There wasn’t one tight end in all of college football that was more productive than Texas Tech‘s Jace Amaro. The ex-Red Raider was a beast in his junior season, where he broke all sorts of single-season records at Texas Tech. Amaro caught over 100 passes for more than 1,300 yards and he also had seven touchdowns in that year. With the uncertainty of Jermichael Finley and his freak neck injury, the Green Bay Packers may not re-sign Finley. Backup tight end Andrew Quarless made strides late in the season in the starting role. But, there are many concerns over his run-blocking ability and his attitude. These two factors lead us to believe why the Packers should draft a tight end in the first round of May’s draft.
While Eric Ebron is getting all of the attention from the tight end class this year, it is Amaro that had the better college career of the two. Ebron has all of the measurements between the two, but past history has told us that you don’t have to be the fastest tight end to be a contributor in the NFL.
Jason Witten and Owen Daniels aren’t fast at all, but both have had long and successful NFL careers. On the contrary, Vernon Davis is probably the fastest player at his position in the league. He may be the best offensive player on his team that is not named Colin Kaepernick.
At the NFL Scouting Combine, Ebron ran a 4.50 40-yard dash. Amaro ran a 4.77 40-yard dash. Acceleration speed is extremely important for tight ends in the NFL because they need to be quick off the line of scrimmage. Amaro is one of the slowest tight ends in this class, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a good NFL in-line tight end.
At the 21st selection, many players are in play for the Packers. Multiple mock drafts have had Amaro, C.J. Mosley and even Calvin Pryor to the Packers in the first round. In my opinion, a cornerback is not out of the question either. The franchise tag deadline was earlier today, and the Packers didn’t tag Sam Shields.
There is now an obvious hole opposite of Tramon Williams. It will be interesting to see if the Packers can get a long-term deal done with Shields, but the future doesn’t look bright. If a cornerback is in play, I’d say a guy like Jason Verrett or Justin Gilbert could end up in Green Bay.
By the looks of it, the Packers will not be able to bring back Finley or James Jones. With that said, Green Bay still has to extend Jordy Nelson. Contracts between Green Bay and Nelson have already picked up, so Packer fans can take a deep breath now.
The Packers could benefit greatly by adding another weapon to an already dynamic offense. A tight end like Amaro could take a lot of pressure off of Nelson and Randall Cobb on the outside. Amaro could also become an instant-blocker for Eddie Lacy in the run game. Amaro would add another dimension to this Packers offense, and he can immediately help out Aaron Rodgers as a checkdown target.