GazetteNetMobile

A look into UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower’s NFL future

AP FILE PHOTO
University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower, bottom, could be drafted this weekend in the NFL draft.

AP FILE PHOTO University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower, bottom, could be drafted this weekend in the NFL draft.

By MATT VAUTOUR @GazetteUMass
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
(Published in print: Thursday, May 8, 2014)

By the time he goes to bed Saturday night, all of the questions about Rob Blanchflower will be answered.

Will the former University of Massachusetts tight end be drafted or signed as an undrafted free agent?

What team will he land with?

What will affect his status more: his injury-plagued senior season or playing a position teams covet?

Until Saturday it’s all speculation.

Here are selections from some of the evaluations on Blanchflower’s chances for an NFL future by national draft sites:

NFL.com : “A scrappy, tough, competitive ‘Y’ tight end, Blanchflower was slowed by injury as a senior. However, he possesses the grit to factor in-line in the run game and can become a solid base-blocking No. 3 tight end and short-area receiving option.”

NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports : Both have him ranked ninth out of 95 draft-eligible tight ends.

SeniorBowl.com — “For the NFL, he has a chance to earn a roster spot due to his size, hands and football instincts. He may develop over time, but as a rookie, will need to contribute in short yardage/goal-line situations and on special teams to solidify his status as a backup with future potential in the league.”

WiththeFirstPick.com: “He plays with a high level of effort and really seems to take pride in being able to help his team, but can make plays when he has the chance? Blanchflower projects as a third day pick but if he shows well in (pre-draft workouts/pro days), he could end up possibly at the fringes of the top 100.”

Big Blue View (A Giants Centric site): “The Giants and UMass seem to be joined at the hip in recent years — ever since Victor Cruz showed up and became a salsa-dancing NFL sensation. On the current Giants’ roster, Cruz, running back Michael Cox and wide receiver Julian Talley are all from UMass. Maybe Blanchflower is next in line, so let’s get to know a little about the guy. ... Blanchflower is a 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end who might figure as a Day 3 selection.”

NFLMocks.com Has Blanchflower as a sixth-round pick going to Tennessee: “Solid all-around TE prospect who is coming off of injury that could be a real sleeper here in the sixth round for the Titans. Adds more competition to a position for the Titans that isn’t set in stone by any means.”

NESN.com Has the Patriots selecting Blanchflower with their seventh-round (No. 244 overall) pick — “If Branchflower can ever get healthy, he has the same tools the Patriots typically look for in a tight end. Staying healthy was an issue for Blanchflower at UMass, however.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage