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Top 5 2014 NFL Draft prospects by position: Tight ends

The tight-end position has become the focal point of the passing game for several NFL teams. Part of that is because of the superior athleticism of former basketball players manning the position at the high school and collegiate levels. The trend will continue with North Carolina's Eric Ebron, Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Texas Tech's Jace Amaro dominating opponents with their size, strength and ball skills. Each has flashed exceptional skills as primary targets, leading scouts to salivate about their potential at the next level.

1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina

Ultra-athletic playmaker with the size, speed and movement skills to create mismatches at the next level. Scouts view him as a Jimmy Graham-like difference-maker in the passing game.

2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

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.

3. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

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.

4. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

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.

5. Troy Niklas, Notre Dame

Niklas is an intriguing prospect due to his extraordinary size (6-foot-7, 270 pounds) and sneaky athleticism. He has the potential to blossom into a difference-maker at the next level with improved technique and consistency.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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