The tight ends came through the media room on Thursday and while it won't be until the weekend before they begin their workouts, they were peppered with questions about their transition from college tight end performer to rookie NFL tight end. Here's a little of what they said:
- Stanford tight end Zach Ertz on team interviews asking him how comfortable he is playing along the offensive line: "It comes up a lot. I have myself and Levine Tollolo that are coming out this year. He was more of the in-line guy per se but I don't want to say that I didn't do it at all. I had my hand in the dirt a lot. Being from Stanford, we were a run-first team so I think that kind of helped me in that aspect."
- Ertz on why he thinks he'll be a good player at the next level: "Yeah, I think seeing some of the success that some of the Stanford tight ends had in the NFL kind of helps me being an optimist in that sense. I was used all over the field at Stanford, in-line and in the slot and out wide. That versatility is going to help me at the next level."
- Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg on the changing roles of tight ends in the NFL and his place in it: "Yeah, I try working on my pass-catching skills every day, because I know that's where the NFL is going towards. I'm just trying to improve my stock on that and show that I can do that."
- Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson on what he wants to show at the Combine: "I want to show I can be the best blocking Tight End in the country. I take pride in it (blocking).
- Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen on the ups and downs of his career at Auburn: "I definitely had a blessed career at Auburn. I didn't go out the way I wanted to, but that's just how life goes. You're going to experience highs. You're going to experience lows. But to me the key thing was staying level the whole time and not getting too high when we were winning it all and not getting too low when I got hurt and went out the way I did last year. I had a great upbringing. My parents made it pretty clear that football and sports aren't the most important thing in my life. I ended up getting my degree from Auburn and that was the beautiful thing about it. I'm still here today. I'm just blessed with another opportunity to perform and play."
- Rice tight end Vance McDonald on his admiration for Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez: "He uses his body so well. He has great hands. I always want to be known to have great hands. It's certainly something I see Gonzalez having."
- Ohio State tight end Jake Stoneburner on his former role as a receiver and how it could help him in the NFL: "A lot of tight ends, they might have their hand down in 3-point but they're running routes 60-75 percent of the game and I think that's going to play to my advantage because that's something that I'm used to is running routes and being able to catch the ball with playing receiver and a little bit with running routes as a tight end. I feel that could play to my strengths with that being one of the predominant things in the NFL."