 pick Xavier Worthy on 41 fewer targets.

Junior: Through 14 games, Sanders posted a 45-682-2 line. He finished 3rd on the team in receiving YPG (48.7) – 23.7 YPG behind Worthy (proj. Round 1), and only 12.1 YPG behind Adonai Mitchell (proj. Round 1).

Prospect Profile

After a quick readthrough of our “Brief Bio” section, you should be pretty impressed by Sanders. His 1,295 yards over the past two seasons rank behind only Brock Bowers, and he had among the toughest target competition in the class — playing alongside two (projected) Round 1 WRs.

But on a closer look, I came away less inspired than I thought I would be. For instance, among all Power 5 TEs drafted Day 1-2 since 2014, Sanders has been little better than average in career YPRR (56th percentile), career yards after the catch per reception (58th percentile), and career missed tackles forced per reception (44th percentile).

His career 1.81 YPRR is pretty pedestrian within the broader historical context but is actually pretty good for this class – ranking behind only Bowers (2.64) and Jaheim Bell (2.31), and then slightly ahead of Erick All (1.74), Ben Sinnott (1.61), Cade Stover (1.61), and non-Power 5 TE Dallin Holker (1.60). So, do remember, this is a fairly weak class overall (after the blue-chip Bowers). But also, by this metric, Sanders benefits from the fact that he barely played as a freshman. Bowers, Holker, and Stover didn’t benefit from sitting out their freshman year.

But really, that’s a minor point. The bigger concern is this…

A whopping 56% of Sanders’ career routes have come when lined up as in-line, in contrast to just 32% for Bowers. Although the NFL might like that — true “Y” TEs are a rarity in this year’s class and, more generally, over the last few Draft classes — I don’t. Or rather, it just means we need to adjust his YPRR average down.

In-line routes are something of an efficiency hack for college TEs. And it’s one that Sanders heavily exploited throughout his career, playing in-line on 63% of his career snaps (versus Bowers’ 43% or Bell’s 38%).

Over the last three seasons, FBS TEs were far more efficient when lined up in-line (0.83 YPRR) rather than out-wide (0.70 YPRR) or from the slot (0.61 YPRR). And that effect becomes even more exaggerated when only looking at the most successful TEs to come out over the past few seasons. (See above.) Bowers smashed Sanders in terms of in-line efficiency (3.83 YPRR vs. 2.31), out-wide efficiency (3.15 YPRR vs. 1.11), and efficiency from the slot (1.92 YPRR vs. 1.21). But, of course, Bowers smashes all of his peers. More generally, Sanders wasn’t just below average in each alignment, he was near the bottom of every list when contrasting to recent “hits” at the position.

However, it’s also important to note that while Bowers and Bell benefited from screens, they massively handicapped Sanders. Georgia and Texas ranked (respectively) 4th and 5th among all Power 5 teams in screen yards last year, but Sanders earned only 9% of Texas’ screen targets versus Bowers’ 28% at Georgia. If we looked at career YPRR once again, but this time removing all plays involving a screen pass, Sanders inches much closer to Bowers and Bell.

The initial point (his alignment-inflated YPRR) remains a crucial one, but this helps me feel more comfortable with Sanders. Even if I’m still left with an internal debate over how much a high screen target rate is good (teams want to get the ball in the hands of their most explosive playmakers, and Sanders wasn’t great after the catch and then underwhelmed at the Combine) or bad (perhaps an indictment on a player’s route-running abilities) when projecting a TE to the next level.

TL;DR / Conclusion

After digging deeper into the analytics, I came away a lot less inspired by Sanders than I was hoping to be. And then, the Combine revealed Sanders’ biggest red flag, as he returned a below-average 46.0 SPORQ Score.

Over the past decade, we’ve only seen two TEs earn a SPORQ Score below the 66th percentile and go on to reach 750 receiving yards in a single NFL season — Dalton Schultz (808) and Jake Ferguson (761), who both barely cleared that benchmark.

Still, in a pretty weak class (where every TE after Bowers has comparable warts), Sanders can be ranked no lower than TE3. But he’s still not a player I’d be all that excited to draft (especially at current costs).

4. Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State Buckeyes

Height: 6-4, Weight: 247 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.65

SPORQ: 70.6, Former: 4-star, Age: 23.9

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (TE3)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 75.6 (TE6)

Prospect Profile

Stover was named Ohio’s Mr. Football as a high school senior (playing linebacker and running back). In basketball, he led Lexington High to the state final four his junior season and also set the school's all-time scoring record that same year.

Stover accomplished very little throughout his first three seasons at Ohio State. On offense, he caught only 5 passes playing behind Round 3 pick TE Jeremy Ruckert. On defense, he made only 1 career start. But that start came in the 2021 Rose Bowl, when he recorded 6 tackles at weakside linebacker. This would be his last game before becoming Ohio State’s starting TE.

With Ruckert gone, Stover “broke out” in 2022 – 36 catches, 406 yards (4th on the team), and 5 touchdowns. Stover would then improve upon those numbers in his 5th and final season with the team – 41 catches, 576 yards (2nd-most on the team), and 5 touchdowns.

Those numbers might not immediately stand out, but they should within a broader context. Stover ranked 2nd on the team in receiving yards last year, behind Marvin Harrison Jr. (the near-unanimous WR1 in the class) and ahead of Devy WR4 Emeka Egbuka, senior Julian Fleming (Devy ~WR70), Devy WR7 and 5-star sophomore Carnell Tate, and Devy WR17 and 5-star sophomore Brandon Inniss. In other words, that’s some pretty insane target competition. And once accounted for, Stover’s production profile appears significantly more impressive.

It’s also worth pointing out that Stover played through much of the 2023 season with a nagging knee injury. As far as I can tell, this injury first popped up against Penn State (causing him to wear a bulky knee brace throughout the remainder of the season). He went 0-0-0 in the following game (Wisconsin), then sat out the next week against Rutgers, and then continued to play through this injury throughout the remainder of the season. Despite this injury, he opted to play in the team’s Bowl Game against Missouri, but played more sparingly (41% route share) and turned in another 0-0-0 line. You’d think this injury might have impaired his per-route efficiency metrics, but his 2.04 YPRR was still the best single-season mark of any non-Bowers TE in the class (min. 225 routes). And he was historically efficient on a per-target basis. He ended the season with an 11.3 YPT average – the 6th-best mark of any Power 5 TE (min. 50 targets) since 2015, behind seasons from Bowers (2X), Kyle Pitts, T.J. Hockenson, and Irv Smith Jr. Across his career, he ranks 2nd-best in the class by career YPT over expectation (+21.9%), in between Bowers (+33.5%) and Bell (+21.5%). As well as 3rd-best by career yards after the catch per reception (6.5), behind only Bowers and Bell.

Beyond that, it’s also important to acknowledge that Ohio State has rarely used their TEs in the passing game. (This makes a lot of sense, as Ohio State’s WR room has been nothing short of legendary since Brian Hartline joined the staff.) Since 2015, Ohio State has seen three of their TEs get drafted on Day 2. And Stover easily blows them all away (or, really, any TE in Ohio State history) in every meaningful statistical category. Since 2015, Ohio State has never seen a TE eclipse 310 receiving yards, nor clear a 1.30 YPRR average. Stover, meanwhile, easily cleared 310 yards twice (406 and then 576), and also averaged 2.04 YPRR in his final season — the best single-season mark from any non-Bowers TE in the class (min. 225 routes).

And now, to tie a bow on it, it’s worth circling back on a crucial point — Stover accomplished all of this with only two full years of experience playing the TE position. (He was named the best high school football player in his state, but at two other positions and while also breaking records in basketball. His first collegiate start at the TE position came immediately following a Bowl Game start at the LB position.) So, although he made a tremendous leap from 2021 to 2022 (in spite of injury), he may still only be scratching the surface of his potential.

TL;DR / Conclusion

My model wasn’t initially all that impressed by Stover, but I couldn’t help but fall in love with my compelling upside argument for him. I would say definitively that he has no worse than the fourth-best analytics profile in the class, with significant upside beyond that as well. In terms of the fantasy range of outcomes, I envision Stover as either “Cade Otton on Will Fuller’s Steroids” or “90% Dalton Kincaid.”

5. Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State Wildcats

Height: 6-4, Weight: 250 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.68

SPORQ: 87.2, Former: 0-star, Age: 21.9 (3rd-youngest in class)

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 4 (TE5)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 77.7 (TE3)

Prospect Profile

Sinnott – a walk-on at Kansas State – accomplished very little throughout his two freshman seasons (2 catches, 15 yards), but did finish 4th on the team in receiving yards in 2022 (31-447-4, 14 games). It was Sinnott’s 2023 season that really stood out – through 12 games, he averaged 4.1 catches, 55.8 yards, and 0.5 touchdowns per game. His 55.8 YPG led the team, was the most by any Kansas State player throughout HC Chris Klieman’s 5-year tenure, and also ranked 2nd-best of any Power 5 TE on the season, behind only Bowers (71.7). He led all Power 5 TEs in YMS (21.4%), and only Devy TE2 Colston Loveland (still in school) edged him out by yards per team pass attempt (1.80 vs. 1.57).

These are really solid numbers. Not all that impressive historically, but definitely one of the best seasons from any non-Bowers TE in the class (at least in terms of raw production).[4]

Sinnott is one of the more athletic TEs in the class, earning an 87.2 SPORQ Score. And – unlike with our TE7 Theo Johnson – that did show up in the analytics. Among all Power 5 TEs since at least 2014 (min. 75 career receptions), Sinnott ranks 2nd-best in career missed tackles forced per reception (0.26), on a top-5 list that includes (in order) Jaheim Bell, Brock Bowers, Sam LaPorta, and Jake Ferguson. Keep in mind, this is despite being rarely involved on screens (8.9% career screen target rate, as opposed to Bowers and Bell who were both over 30%) and in spite of having the highest career aDOT in the class (9.9).[5]

All this sounds good, but my biggest concern with Sinnott is a weird one — I’m not entirely sure he’s a “tight end” and not a “fullback.” (This was my chief concern with Round 3 pick Josiah Deguara back in 2020.)

Sinnott won the Low Man Trophy in 2023 — an award given to the best fullback in college football. This is extremely confusing to me because Sinnott was listed as a fullback on only 83 of his 769 snaps last year. Both analytically and (according to Brett Whitefield) based on the film, Sinnott looks very little like a fullback. Jaheim Bell has seen a higher percentage of his career snaps come out of the backfield (15.8% vs. 12.0%), and Sinnott led the class in career aDOT (9.9). So, I’m not really sure of what to make of this, and I am mostly just going to ignore it or at least value it proportionally to my concerns with Bell.

TL;DR / Conclusion

Although Sinnott is only a one-year wonder, it was a wonderful year. (Well, actually, it was probably just “solid” overall. But at least for this Draft class, and if measured by raw production, it was comparatively great – the most YPG in any season from any non-Bowers Power 5 TE in the class.)

Pairing Sinnott’s analytics profile with his excellent athleticism score (87.2 SPORQ, TE3), Brett Whitefield’s lofty film grade (77.3, TE3), and projected draft capital (Round 4, TE5), Sinnott checks in comfortably as my TE5 in a tight tier alongside Sanders and Stover.

Tier 4 (Round 4 Rookie Picks)

6. Erick All, TE, Iowa Hawkeyes

Height: 6-4, Weight: 252 lbs, 40-yard-dash: N/A

SPORQ: DNQ, Former: 4-star, Age: 23.6

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 5 (TE7) Brett Whitefield Film Score: 74.3 (TE7)

Prospect Profile

It took until All’s third season at Michigan to “break out,” catching 38 passes for 437 yards and 2 touchdowns through 13 games. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but he split time with and also out-produced Round 2 pick Luke Schoonmaker (17-165-3). His 2.14 YPRR that season was excellent – fourth-best in the Power 5 that year – but also fairly in line with Schoonmaker’s numbers in the following year (2.15), and then a little short of 4-star sophomore Colston Loveland in 2023 (2.38).

All played in only three games in the following season (2022) due to a back injury that required surgery (which he described as “life-changing” in a social media post). He transferred to Iowa in the following season but again ran badly with injury luck, suffering a torn ACL in his seventh game of the season.

