The 2014 Scouting Combine is in the rear-view mirror and the draft is within sight. That's why we're tracking some of the more intriguing names as we get closer to the 2014 NFL Draft (May 8-10). Check back frequently for updates as we break down the best options for a new class of fantasy football stars.
Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Scouting report: Productive tight end in the Red Raiders' spread system, but scouts question his speed, quickness and athleticism. Workouts will play a major role in his final evaluation.
Fantasy scouting report: A lot of mock drafts have put Amaro in New England, which would be nice. But haven't we learned by now the Patriots never play nice with us? Perhaps a better fit would be in Atlanta to take over the role vacated by Tony Gonzalez. That would definitely put him in the sleeper category. With all of that talent around him, he wouldn't be counted on to have a huge role, but would find some matchups to exploit. And if he has to go in the first round, I'd nominate the Cardinals. - AR
Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Scouting report: Ebron is an ultra-athletic pass-catching tight end. He can split out as well with his hand in the ground. He gets up to top speed very quickly and consistently separates from linebackers and safeties. He explodes in and out of the break point. He has a couple drops on tape but he also has produced some wow grabs. He isn't a dominating run-blocker. He tries to position and wall-off and the results are mixed.
Fantasy scouting report: The first thing that pops when you watch Ebron is his speed. The guy can flat out move for a tight end, which is why he's been climbing up draft boards across the country. All four of NFL Media's experts have him as the first tight end selected in their Mock Drafts, with the landing spots including the Bills, Jets and Ravens, all of which would make Ebron worthy of fantasy attention. EJ Manuel and Geno Smith would both benefit from a security blanket like Ebron, while Dennis Pitta could be paired up in Baltimore, paving the way for a talent like Ebron to create an interesting dynamic. It would be great for fantasy owners if Ebron could slip in the draft and catch passes from Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, but with his level of talent and ability that's not a likely scenario. - Alex Gelhar
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
Scouting report: Traditional tight ends with strong hands are still coveted in pro-style offenses. Fiedorowicz is a legitimate threat in the passing game, but is also a powerful blocker on the perimeter. - BB
Fantasy scouting report: Fiedorowicz is built like an offensive tackle from the Vince Lombardi era. Standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 265 pounds, Fiedorowicz can hold the edge and get great push as a blocker, but he's no slouch in the passing game, either. He caught 75 passes during his junior and senior seasons averaging just shy of 10 yards per catch. Fiedorowicz will likely be a Day Two or Day Three selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, and won't merit a ton of attention early on in fantasy circles. He could be worth a late-round flyer in dynasty leagues, but will most likely be relegated to a potential waiver-wire pickup if he becomes a red-zone target for the NFL team that selects him come May. - AG
Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
Scouting report: Niklas has ideal size for the tight end position, and he's improved every year at Notre Dame. In the passing game, he is an efficient route runner with enough speed to separate from linebackers. He lacks explosiveness on vertical routes, but his size and catch radius is outstanding. He is a red-zone threat because of his ability to high point the football. After the catch, he is very physical and tough to bring down. In the running game, he has the upper strength to torque/control defenders at the point of attack and he is athletic enough to adjust in space. - DJ
Fantasy scouting report: Nicknamed "Hercules" by his Notre Dame teammates, Niklas definitely looks the part. At 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, Niklas is a force to be reckoned with on the football field. He doesn't have elite speed for this tight end class, but he can still create separation from linebackers. Even when he's covered, his massive frame and wingspan allow him to reel in errant or contested passes. If Niklas falls to any of the teams listed below, he'll definitely merit a look in fantasy drafts later this year as a low-end, high-upside No. 2 tight end. His body-type and physical style of play mirror Rob Gronkowski's at the next level. Fantasy owners should cross their fingers that Niklas' body of work and production in the NFL mirror Gronk as well, who caught 10 touchdowns in his rookie outing. - AG
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
Scouting report: Big-bodied tight end with strong hands and good ball skills. Can fill a traditional tight end role but is versatile enough to fill a role as an H-back in two-tight-end packages. - BB
Fantasy scouting report: With his big frame and ability to high-point the ball, A.S.J. could be a deep sleeper candidate as a No. 2 tight end if he lands with the right team. His ability to finish blocks means he won't lose playing time on rushing downs, either, and could set him up for big gains off play-action. However, his blocking ability could also be his fantasy undoing if he lands with a team like the Arizona Cardinals. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians covets big-bodied, blocking tight ends and A.S.J. fits that mold perfectly as a 6-foot-6, 260-pound mauler in the trenches. If he lands in the desert, the best case scenario is Bubba Franks-like production, with limited catches but (hopefully) a wealth of red-zone scores. - AG