Originally Posted by Corrosion
Secondly , where is he going to play with OD in the picture ..... Do they go to a two TE set as their main offense ? What about James Casey ? Can he line up as a WR instead ? He does have 4.4 speed ..... Does he run good enough routes ? I have a ton of questions surrounding this pick ....
I want a starter out of a first round pick , I just dont see Fleener being that.
We run two and three tight end sets more than any team in the league and I could be mistaken, but I think there were times last year when we had 4 TEs on the field. Dreessen and OD lined up together last year A LOT; Casey was on the field alot except when injured; Graham got playing time although he didn't get a lot of targets. That multi-TE thing is part of what makes our running game go.
Dreessen's big problem was that he wasn't the threat in the passing game that OD was. We wasn't as fast, couldn't create as much separation, and doesn't have the hands. For me, Fleener is an upgrade talent-wise. The drop off is that Dreessen is smart and knows our offense inside and out. Schaub said that with Dreessen, you could always be confident that he was right where he was supposed to be. We lose that with Fleener.
Fleener isn't an "elite" tight end from the physical standpoint. He's not Gronkowski or Vernon Davis. But he is another Owen Daniels. He's not an in-line blocker that a normal NFL offense is going to require, but for the zone scheme, he could be perfect. He's fairly strong and pretty damned fast and edges on elite. Like a Shannon Sharpe, he could be trained to "get in front of the guy" just enough to be effective.
In the passing game, he's going to create match-up nightmares even worse then OD.
One of the things that Kubiak wants to do is to create confusion on the defense. If we come out with Casey, OD, and Fleener on the field, we could create some crazy havoc. Who's the TE? Who's the FB? Who's... what...? At Stanford, Fleener lined up at every WR position and is really more of an H-Back sort of player.
Now, about the volume of catches at Stanford. Luck spread the ball around. That was his thing. There was only one guy on the team with significantly more catches. Fleener was tied for 3rd for number of catches and the guy in 2nd only had 1 more catch. And the Stanford Offense didn't really throw that much. Luck was 19th in the NCAA in terms of overall completions. That means a lot of other people on other teams got a lot more opportunities. And Fleener wasn't supposed to be the first option.
And, yes, I think Fleener is a starter. If you look at the numbers, over the past three years, Dreessen has started 11, 10, 10 games. Over that same period, OD has started 8, 11, and 15 games. That means that we start off with double tight-end a lot and both OD and Dreesen were "starters." I wouldn't see that changing with Fleener and we might start in 2-TE sets even more.