Thicc Stauskas' Big Ten Position Rankings: Tight End
"Caring about this position" is an important factor.
Previously: Quarterback (Part One, Part Two), Running Back (Part One, Part Two)
Our position rankings forge on with a look at the Big Ten’s tight end rooms. Here is Dan’s big-ass color-coded spreadsheet, which provides the basis for this list:
Putting this in order was more of a challenge than previous positions since there’s such a wide variety in how (and how much) offenses use their tight ends. We’ve attempted to strike a balance between talent/efficiency and usage/production while also keeping an eye on depth.
It’s hard to separate any part of Northwestern’s anemic offense from the failures of the whole. That said, these guys didn’t do anything to separate themselves. Marshall Lang and Charlie Mangieri combined to average a paltry 4.4 yards per target last year and graded out poorly as blockers. Dan ranked them 20th and 21st out of the 21 tight ends in this exercise. Bleak!
Unlike the Wildcats, Maryland actually target their TEs downfield. Their top returner, last year’s #2 TE Corey Dyches, managed only average production as a receiver, though he flashed some upside as a red zone target. That said, two of his four touchdowns came against Rutgers. The junior needs to improve as a blocker or he could lose time to a more complete TE.
Peyton Hendershot is gone from IU only two years too late. He led a meek Hoosiers passing attack with 43 catches for 543 yards and four TDs, all team highs. Last year’s second TE, junior AJ Barner, didn’t show off the same ability, and he’s the only returner at the position who’s caught a pass. If we were ranking by offseason coach quotes, though, Barner would push IU higher up the list.
“Offensive weapon” Johnny Langan isn’t a star, necessarily, but he’s one of the Big Ten’s most versatile offensive players. To wit: the former full-time quarterback won team MVP in last year’s Gator Bowl with six catches for 57 yards, six rushes for 20 yards, and 2/2 passing for 21 yards. (Rutgers lost to Wake Forest, 38-10.)
When Langan lines up at TE, he makes the most out of short targets, gaining 6.3 YAC/reception, the fourth-best mark among qualified B1G returning TEs. At 6’3, 235 pounds, he possesses a good combination of speed and power. While he’s (unsurprisingly) not much of a blocker, backup Matt Alaimo is decent in the ground game, even if RU probably doesn’t want to ask anything else of him.
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