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Kelce, Kittle, Gronk are the Gold Standard for Incoming Rookie Tight Ends at NFL Combine

Notre Dame's Cole Kmet, Georgia's Charlie Woerner, Oregon's Jacob Breeland and Missouri's Albert Okquegbuna reveal which tight ends in the NFL they try to emulate.

After seeing both the Chiefs and 49ers have tremendous success on offense and make it to the Super Bowl thanks in large part to their dynamic tight ends, other NFL teams will now look to find the “next” Travis Kelce or George Kittle via the 2020 draft.

Some of the incoming rookie tight end prospects we spoke with at the NFL combine say they study and try to emulate the very players (Kittle, Kelce, Rob Gronkowski) NFL teams hope they can one day develop into.

Kelce and Kittle’s productivity isn’t just about their receptions, yards or touchdowns. Their ability to block, create mismatches and offer versatility is make them truly special players. The physical nature for tight ends and the importance of blocking both at the line of scrimmage and downfield seemed to be a major point of emphasis for this year’s top tight end prospects.

Oregon’s Jacob Breeland told us he “loves to watch George Kittle.” Georgia’s Charlie Woerner and Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam said they do too. Both Woerner and Breeland said they admire how physically Kittle plays with and without the ball in his hands. They also noted they take pride in their own physicality, especially when making contact with the initial defender or blocking downfield.

Notre Dame’s Cole Kmet is the top tight end prospect on SI draft analyst Kevin Hanson’s rankings. The former Golden Domer said he looks up to both Kelce and Gronkowski and tries to model his game after both the former Patriots star and Chiefs All-Pro.

Check out the complete list of Kevin Hanson’s Pre-Draft tight end rankings.