this has already been discussed in THIS
Here are the pro Fleener comments for those that don't want to read the whole thread.
Fleener is a better TE than any of the receivers that will available for us to draft. We need a red zone guy and with Dressen gone, we'll need someone to fill his gap.
Fleener was much quicker then expected at his pro day. Truth is most of our Te's are more conventional, but Fleener is the type of
TE that would create mismatches.
With all the 2 TE sets we run and the pending cap problems/huge contract OD has going into next year, getting a top flight TE should be important. Fleener is the best TE in this draft period and is as close as you get to can't miss.
I don't see Graham as anything but depth. If he had any ability I think he wold of made more than one catch in the last couple of years. Hope I'm wrong on that one for sure! As I stated in my mock, I believe there is a high possibility that OD could be let go next year. Fleener would be great insurance if that were to happen.
We have to have another reliable red zone threat or we are going to be in big trouble. The last thing we need is to start kicking field goals over and over in the red zone again. Remember that? Maybe we can find that later in the draft I don't know but IMO Fleener looks like he comes in and contributes right away in that role.
He could wind up being the next Jimmy Graham. That doesn't intrigue you at all? Him and OD on the field together would be scary. We do have more pressing needs but TE could use a boost and why limit the first round pick to a dire need anyway, all you do is wind up with an inferior player who starts early. Picking at 26 in the draft with a talented team already in place gives us the opportunity to really go BPA. I won't cry if we pass on him but Fleener is definitely on my short list.
If we can find a TE that can split out and/or play in the slot it's just as good as getting a WR in the first round. Maybe even better.
It's not like he'd struggle to get on the field.
Graham was a fourth round pick. It happens! The guy hardly seen the field in two years. One catch! TE may not be our biggest need but it is a need. You can't go into the draft saying position a is our biggest need so we have to spend our first round pick on it. You have to take the combination BPA that fills a need and generally you want your first two picks to start. You want your 3rd round pick to start year two and your expectations should lessen by round after that.
A big time playmaker at the TE position is just as valuable (maybe even more at times) than a WR.
i think the main this is if is a "willing" blocker. that can't be taught
OD our starting TE 54 receptions 677 yards and a whopping 3 td's[/quote] And on top of that will be 30 this year, has a huge contract and has missed 13 games in the last 3 years.
At 6'6" and almost 250 lbs, Fleener has natural TE size, so it is not like he is a WR/TE hybrid. You can split him out wide, or line him up as a traditional TE. While he is not a strong blocker, it is not a weakness. Just because he is known for his play in the pass game does not mean he is a liability in the run game.
Where Fleener makes his money is with the ball in his hands. He runs a 4.5 40- that is WR speed. He has good explosion numbers as well, better than many receiver prospects. At most importantly, he has soft hands. I do not remember seeing a lot of drops from Fleener. He is good at getting open, and good at catching the ball. And that is what you want to see.
Would love to add Fleener. I view him as a weapon, plain and simple regardless of his position. His speed makes him a tough match up for LBs and his size makes him tough for DBs. He could absolutely spilt out wide as well. So many possibilities. There are other players I like as well, but at this point I favor Fleener over Hill or Randle.
Drafting a TE while maybe not an immediate huge need, could pay off big next year if cap problems continue like they have. And Fleener is good enough that he would make significant contributions this year IMO and could possibly be a major player for us in the near future. Add to that that this is a late first the risk is worth the potential reward.