In Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft, ESPN’s draft expert projects the New York Giants to spend the No. 19 selection on Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert.
However, a new tight end is creating a buzz in free agency.
Jared Cook, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, is emerging as one of the hottest commodities at the tight end position on the free-agent market. In this video posted on the Philadelphia Eagles website, NFL Films guru Greg Cosell compares Cook to former All-Pro Shannon Sharpe.
Cook is not the strongest of blockers, but has the potential to be a game-breaker in the passing game.
“When he came out of South Carolina, I thought that he looked a little bit like Shannon Sharpe,” Cosell said. “He moved like that. … If this kid continues to learn, I think he has a chance to be a very explosive receiver.”
In four seasons with Tennessee, Cook has caught 131 passes, including 93 and 7 touchdowns in past two years.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cook is seeking $6 million per year. The Miami Herald suggested the tight end would command between $8 million and $10 million, and the Nashville Tennessean said $7 million or $8 million.
Teams linked to Cook include the Bears, Eagles, Dolphins, Browns and Rams, as well the Titans.
Tight end has surfaced as a position for the Giants, a team that must decide how to proceed perhaps with Martellus Bennett, also a free agent this off-season.
Bennett enjoyed a career year in 2012 with Big Blue, hauling in 54 receptions for 611 yards and five touchdowns. But according to the New York Daily News, the Giants are unwilling to enter a bidding war for his services in 2013.
An athletic tight end certainly bolstered the Giants passing game last year, as Bennett proved to be an obvious upgrade to Jake Ballard and Kevin Boss in years past.
In addition to Eifert, mock drafts have linked the Giants to other top tight end prospects, including Stanford’s Zach Ertz.
According to NFL.com’s positional rankings, Jordan Reed (Florida), Travis Kelce (Cincinnati), Gavin Escobar (San Diego State), Vance McDonald (Rice) and Philip Lutzenkirchen (Auburn) are among the best in this tight end crop.
So how should the Giants proceed: re-sign Bennett, pursue Cook or rebuild through the draft?
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