Zach Miller
Bears' Zach Miller: Could face competition for roster spot
Zach Miller, TE, CHI
2:32 PM
News: Miller (foot) could be challenged for a spot on the roster by Daniel Brown during training camp, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Despite being productive during the 10 games he played last season, Miller's durability issues could factor into whether the Bears decide whether they'd be better off with Brown, a converted wide receiver, as their receiving tight end. However, with the team having drafted Adam Shaheen in the second round of this year's draft, keeping Miller around for the last year of his deal, which has a base salary of $1.5 million, might allow the rookie a year to acclimate to the professional game while the team has a solid receiver in Miller during the transition. As long as Miller makes it through training camp healthy, he should have little trouble holding off Brown, who produced just 124 yards in six games last year after Miller injured his foot. Miller should be a solid backup tight end for fantasy teams should he hold onto his roster spot.

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Cameron Brate
Buccaneers' Cameron Brate: Slated for red-zone looks
Cameron Brate, TE, TB
2:06 PM
News: Brate is expected to remain a prominent figure in the Buccaneers' red-zone offense, ESPN's Jenna Laine reports.

Brate scored all eight of his touchdowns from inside the 20-yard line last season, when his 57 catches for 660 yards also marked career highs. Despite that production, the Buccaneers opted to draft fellow tight end O.J. Howard in the first round, leaving questions over Brate's role. While Howard's presence, along with that of towering wideout Mike Evans, gives Tampa Bay another big-bodied target, Brate is expected to remain in the mix through regular two-tight end sets.

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Tyler Higbee
Rams' Tyler Higbee: Getting work ahead of rookie so far
Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR
6/25/2017
News: Higbee got regular first-team snaps during June minicamp, ESPN.com's Alden Gonzalez reports.

A likely Day 2 selection at one point, Higbee fell to the fourth round of last year's draft due to off-field concerns and a sketchy injury history, and while neither of those potential issues cropped up during his rookie season, he was still remarkably unproductive in catching only 11 of 28 targets for 85 yards and a score in 16 games. With Lance Kendricks no longer around, Higbee is the favorite to enter Week 1 as the Rams' starting tight end, though second-round rookie Gerald Everett still has time to make a push for the job. New head coach Sean McVay made the most of his tight ends -- particularly Jordan Reed -- while serving as offensive coordinator for the Redskins, but McVay will have his hands full working with second-year QB Jared Goff, a shaky offensive line and an unproven group of pass catchers. While the team context is far from ideal for fantasy production, Higbee does have a clear opportunity to earn regular snaps and targets.

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Darren Waller
Ravens' Darren Waller: Back on the field
Darren Waller, TE, BAL
6/23/2017
News: Waller (undisclosed) was a participant at the Ravens' minicamp after sitting out voluntary workouts, Luke Jones of wnst.net reports.

Waller was one of three tight ends on the team dealing with an injury, but it does not appear to have been a serious issue. His participation in minicamp seems to indicate he will be healthy entering training camp. He figures to compete to make the final roster providing depth at tight end.

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Seth DeValve
Browns' Seth DeValve: Expected to break out in 2017
Seth DeValve, TE, CLE
6/23/2017
News: The Browns expect a breakout season for DeValve in 2017, Nate Ulrich of The Akron Beacon-Journal reports. "Most of his development in the offseason was that [DeValve] put on a little weight, he is noticeably stronger, he is faster and he is healthier," tight ends coach Greg Seamon said. "His ability to run routes, catch the ball, leave his feet, catch the ball away from his body and he has a big catch radius, I think those things are showing up out here. I'm pleased with what he has done developing as a blocker from a technical and footwork standpoint. The proof will be obvious when we put the pads on, but he is ahead of where he was a year ago. I see Seth as a guy who is important to us."

DeValve, the Browns' 2016 fourth-rounder, caught 10 passes for 127 yards and two spikes in limited snaps last season. Although he's beginning to prove himself as a receiver, the fact of the matter is that Cleveland selected Miami tight end David Njoku in the first round of this year's draft to serve as the team's primary receiving threat from the tight end position while Randall Telfer, the likely No. 2 on the depth chart, stands apart as the best blocker. That leaves DeValve as nothing more than No. 3. It usually all comes down to opportunity, and that simply might not be there for DeValve to significantly improve upon his 2016 numbers.

