There has been a lot of talk about drafting TE Tyler Eifert with the #12 pick. I just don't see it happening. Just as OG is not a "need" or "impact" position, TE is not either. Yes, there are a number of teams that use the TE very effectively in their offense and it is a position of greater worth than it was 5-10 years ago, but after reviewing the draft history of the last decade or so, there still seems to be no rush to draft the position very high.
Tight Ends Drafted in the First Round Since 2000
- 2010 Jermaine Gresham (21)
- 2009 Brandon Pettigrew (20)
- 2008 Dustin Keller (30)
- 2007 Greg Olsen (31)
- 2006 Vernon Davis (6)
- 2005 Heath Miller (30)
- 2004 Kellen Winslow, Jr. (6), Ben Watson (32)
- 2003 Dallas Clark (24)
- 2002 Jeremy Shockey (14), Daniel Graham (21), Jeffrey Stevens (28)
- 2001 Todd Heap (31)
- 2000 Bubba Franks (14), Anthony Becht (27)
There are lots of good players on here, but only a few great ones. Vernon Davis is probably the best of the group talent-wise, with Heap and Clark having the best careers overall. None of the best TE's of the last decade are in this group (Gates, Gonzalez), nor are the best TE's currently playing (Gronkowski, Graham). This just isn't a position where you need to draft in the first round or two to get an above average or even Pro Bowl caliber player. And there is not trend going in this direction - no TE has been taken in the 1st round in either 2011 or 2012. If anything, the trend has been moving the other direction, with only one player drafted in the 1st round from 2005-2010 while three of the previous five years you had two or more.
Eifert is a good player. And he would be a real weapon for Tannehill, especially in the red zone. But the above information says that he probably won't be a great player and that really good TE's can be found in rounds 2-4 just as easily as the 1st round. At this point, I think drafted Eifert at #12 would be a mistake. Use this pick for an impact player at a need position (OT or CB) and if Eifert is there in the late 20's....at that point I'd start looking at trading up to get him if he really is liked by the Dolphins.
Just as it makes no sense to draft an OG at #12, it makes no sense to draft a TE either. At least at OG the chances of drafting a Pro Bowl player is higher than at TE. If a player at OT or CB isn't there - I'd go with Cooper or Warmack (or a DE) over Eifert at #12 and hope that Eifert continues to fall so that a trade up scenario might work.