Zierlein: Top 2015 draft tight end prospects turning teams off

Being a receiver in the NFL means you have to have some confidence in yourself, likely bordering on the line of cockiness. The same applies if you're a tight end as well. Just ask Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham

Teams might have to live with such an attitude -- or, possibly worse -- if they want to grab a tight end in the 2015 NFL Draft based on how the pre-draft process is playing out.

According to NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein, one of the prospects who has hurt his stock the most in interviews with teams is Miami tight end Clive Walford.

"He acted like he was doing us a favor by even talking to us," one NFL tight end coach told Zierlein. "We asked about an issue he had and he got pissy."

Walford was one of the players who appeared to have shot up draft boards across the league after a good performance at the Senior Bowl, but he has slid backward ever since thanks to his injury history and bad attitude in interviews at both the NFL Scouting Combine and during private visits with teams.

If you're thinking that the former Hurricanes star is the only prospect causing teams to re-evaluate the position though, you'd be wrong.

Attitude is an issue with three of the top four tight ends in this year's class, according to Zierlein. While the analyst doesn't believe things are as bad with Minnesota's Maxx Williams and South Carolina's Rory "Busta" Anderson compared to Walford, it's still not helping their cause when it comes to the draft.

That could be part of the reason why no analyst projects a tight end to go in the first round of the draft this year.

In his most recent mock draft, Zierlein slotted Williams to the Atlanta Falcons in the second round with the 42nd overall pick while Walford was projected to go at the 70th overall pick by the New York Jets in the third round. Both selections are a far cry from the first-round talk that surfaced around the prospects at the scouting combine, but it appears now we know why teams are souring on the tight end class this year.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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