2015 NFL Draft: Bengals’ Tight End Options

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Nov 22, 2014; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end Clive Walford (46) runs with the ball as Virginia Cavaliers safety Anthony Harris (8) chases in the fourth quarter at Scott Stadium. The Cavaliers won 30-13. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Clive Walford, Miami Hurricanes

Clive Walford is one of my favorite tight ends in this class.  At 6’4″, 251 pounds, he’d come to the Bengals already possessing the necessary size to be successful.  He offers solid speed and generally good playmaking ability in the receiving game, though he won’t blow the doors off any expectations in this regard.

Walford’s blocking ability is what makes him a vital target in the draft.  He is a motivated and productive blocker.  Having played with a good running back in Duke Johnson, he’s aware of what his job will be with Jeremy Hill and the Bengals’ new penchant for running the ball.  This offensive game plan will help Walford become a more productive receiver, as opposing defenses will be forced to focus on the run.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com compares Walford to Colts tight end Dwayne Allen.  It seems like a fair assessment given how solid, yet unspectacular of a tight end Allen can be for Andrew Luck.  It should be noted that while many may share this notion of Walford, a guy like Mike Mayock believes Walford is the “most explosive tight end” in this class.  Given this is a relative accolade, which can only be considered within the class presented, it still brings a measure of levity to Walford’s game given Maxx Williams is a pretty impressive playmaker as more of a receiving tight end.

Walford’s game could prove to be the best fit when evaluating what the Bengals are looking for.  Tyler Eifert, if healthy, should man the pass catching role.  Walford would match his skills by offering a blocking presence that still must be respected as a receiving target.  The two would likely work well together.

Next: Bengals Would Do Well to Create A Notre Dame Partnership

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