The Cincinnati Bengals have selected Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert with the 21st overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Pros: Comes off the snap with surprising burst for his size, and accelerates smoothly up to full speed. Does a great job of using head and foot fakes to dislodge coverage off the line. High-points the ball as well as anyone in this draft class, and as well as half the tight ends currently in the NFL -- can make life very difficult for defenders who try to jump with him. Plays boundaries well -- uses the sideline as an advantage. Has a good sense of route concepts from in-line or H-back. Dynamic receiver after the catch; Eifert will bull through arm and ankle tackles and is always looking to get upfield. Very agile for his size in space and will get open in little zones. Unfinished as a blocker, but will go out of his way to seal the edge or get upfield to deal with a defender. Knows how to ride the stem and will work to stay open when his quarterback is in trouble.
Cons: Good effort blocker, but struggles at times with angles and placement and will lose blocks at times as a result. Does not possess top-end speed and takes a while to build up to full velocity. Tops out quickly on more vertical routes. Teams looking to use him as more of an inline blocker may want him to bulk up a bit from his current lankier frame.
What he brings to the team: Another great weapon for quarterback Andy Dalton. With all the talk about old-school and new-school tight ends, Eifert is the most appealing mixture of receiving and blocking potential in this draft class, and one of the best in the recent draft classes. He brings a full skill set to the table, and as long as you're not looking for the next Jimmy Graham to explode up the seam for 25 yards per play, he's as good as you're going to get at the position coming out of college. He'll come into the NFL as a relatively fully-formed player, but this is no low-ceiling guy -- this is the kind of player around whom a team can build a passing offense. Look no further than the BCS Championship game, when Alabama put cornerback Dee Milliner on Eifert, to see what the best defenses think of Eifert's potential.
Was it the right pick? Yes. There's still a huge need at safety, but pairing Eifert with A.J. Green makes every defensive coordinator in the AFC North pretty nervous.