There’s a lot to like about a tight end capable of executing assignments from a variety of spots on the field, and [Tyler] Eifert demonstrates enough of that skill at the college level to project him as an effective blocker in the pros with additional work. He can meet an opponent of defensive-end proportions with a punch, attain hand placement inside the defender’s pads, and turn the man away from the ball carrier while maintaining a solid anchor with his lower body. When he faces a linebacker within his weight range, he has the strength to drive forward and pancake a defender. He also demonstrates a high motor to continue to work for good position and delivers multiple punches to get his hands into position to control his opponent.
One of the things he’ll need to get better at is his release at the snap. When Eifert is first off the line, his pads are generally low and he usually wins his assignment. However, he can fire off a step slow and too high as a run blocker. While he’s quick enough to sometimes get away with this poor timing in the college game, it won’t work in the NFL. Eifert also needs to develop more consistency with his hand placement so he can win battles at the line of scrimmage early in the snap. When it comes to anchoring defenders, it will benefit him to add 10-to-15 pounds of weight to his core, which will not only improve his functional strength but increase his initial explosion. Until he does so, he’s most effective against larger opponents as a part of a double team.
If Eifert truly measures at 6-foot-6 and gains the 10-to-15 pounds to reach 255-to-260 pounds. he’ll be a good option in a power run game, like [Vikings' TE Kyle] Rudolph is today. If he cannot add this muscle and plays at a weight below 250 pounds, he’ll offer more to an offense that uses a tight end like an H-Back that they move around as a wing player, fullback, slot receiver, and second inline tight end. I think Eifert’s talents make him a good match for teams like the Browns, Seahawks, Rams, Falcons, and Bears. I’m not convinced he’s a first-round talent, but I’d be surprised if he falls below the third round, a place where a lot of players with first-round grades are still available.