But All was dominant before that injury. In just six full games plus three routes (in the game he tore his ACL) – All caught 21 passes for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. That might not seem like a lot to you, but those are massive numbers when we remember Iowa averaged just 118.6 passing YPG and 0.6 passing touchdowns per game the entire year. Despite missing half of the year, All still led the team in receiving yards. (It’s also somewhat notable that Iowa TE Addison Ostrenga struggled mightily as his replacement, averaging just 0.75 YPRR across the seven games All missed.) On 114 routes, All averaged a whopping 2.62 YPRR – the 20th-best mark by any Power 5 TE this past decade. That number (albeit on a much smaller sample) also easily dwarfs the best season (min. 100 routes) from any Iowa TE to come out since 2014, including Sam LaPorta (2.15), T.J. Hockenson (2.21), Noah Fant (2.15), and George Kittle (1.42).[6]

In games active, All averaged a 36.0% yardage market share – the best mark of any Power 5 TE since at least 2008. And his 1.96 yards per team pass attempt average would have ranked 10th-best of any Power 5 TE since at least 2014. Excluding players who have yet to declare for the Draft, only two names inside of the top 15 of that list failed to get drafted Day 1 or Day 2.

All this looks great, but the important context we’re missing is that Devy TE4 Luke Lachey played in just two games before breaking his leg in the first quarter of Iowa’s third game of the season. Prior to that point, Lachey was the clear TE1, and his production (10-131-0, 52 routes) was dwarfing that of All (6-47-0, 35 routes).

Might All be yet another name on an insanely long list of successful Iowa TEs? He very well could be. I just made a compelling upside argument for him. But I also understand that this argument feels almost fully negated by all of the following points: he’s never eclipsed 3 touchdowns or 437 yards in a single season, he’s old, he has an extensive injury history (which could cause him to fall on Draft Day), I might not even know his name had Lachey stayed healthy all year, and then, all of the small sample sizes I’m working with muddy the projection and cloud my level of confidence.

Additionally, All has among the worst hands in the class, dropping one out of every 9.7 targets. And then All possesses another concern, although it applies to a lot of the TEs in this class. All graded out terribly as a blocker in 2023 (per PFF). That can be a good thing – we want our TEs running routes rather than blocking in the pros – but that’s only really true if he’s going to be a full-time player (i.e. he’s an elite pass-catcher). I definitely see some pass-catching upside for All. But I don’t know if it’s enough to overcome the blocking concerns. And so, I have a hard time imagining a team will want to draft him to become a full-time player.

TL;DR / Conclusion

In addition to everything outlined above, All’s athleticism profile is a total question mark (he was unable to participate at the Combine due to the ACL injury), and his film score was merely “OK.” Nonetheless, I still feel magnetically pulled toward the upside argument for All. Sure, he has a vastly wide range of outcomes, but those are exactly the players we want to draft with later-round rookie picks. Because at the end of the day, upside wins championships, and a player’s upside is vastly more valuable than their downside is detrimental.

Initially, I thought I’d be alone on All Island. But, encouragingly, it appears as though at least some within the NFL Mock Draft Cognoscenti seem to agree with me.

7. Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State Nittany Lions

Height: 6-6, Weight: 259 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.57

SPORQ: 97.5, Former: 4-star, Age: 23.2

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 3 (TE4)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 77.3 (TE4)

Prospect Profile

The NFL Mock Draft Cognoscenti seems to really like Johnson, but his analytics profile is pretty terrible (at least on first look). Sure, he’s a freak athlete, recording a 97.5 SPORQ Score at the Combine, but that also might be the only reason they like him.

Much of the evaluation depends on what you think of fellow Penn State TE Brenton Strange. Strange’s analytics profile was similarly poor, but the NFL disagreed – he was drafted in Round 2 by the Jaguars last year. By routes run per game, Johnson played behind Strange for three seasons, although it was much closer to an even split in Strange’s final year (19.3 vs. 18.9 routes run per game). In that season, Johnson was slightly better by YPG (29.8 vs. 27.8), more efficient by YPRR (1.58 vs. 1.44), and also far more efficient on a per-target basis (earning a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeted). Johnson’s usage and production barely changed in 2023, this time behind senior Devy TE17 Tyler Warren (26.2 YPG vs. 32.5), and he also declined in efficiency (1.26 YPRR vs. Warren’s 1.41).

