MIZZOU FOOTBALL 2016 POSITION PREVIEW: TIGHT END
A lot has been made of the changes that the new Missouri staff has made to the role of the tight end in Missouri’s offense. From what I’ve seen, there will be much more use of a tight end as an H-back, and much more use of two-tight-end sets.
The emphasis at the position has shifted toward being more of a blocker, while still being involved as a slot-type or wide-out receiver.
This summer, a pair of very talented freshmen tight ends have arrived on campus, and the position features a good deal more depth heading into Fall Camp.
Next to running back Damarea Crockett, I think Brendan Scales is the freshman most likely to see the field this season. He’s physically developed, and like Crockett, demonstrates a level of maturity not evident in most freshmen.
I think Scales will fit right in at the H-back role.
The other freshman, Albert Okwuegbunam, is more of a pass-catching tight end. He runs very, very well for a tight end. But, it remains to be seen how quickly he’ll be able to move up the Depth Chart.
Here's kind of what I expect the Depth Chart to look like heading into Fall Camp:
80 Sean Culkin 6’6” 245 (S)
10 Jason Reese 6’5” 250 (J)
11 Kendall Blanton 6’6” 255 (So)
89 Brendan Scales 6’3” 240 (F)
81 Albert Okwuegbunam 6’5” 232 (F)
The trio of returning tight ends, Culkin, Reese, and Blanton, are pretty closely bunched together, in terms of the competition for playing time. I think they could all probably be listed as even on the Depth Chart. I can see all three, in addition to Scales, seeing regular action this fall.
I think that under Coach Finley, and with this talented group of players, the tight end position has the potential to once again be a strength of the Missouri offense.