In the business world, effective management recognizes the strengths and weakness of its personnel and then puts people in the positions that suit them best based on that knowledge. The same is true of NFL front offices at draft time, as teams break with the average fan and approach football as a business when evaluating talent.
Teams have no interest in highlight reels and the ghosts of combine warriors who failed to develop make them leery of taking players based purely on their natural ability. Scouts have to dig deeper than physical talent. They sift though prospects with the hope of finding a player with the skill set to fill a role in their system, whether as a first-round difference-maker or a role player taken on the second day.
With that in mind, the list below breaks down the 2008 tight end class into specific categories based on what each prospect does best, as teams often look for a specific skill set in players. In addition, there is a look at the strongest underclass prospect and a small-school prospect who could make it at the NFL level.