5) Michael Roberts, tight end, Toledo
Michael Roberts could be the best pure-blocking tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft. Yet despite that lofty proposition in a pass-happy NFL, Roberts’ 45 receptions for 533 yards, and an amazing 16 touchdowns should not be discounted.
More of a short yardage mismatch that a down the seam pass-catching tight end, Roberts can be the dominant blocker occasionally used in the passing game. For some teams, that’s the perfect combination. While most teams may balk because Roberts is clearly not Rob Gronkowski, the Jacksonville Jaguars may see some value in Roberts as the team already has many passing options primarily at wide receiver.
6’4″ and 261 pounds clearly leans Roberts toward the blocking aspect of tight end duties, hopefully helping an abused quarterback like Blake Bortles stay upright at the NFL level. That ability is valuable, though not as valuable as a pass-catching tight end. He will likely be drafted in the fourth or fifth rounds.
Most importantly in considering Roberts, he represents efficiency. Per his NFL.com draft profile, “Has had over 80 percent of his career catches go for first downs and this season saw 35.5 percent of his catches go for touchdowns (16).” Teams crave that reliability in critical situations and Roberts can deliver.