Others: Donald Lee (Mississippi State), Mike Seidman (UCLA), Trent Smith (Oklahoma), Doug Zeigler (Mississippi), Matt Huebner (St. Cloud State), Zach Hilton (North Carolina), Kevin Ware (Washington), Sean Berton (North Carolina State), Dan Curley (Eastern Washington), Chad Bartoszek (Buffalo), Steve Farmer (Tennessee State).
Rising: Vishante Shiancoe of Morgan State is very raw but has run under 4.6 in some workouts and opened a lot of eyes. He needs to get bigger and to add some pop to his blocking, but has a chance to be a very good player at the NFL level. Western Michigan's Mobolaji Afariogun has bulked up to 250 pounds (from the 230s) and is running in the 4.8s in recent auditions for some teams. His size and athleticism make him an H-back candidate.
Declining: A pair of Brigham Young tight ends, Spencer Nead and Gabe Reid, are both overaged because of Mormon missions and have lately been passed by several prospects. Neither is a very good blocker and Reid needs a lot more size, while Nead has to get quicker.
Intriguing: R.J. Luke of Western Illinois also played fullback in college, before switching to tight end in 2002, and could make a roster because of his versatility and special teams potential. Auburn's Lorenzo Diamond might, indeed, be a diamond-in-the-rough. He was overshadowed by two other tight ends in college, but Diamond certainly has talent and plays hard every snap. His late workouts have been very good. Aaron Golliday from Nebraska caught just three passes in 2002 but might be able to move out and play offensive tackle if he doesn't make it as a tight end.
Sleepers: Corey Jacks of Nevada-Reno played basketball in college and, when he walked onto the football field in 2002, it was his first gridiron action since his senior year of high school. At 6-feet-6 and 268 pounds, a few teams actually feel he can grow into a defensive end. It's difficult to ignore his 4.8 speed, overall athleticism, and agility.
Notable: Robert Johnson of Auburn is the nephew of former Green Bay player Alfonso Johnson.
Tennessee State's Steve Farmer was a forward on the Illinois-Chicago basketball team before giving up the sport and then transferring.
Nebraska's Aaron Golliday competed in the shot put for the Cornhuskers' track and field team.
Gabe Reid of BYU had a brother, Spencer, who was once in the Carolina Panthers' training camp.
Morgan State's Vishante Shiancoe rejected scholarship offers from some major schools because he felt he was not emotionally mature enough.
Position trend: After undergoing a de-evolution of sorts, the position in general is regaining some status, and most teams are placing increased emphasis on it. Tight ends who can play in the West Coast offense are becoming more popular again.