A look at guys not named Vernon Davis

March, 29, 2011
3/29/11
12:36
PM ET
There is Vernon Davis and then there is everyone else among tight ends in the NFC West.

I'll have more on Davis, who needs just four touchdown receptions to tie Brent Jones' franchise record, when our positional power rankings go live later Tuesday.

A quick look at some of the others in the division:
  • Most confounding: John Carlson, Seattle Seahawks. Carlson has had three head coaches in three NFL seasons. His reception total has declined every season, from 55 as a rookie to 31 last season. The Seahawks figured out how to use him late in 2010. Carlson caught two scoring passes against New Orleans in the playoffs, making the most of play-action fakes. Cameron Morrah increasingly became the tight end Seattle flexed out as a wide receiver type.
  • Most upside: Mike Hoomanawanui, St. Louis Rams. The rookie caught scoring passes covering 25 and 36 yards in his final two starts before injury removed him from the lineup. Hoomanawanui caught three scoring passes in eight games. Teammate Daniel Fells has five touchdowns in 42 games with the Rams. Billy Bajema has two in 29 games. Hoomanawanui showed he can pass-protect as well.
  • Most invisible: Any tight ends playing for the Arizona Cardinals. The team has had ample targets at wide receiver and no need to funnel passes toward Ben Patrick, Stephen Spach, Jim Dray or any of the other tight ends to play for the team in recent seasons. Arizona tight ends have three scoring receptions over the past three seasons, two by Patrick.
  • Keep an eye on: Morrah. A seventh-round choice by Seattle in 2009, Morrah caught 12 passes over the team's final seven games last season, including a 39-yarder against New Orleans in the playoffs. He looks like strictly a receiving threat at this point. How will he fit in an offense led by new coordinator Darrell Bevell and assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable?
  • Do not write off yet: Fendi Onobun, Rams. The team thought during training camp that Onobun would earn snaps as a rookie. Projections changed once players put on the pads and started hitting. Can Onobun become more than a converted basketball player?
  • Most overshadowed: Delanie Walker, 49ers. Walker's speed and overall athletic ability have given the 49ers flexibility within their personnel groupings featuring two tight ends. Davis has rarely come off the field, however. If that continues, as expected, Walker's touches will be limited. He did set a career high with 29 receptions last season.

The chart shows leading receivers among NFC West tight ends since 2008.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

Insider

NFC WEST SCOREBOARD