2012 NFL Draft: Michael Egnew Pros and Cons

Tight end Michael Egnew is a versatile athlete in the Missouri Tigers’ offensive scheme. He lines up at multiple positions and can create mismatches with his size and speed.

Here are some of the pros and cons to drafting Michael Egnew. All stats are courtesy of CBSSports.com and ESPN.com.

Pros
#1. Hands

Egnew recorded 90 receptions during his breakout season in 2010. He has a wide catch radius and understands how to shield the ball from defenders.

#2. Size
At 6’6″ and 235 pounds, Egnew is lean and rangy. He is a big target in the middle of the field and in the red zone. He is taller than the majority of safeties and most linebackers who are assigned to cover him.

#3. Speed
Egnew has been timed as fast as 4.73 in the 40. He has good but not great acceleration off of the line of scrimmage. Because of his height, Egnew loses a lot of speed when he has to break down and change direction. He needs to continue working on sinking his hips and maintaining his top speed through the entire pass route.

Despite his 40 time, Egnew is better at short and intermediate routes. Egnew has never averaged more than 8.5 yards per catch in a season during his career. The longest catch in his career was only 29 yards.

Cons
#1. Blocking Deficiencies

Egnew remains a relatively poor blocker despite his size. His hand punch is slow to make contact with the target. He doesn’t have enough upper body strength to push his defender down the field. Defenders can get into his body and drive him backwards into the pocket. Egnew is best used as a chip blocker.

#2. Lack of Bulk
At only 235 pounds, Egnew isn’t heavy enough to be used as an extra offensive lineman. He’ll probably need to be monitored throughout the NFL season to ensure that he doesn’t wear down too much.

Opinion
Despite breaking out during the 2010 season, I’m concerned by Egnew’s blocking and lack of touchdowns. He had zero touchdowns during his freshman and sophomore years. Even in 2010, Egnew only recorded 5 touchdowns despite playing with an established quarterback in Blaine Gabbert and working in a pass-heavy offensive scheme.

I think Michael Egnew’s best draft value is in the 2nd to 3rd round range at the moment. If he can improve his blocking, I think his draft value could move up significantly.

Sources
CBSSports.com Michael Egnew’s Player Profile. April 16th, 2011.
ESPN.com Michael Egnew’s Player Page. April 16th, 2011.