Throughout the past decade or so, the tight end position has changed massively. While tight ends used to primarily play as additional blockers, a league-wide shift has occurred. Nowadays, players like Rob Gronkowski and Greg Olsen make athletic plays and look a lot more like oversized wide receivers than tight ends. But what about the tight ends that played for the 2016 Cleveland Browns? Were the tight ends in Cleveland anything special, or were they mediocre at best like the rest of the team? In any case, class is in session for a penultimate time. Today, the Cleveland Browns tight end crew is under the microscope.
Cleveland Browns 2016 Season Grades: Tight Ends
Gary Barnidge: C-
After the year he had in 2015, Gary Barnidge‘s grade takes a huge hit. Yes, Barnidge showed out during the 2015 season, but apparently, that was all he had in him. Following a career year with over 1,000 yards, Barnidge fell off a cliff. During 2016, “Big Play Gary” became just “Gary” and collected a disappointing 612 yards. Sure, it’s not awful, but it definitely isn’t great either. Barnidge’s grade would’ve been a lot better off had he not had a great 2015. Fans counted on him to be consistent in 2016, and he just didn’t deliver.
Randall Telfer: N/A
There really isn’t much to say about Randall Telfer. The 24-year old from USC only saw six total targets last year. He caught two of them for a total of four yards. I mean, really, what is there to say? There isn’t enough information to note if he’s good, bad, or even if he has potential. Telfer, you’re off the hook. For his efforts this season, Telfer receives a grade of not applicable. This grade essentially signifies that a grade cannot truly be determined. Telfer barely showed Browns fans anything positive or negative this season; he was just kind of there.
Seth Devalve: C+
While looking at Seth DeValve, one word comes to mind: potential. DeValve, as far as upside goes for a Browns tight end, might be the best of the bunch. Seth DeValve’s 40-yard dash time clocked in at 4.68, one of the best times of the tight end group. Sure, the 40-yard dash isn’t the be all end all by any means. However, it does give fans a taste of DeValve’s tremendous agility. Although DeValve didn’t have an incredibly productive college career, that’s nothing new for tight ends. Plenty of NFL tight ends have come out of nowhere to go on to greatness. See here: one Robert Gronkowski. In any case, DeValve’s measurables put his potential through the roof. No wonder the Browns analytics department loved him.
Composite Grade: C
Were they anything special? No. But were they terrible? Also no. If Gary Barnidge could just get back on track to where he was, this composite grade would be a lot better. However, as of right now, he deserves the grade he got. Randall Telfer is an interesting case, in that he barely has a case to argue to begin with. Finally, Seth DeValve shows potential, but the Browns need to strike while the iron is hot on him. Too many missed opportunities and targets with DeValve could make his career a mediocre one, at best. And judging by their current position, the Browns cannot afford another swing and a miss with any player. As it pertains to the Browns tight end corps, all fans can really do is hold out hope that Hue Jackson and the front office get it right in 2017.