Chicago Bears NFL Draft: Player comparisons for tight end prospects

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Chicago Bears, Josh Oliver
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Josh Oliver, San Jose State

Player Comparison: Jermaine Gresham

The first player on this list hailing from a small school, San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver entered last season as a sleeper but exited as a sure pick in the draft.

Oliver still projects as a day three selection, but is no longer an unknown to scouts, as he followed up a solid junior season with a spectacular senior season, making 56 catches for 709 yards and four touchdowns on a horrible San Jose State team.

Obviously, team performance should not be a knock against a tight end, but it is interesting to think about what Oliver could have done if his team was just a little bit better. He surely would’ve gotten the ball more, thus seeing a sizeable increase in both yards and touchdowns.

The ceiling of Oliver is very high, and considering that he would be on a better team in the Bears, Oliver’s production and numbers could take off in no time.

So what can we expect Oliver to look like on the field? I liken him to Jermaine Gresham, the Arizona Cardinals tight end. Gresham was a first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft but has not really lived up to that billing. However, Gresham is a catch-first tight end, who has struggled in the blocking game. Gresham can explode for big yardage at times but is not a real red zone threat, both traits which Oliver mirrors.

Oliver is not a starting tight end, but he would make a great complimentary piece as a high-end backup. Gresham is the epitome of a great backup tight end, which is what the Bears would get in Oliver.