And maybe this isn’t his fault; maybe this is just a Penn State thing… Pat Freiermuth technically never cleared 507 receiving yards in a season (160 more than Johnson’s personal best), although he did average 77.5 YPG in his final season. Mike Gesicki, Jesse James, and Juwan Johnson (a WR in college) weren’t significantly more productive either. And Warren – per sources – is likely to be a Round 3 or Round 4 pick next year as well.

Ultimately, we’re left with a balancing act between the following points: 1) Why do we think a guy who was never even his team’s TE1 can be a productive fantasy asset in the pros? 2) His analytics score wasn’t great, but he was competing for targets and playing time against other highly drafted TEs at a program that churns out high-end TE prospects at an inordinately high rate (although they were all similarly unproductive in college).

He was also perhaps a little raw for the position – he played WR throughout high school. And Johnson wasn’t only the most athletic TE in the class, but one of the most athletic TEs of all time. And athleticism is massively important at the TE position.

But there’s really little else to go on besides that. He wasn’t productive, he wasn’t efficient, and his freakish athleticism didn’t show up analytically – in fact, he ranked outside of the top-12 TEs in this class by both career missed tackles forced per reception and career yards after the catch per reception. I suppose he does have some touchdown upside, given his size and his 7 touchdown receptions last year. But then again, that was exactly as many as Warren.

TL;DR / Conclusion

Johnson may only look like a slightly richer man’s Jelani Woods analytically, but he gets a big bump up my board because Brett Whitefield liked his film so much (3rd-highest film score in the class). And because the NFL Mock Draft Cognoscenti (projected draft capital) and other NFL power brokers seem to be fully aligned on this point.

Tier 6 (Barely Relevant / UDFA-Tier)

8. Jared Wiley, TE, TCU Horned Frogs

Height: 6-6, Weight: 249 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.62

SPORQ: 85.0, Former: 3-star, Age: 23.5

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 5 (TE10)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 71.3 (TE10)

Wiley played at Texas for three seasons before transferring to TCU. He had a career-best 18.3 YPG prior to his Year 5 breakout, when he recorded a 47-520-8 line through 12 games. He finished just 53 yards shy of the team-high and had twice as many touchdowns as the next-closest receiver. His 43.3 YPG ranked 5th-best in the class, and his 1.61 YPRR ranked 6th-best. Notably, he was significantly better as the season stretched on, averaging a very impressive 6.3 receptions, 86.5 yards, and 1.0 touchdowns per game across his final four games of the season (2.49 YPRR). And he led the class in Dominator Rating.

One interesting stat working in his favor is that he averaged 2.54 YPRR against man coverage last year (on 87 routes). That season ranks 12th-best of any Power 5 TE since 2020, and 2nd-best of any TE in the class (behind Bowers’ 3.78 in 2021). You’d find Kyle Pitts, Sam LaPorta, Greg Dulcich, and Pat Freiermuth among the names ahead of him on that list. And if we included non-Power 5 TEs, also Isaiah Likely and Trey McBride.

Wiley brings very little after the catch – he ranks worst in the class by career missed tackles forced per reception – but probably possesses high-end touchdown upside, given his size and class-best 8 receiving touchdowns last year. Ultimately, Wiley’s analytics profile isn’t vastly superior to the next few names we’ll discuss. But his superior athleticism (85.0 SPORQ Score, 4th-best in the class) is a phenomenal trump card.

9. Tanner McLaughlan, TE, Arizona Wildcats

Height: 6-5, Weight: 244 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.61

SPORQ: 81.2, Former: 0-star, Age: 25.1

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 6 (TE12)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: TBD

Based on the production and efficiency metrics my model cares about, McLaughlan looks like a late-Day 3 prospect. But there are enough excuses here, alongside some legitimate much-needed context, where I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he gets drafted a lot earlier than that.

Among all Power 5 TEs, McLaughlan ranked 15th-best by yards per team pass attempt in 2022 (5th-best in the class) and then 12th-best (6th-best in the class) last year. But to be fair, his target competition was quite a bit tougher than many of the TEs I have ranked above him. Over the last two seasons, he competed for targets against the current Devy WR1 Tetairoa McMillan, the Devy WR56 Dorian Singer, and proj. Round 4 WR Jacob Cowing.

