2012 NFL Draft Preview, Position-By-Position: Tight Ends

Dwayne Allen of Clemson recently visited with the New York Giants. Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

As we get closer and closer to the 2012 NFL Draft we will continue our series of position-by-position previews by looking at the tight end situation. This is a position of great interest to New York Giants fans, and probably not a real priority interest for fans of the New York Jets.

Most draft analysts consider this draft class to be weak at the tight end position, with Stanford's Coby Fleener appearing to be the only tight end who has a possibility of being chosen in the first round this Thursday night. Fleener has often been mocked to the Giants leading up to the draft. Dwayne Allen is a second-round possibility who has gotten attention from the Giants.

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Top 5 Tight Ends [Rated By SI.com]

1. Coby Fleener, Stanford
Mocking The Draft Scouting Report | Big Blue View Prospect Profile | SI.com Profile
NOTES: Fleener has often been connected to the New York Giants with the last pick of the first round -- if he isn't off the board before then.

2. Dwayne Allen, Clemson
Mocking The Draft Scouting Report | Big Blue View Prospect Profile | SI.com Profile
NOTES: Reports came out Monday that the Giants recently had Allen in for a visit. Second round to the G-men, maybe?

3. Michael Egnew, Missouri
Mocking The Draft Scouting Report | Big Blue View Prospect Profile | SI.com Profile

4. Orson Charles, Georgia
Mocking The Draft Scouting Report | Big Blue View Prospect Profile | SI.com Profile

5. Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
Mocking The Draft Scouting Report | SI.com Profile

Regional Prospects

Evan Rodriguez, Temple; Nick Provo, Syracuse. Rodriguez is an Aaron Hernandez-type pass catcher who could be a late-round selection. Provo is more likely to be invited to a camp as an undrafted free agent.

Other Players To Watch

Brian Linthicum, Michigan State; Jake Byrne, Wisconsin; Adam Nissley, Central Florida; Alex Gottlieb, Williams & Mary

New York Giants

The Giants signed free-agent tight end Martellus Bennett, but that does not mean the position won't be a priority for the Giants in the draft later this week. The Giants lost two tight ends, Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, to knee injuries during the Super Bowl and it is looking increasingly like Beckum may be the only one of the two who has a real chance to play in 2012. Unfortunately, Beckum has not been productive in his three seasons with the Giants, so that isn't very comforting.

The Giants have often been connected to Fleener, and have had Allen, Byrne and Nissley in for visits. Allen might be difficult for the Giants to pass up with the final pick of the second round, 63rd overall.

New York Jets

Dustin Keller is probably Mark Sanchez's favorite target, and the tight end position is not really a priority for the Jets. If, however, they can find a pass-catching tight end in the middle- to late-rounds you never know.

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