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Eric Ebron
Lions' Eric Ebron: Believes TE additions will help him
Eric Ebron, TE, DET
6/23/2017
News: Ebron believes the addition of tight ends Darren Fells and Michael Roberts should help him this upcoming season, Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press reports. "I think it's going to play a significant role for me to allow me to do the things that I'm best at," Ebron said.

Last season, Ebron was the top gun in a tight end group that included very little established talent behind him. Due to this predicament, the 2014 first-rounder couldn't always to play to his strengths because he was often the only tight end on the field and subsequently was responsible for the bulk of the position's duties as both a receiver and a blocker. With Fells around, Detroit has one of the most reliable blocking tight ends in the league. Roberts, on the other hand, is a massive target who caught 16 touchdowns during his final season at Toledo last year and can hold his own in the run game, too. Whether it's by using more two-TE sets or subbing Ebron off the field entirely, both Fells and Roberts could be utilized in a fashion that allows Ebron to stay fresh and focus on his strength as a pass-catcher.

Analysis: 

Xavier Grimble
Steelers' Xavier Grimble: Consistency could boost stock
Xavier Grimble, TE, PIT
6/23/2017
News: Grimble is currently expected to serve as the Steelers' second-string tight end, but he could make a push for the starting job if his consistency improves, Bob Labriola of Steelers.com reports.

Grimble is pegged behind Jesse James at tight end after the Steelers released Ladarius Green (concussion) in May. Although he only caught 11 passes on 21 targets for 118 yards and two scores as a rookie, Grimble has reportedly shown flashes lately, which could allow him to put pressure on James. However, in order to do so, Grimble will need to show more reliable hands, which is something to monitor once training camp begins.

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Evan Engram
Giants' Evan Engram: Getting comfortable in offense
Evan Engram, TE, NYG
6/23/2017
News: Engram said he started to gain confidence following a June practice in which he made some big catches and knew all of his assignments, Art Stapleton of The Record reports. "I had a really good day, some really big catches, and I could see I was starting to learn the offense, getting comfortable," said Engram. "There were a couple times, I went out in the slot or in my position [at tight end], and Eli [Manning] gave an adjustment, and I knew exactly what to do, and I felt really confident, and I went and made the play."

Engram may have been slightly intimidated joining an offense with veteran standouts like Eli Manning, Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall, but it seems the No. 23 overall pick from this year's draft is quickly seeing how he can be an asset to a team that had tight ends account for only 609 of its 4,027 receiving yards and three of its 26 receiving touchdowns last season. Engram may start his career with a part-time role, but his 4.42 speed should make him an immediate asset on passing downs, at the very least. It seems everything has gone in his favor over the last year, as he produced a 65-926-8 receiving line in 11 games during his senior season at Ole Miss, and then tore up the Combine with top-three marks for his position in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle as well as the 40-yard dash. Returning starter Will Tye was one of the league's least explosive and least efficient tight ends last season, producing 8.2 yards per catch and 5.6 per target (on 70 targets).

Analysis: 

Logan Paulsen
49ers' Logan Paulsen: Familiarity with offense helps roster bid
Logan Paulsen, TE, SF
6/22/2017
News: Paulsen has the skill set and history with head coach Kyle Shanahan to make a serious bid for a roster spot this season, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.

At 30 years old, Paulsen is the elder statesman of the group of tight ends currently in camp. While that works against him on paper, his size (6-foot-5, 268 pounds), blocking ability and presence as a red-zone threat (six touchdowns on 82 receptions) make the veteran a good fit for Shanahan's offense. Both he and Garrett Celek possess similar skill sets, and they will likely compete for a spot on the depth chart this preseason.

Analysis: 

Cole Hikutini
49ers' Cole Hikutini: Could make roster despite going undrafted
Cole Hikutini, TE, SF
6/22/2017
News: Hikutini has a shot at making the 49ers' roster if he performs well this preseason, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.

The undrafted free agent out of Louisville had a strong 2016 campaign and was brought into camp to compete for a role in Kyle Shanahan's offense. He has received an extensive look during the 49ers' offseason program, and he could move up the depth chart with a strong showing during training camp as the club starts from scratch with their bevvy of tight end options. A focus point of Hikutini's evaluation will be how well he has recovered from a knee injury that hurt his draft stock this past offseason. The 21-year-old produced 668 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season with Louisville, so he possesses some playmaking potential if he were to make the roster.

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