McLaughlan also had a very unique path towards draft relevancy,[7] which I think might help assuage us of some of the concerns related to his advanced age.

Beyond this, all that stands out is that he’s an extremely high-level athlete (81.2 SPORQ) and that he averaged one missed tackle forced every 4.1 receptions in his final season—a mark which ranks 10th-best of any Power 5 TE (min. 40 receptions) since 2014. And those two points, in combination, put him in rare company.

Ultimately, I could see a team betting on McLaughlan’s athleticism, but he’s still only the 6th-most athletic TE in the class (81.2), actually falling to 7th (73.5) and not too far ahead of Cade Stover (70.6) if we include the poor agility marks he showed at his Pro Day.[8]

10. Dallin Holker, TE, Colorado State Rams

Height: 6-3, Weight: 241 lbs, 40-yard-dash: 4.78

SPORQ: 41.4, Former: 3-star, Age: 24.1

Proj. Draft Capital: Round 5 (TE11)

Brett Whitefield Film Score: 72.5 (TE8)

Holker accomplished very little through three seasons at BYU, playing behind TE Matt Bushman (2018) and TE Isaac Rex (2021). He then got hurt and played in only three games in his third season (2022). No, that isn’t a typo — Holker left for a mission trip after 2018. He’ll be 24.1 years old on Draft Day.

Holker then transferred to Colorado State and put together one of the best statistical seasons of any TE in this class. Or, at least, he crushed the counting stats – 64 catches, 767 receiving yards, and 7 total touchdowns through 12 games. That seems very impressive but looks far less so with the proper context. All of this production came outside of the Power 5 (weaker competition) and within Colorado State’s up-tempo, pass-heavy Air Raid-influenced offense. He had 49 more yards than Bowers in 2023, but in 2 additional games, with 34 more targets, 473 more air yards, and almost twice as many routes run (271 vs. 485). And he wasn’t very efficient with those targets either, earning his quarterbacks a passer rating of just 78.5 when targeted.

Again, his 63.9 receiving YPG in 2023 looks great, but that’s also just about perfectly in line with what TE Cole Turner put up under HC Jay Norvell in his final two seasons.

To make matters worse, Holker tested out as a below-average athlete, recording a 41.4 SPORQ Score at the Combine.


NFL defenses have increased their rate of zone coverage in each of the last three seasons, up to 74.1% in 2023. Brock Bowers averages 2.90 career YPRR against zone coverage – by far the best mark of any Power 5 TE in PFF College history. Our guy Jaheim Bell (2.70) ranks next closest, followed by Dalton Kincaid (2.52).

This is with a min. 75 receptions threshold. If we include non-Power 5 TEs and lower that threshold to min. 55 receptions, then only Gerald Everett (9.54, 0.52) and David Njoku (9.77, 0.31) come close… Even if we remove screens, Bell still easily leads all Power 5 TEs (min. 75 receptions) in career yards after the catch per reception (9.82) and career missed tackles forced per reception (0.32)… Even if adjusting for depth of target, Bell still beats out Bowers and looks like one of the best receivers (WR or TE) to come out in nearly a decade.

In 2022, 45% of Jaheim Bell’s snaps came lined up in the backfield. But this was also his only season over 8%.

Sinnott was solid by YPRR. He was only narrowly edged out by Cade Stover (2.04 vs. 2.00 YPRR) for the best single-season mark of any Power 5 TE in the class (min. 225 routes run).

Generally, it’s much easier to force missed tackles on screens and on lower-aDOT targets.

George Kittle averaged 3.12 YPRR on 93 routes in 2015.

McClaughlan was a dominant multi-sport high school athlete in Lethbridge, Canada. He initially agreed to play basketball for the University of Lethbridge, before shifting his focus on football, and moving to Arizona for his high school super-senior season.

He amassed only 168 yards through four years at Southern Utah, but he tore his ACL in the fifth game of his third season, which also forced him to sit out the entirety of his fourth year. He would spend the next two seasons at the University of Arizona.

McClaughlan recorded a 7th percentile mark in the short shuttle and a 13th percentile mark by weight-adjusted 3-cone.

Scott Barrett combines a unique background in philosophy and investing alongside a lifelong love of football and spreadsheets to serve as Fantasy Points’ Chief Executive Officer.