Posted On: 02/11/21 11:14 AM
Tight end has become such an important position over the last ten years. It’s not good enough to just be a blocker or a pass catcher; you need to have the ability to do both and do them both well. The New Jersey tight group featured guys with overall impressive size and athletic ability. Here’s who stood out most to me.
Tafari Thomson, 6’5, 245, Mater Dei Prep
A serious redzone threat with the size to box out most defenders. Thomson shows no issues sinking his hips and getting out at the top of his route and can adjust to make catches on poorly thrown balls. He’s shown the ability to play as both a tight end and a true I fullback in the backfield. He’s a tough blocker who uses sheer size and strength to overwhelm defenders. He’s a bit of a sleeper right now, but look for that to change quickly. Thomson already has Division 1 size and has a ton of upside.
Larue Linder, 6’3, 225, Bergen Catholic
A physical tight end prospect who will literally drive defensive ends off the ball. On tape, Linder has shown the ability to reach block defenders and will finish them off by burying them to the turf. He plays with good hand placement on the breastplate, giving defensive linemen very little chance of shedding his block. He’s at his best as a pass catcher in the short-intermediate game and can pick up the tough yards after the catch. Bottom line, It’s hard to find a blocker that puts in a complete effort as Linder does and I think he could be a steal for some school.
John Sirois, 6’4, 220, Don Bosco
John showed the ability to catch the football in traffic, despite having linebackers draped all over him. Once he hauls the football in, he immediately turns upfield looking to pick up yards after the catch. He does a good job locking out his arms as a blocker and getting extension, making it tough on his opponents. He keeps his feet moving on contact and will consistently play till the whistle is blown. To me, John would be a great fit in a pro-style system.
William Dixon, 6’5, 210, Hillsborough
A smooth route runner, equipped with soft hands and the ability to catch the football over the middle. Dixon is quick to the point of attack as a blocker and will roll his hips & punch on a rise. He will drive defenders off the ball as an inline blocker and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He can split out in the slot and provide value as a receiver in the passing game as well. Dixon does need to add some weight, but I do think he has Division 1 type ability, based on what he can do as a route runner and inline blocker.
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