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Investment of the Special Tight Ends in the 2024 NFL Draft 


JACKSONVILLE – He's a good prospect. Really good.

The question about Brock Bowers of the University of Georgia isn't whether he's the top tight end in the 2024 NFL Draft. Rather, it's what being a player NFL/Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks calls "special" means at a traditionally non-premium position.

"The challenge is figuring out where does he go in the draft," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said.

"He might be one of the five most talented players in the draft, but because he's a tight end, he tends to slip a little in mock drafts," ESPN draft analyst Matt Miller said.

While tight end has become increasingly important to NFL offenses in recent seasons, the draft doesn't always reflect that status. Nine tight ends have been selected in Round 1 of the last 10 drafts, with three – Kyle Pitts (Atlanta, No. 4, 2021), T.J. Hockenson (Detroit, No. 8, 2019) and Eric Ebron (Detroit, No. 10, 2014) – selected in the Top 10 in that span.

"When you look around the league and see most of these top tight ends that have come on Day Two – even beyond that – teams are now saying, 'OK, we can find that other tight end,''' Jeremiah said. " 'Maybe we don't get the top guy, but we can get a really, really good player who might end up being the top guy without having to pay that premium.'''

Bowers is considered the lone tight end in Round 1 in this year's draft, with players such as Ben Sinnott of Kansas State and Ja'Tavion Sanders of Texas considered second-to-third-round selections.

"This is not going to be a hallmark tight end class in general," ESPN analyst Field Yates said.

Bowers in three seasons at Georgia caught 175 passes for 2,538 and 26 touchdowns, also running 19 times for 193 yards and five touchdowns.

"He's a George Kittle type," Brooks said, comparing Bowers to the San Francisco 49ers' Pro Bowl tight end. "Everyone around the league would say that this dude can do it all. He's super-athletic and can catch it out the back field. He can run fly sweeps.

"He can do it. He's different than everybody else in the class. There are good athletes in the class, guys that are high weight/speed prospects, good hands, but in terms of the special guys, he's just a little different."

Kansas State tight end Ben Sinnott runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Friday, March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Jeremiah called Bowers "super easy to grade."

"He is one of the best ten players in the draft," Jeremiah said. "He plays with tenacity, especially with the ball in his hands. That's where he is at his best. And the run game, when he can get into guys, he can finish them. He's not the tallest or longest guy so there are times he can't do that.

"He can climb the ladder and go and get the ball, and really the run-after-catch stuff is what makes him special."

ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. on Bowers: "He's not a tight end. He's a multiple-option player. You can do anything you want with Brock Bowers. He's an offensive weapon."

Bowers generally has been projected to be selected Nos. 9-to-20 overall – perhaps most commonly in recent weeks to the New York Jets at No. 10.

"Bowers is head and shoulders above everybody else in the class," Brooks said. "His talent is worthy of being a top five, top end player. We just don't know if he gets that return on an investment if he doesn't land in the right spot."


With tight end Evan Engram emerging in two seasons with the Jaguars as one of the NFL's better receiving tight ends, this doesn't appear to be a position need. The Jaguars also addressed the run-blocking phase of this position this offseason, signing Josiah Deguaraas an unrestricted free agent from the Green Bay Packers. Four-year veteran Luke Farrell and second-year veteran Brenton Strange – a second-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft – also are on the roster, giving the Jaguars depth and front-line talent at receiving and blocking tight end. But while this isn't a position of need, any team outside the Top 10 figures to be intrigued if Bowers slides to their position. While Bowers could slide somewhat, his potential impact could transcend need for a team selecting in the middle of the first round. Could the Jaguars be tempted if Bowers is there at No. 17 overall in Round 1? That figures to be the only chance the team would select the position on Days 1 or 2.

--John Oehser




On the roster:

  • Evan Engram
  • Brenton Strange
  • Josiah Deguara
  • Luke Farrell
  • Josh Pederson


  1. Brock Bowers, junior, Georgia
  2. Ja'Tavion Sanders, junior, Texas
  3. Cade Stover, senior, Ohio State
  4. Theo Johnson, senior, Penn State
  5. AJ Barner, senior, Michigan.



Back to work 💪 The guys are hitting the gym and the practice field. Check out the top photos from the first couple of days back at Miller Electric Center.

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