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Scout says Fleener “might be the most overrated guy in the draft”

Coby Fleener AP

Bob McGinn and Tyler Dunne have been churning out info-packed draft prospect rundowns in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel over the past several days. McGinn is tight with a large number of league evaluators, and gets them to talk about players leading up to the draft. Some conversations are on the record, others off. Some reviews from the scouts are negative, and others are positive.

When reading the Journal-Sentinel‘s tight end rundown, one scout’s observations regarding Stanford tight end Coby Fleener caught our eye.

“He wasn’t even the best tight end on their team,” the scout said. “No. 11 [sophomore Levine Toilolo], that’s the real deal. [Fleener] might be the most overrated guy in the draft. He’s awful as a blocker.”

Blocking isn’t a strength of Fleener’s, and that’s pretty well known. But the scout also expressed skepticism about Fleener’s athleticism, which generated buzz at Stanford’s March 22 Pro Day.

“Despite his workout numbers he’s not really a quick-twitch, dymamic-moving guy. He’s a straight-line, build-up player,” the scout explained. “All these reports about him being an athlete and this and that, they’re assuming that because he ran fast. He’s really just a red-zone, jump-ball player.”

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69 Responses to “Scout says Fleener “might be the most overrated guy in the draft””
  1. teamocil19 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:36 PM

    Wonder if that scout’s team is picking in the back end of the draft.

  2. The Deep Dig says: Apr 22, 2012 3:38 PM

    Most overrated: Tannehill, Fleener, Poe, and Barron.

  3. N JAIL U MY HOE says: Apr 22, 2012 3:42 PM

    Be funny if Green Bay drafts any of these players. Never knew a scout to take that much time to talk to a local newspaper. Maybe he has nothing to do or dont have a job anymore. Who knows.

  4. mungman69 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:43 PM

    Let’s see, he’s tall, fast, good hands and a red zone jumper. I know a few teams that could use him.

  5. blacknole08 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:44 PM

    What “scout” calls a “red-zone, jump-ball player” overrated? And if he’s overrated what would that make Andrew Luck? Sounds to me like a player I’d want on my team in crunch time.

  6. nyg88 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:44 PM

    If “this scout” was so confident in his words, he wouldn’t be anonymous.

  7. hutch119 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:45 PM

    I think this scout is confused. Wasn’t Toilolo the one that was just a red-zone jump ball player?

  8. mrhurriicane says: Apr 22, 2012 3:46 PM

    Another weak TE class. Fleener is just the highest rated out of an unimpressive bunch at this point. Tannhehill takes the overrated title.

  9. cletusvandam says: Apr 22, 2012 3:46 PM

    I really don’t want the Niners to waste a pick on this guy. If he’s still there at 30 though I’m afraid they will.

  10. 4thquartermagic says: Apr 22, 2012 3:49 PM

    The TE position has changed dramtically in recent years.

    Maybe the love for Fleener comes with teams reaching for their own Jimmy Graham or Gronkowski.

  11. wilddeuce03 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:51 PM

    If you want to slam a player this close to the draft, fine, but at least have the stones to put your name to it. Can’t stand these no name scouts with opinions like this. I can respect someone a lot more if they own it, even if I don’t agree with them.

  12. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 22, 2012 3:52 PM

    Several players interviewed offered scathing assesments of a certain “unnamed scout’.

    “We know for a fact that the guy just spends all his time in the hotel bar. Never seen him out on the field. He is real slow to get up in the morning, usually misses most of the practice, if he can even find the facility. All his film is out of date, and he is color blind, so he can’t always tell which team the player he is watching is playing for at the time. Plus he has off field issues. His wife left him a couple of years ago, after he found out none of their kids were actually related to him.”.

  13. deucedropper says: Apr 22, 2012 3:53 PM

    “He’s really just a red-zone, jump-ball player.”
    ————————-
    Ouch. What’s next, “All he does is catch touchdowns?”

  14. rayday1980 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:54 PM

    My Giants wouldn’t be dumb enuff to take a non blocking TE in the first round!!

  15. discosucs2005 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:56 PM

    @cletusvandam

    I wouldn’t worry about it. First, I don’t think he’ll be there at 30. Second, even if he is and the 49ers draft him, I’m fairly certain it will improve our 3 TE sets. Overrated doesn’t mean bad. He’s still a great pass catcher. And I’m sure he will be a lot better than Peele or Byhnam (the other two TEs on the 49ers roster).

    I honestly think that 49ers are going to go with the best guard available. It’s the only starter spot that hasn’t been maintained or upgraded.

  16. cali49er707 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:56 PM

    cletusvandam says:
    Apr 22, 2012 3:46 PM
    I really don’t want the Niners to waste a pick on this guy. If he’s still there at 30 though I’m afraid they will.

    i respect your opinion my man, especially as a 9ER fan but harbaugh knows him better then any scout or head coach, plus with vd, crab, gore, manningham, walker, ginn & moss, to play alongside fleener will look great with all the possible mismatches, defenses will be scratching their looking to stop all the 9ERS options from play to play!!!

  17. manzoa says: Apr 22, 2012 3:56 PM

    Probably not a good idea to believe anything you hear less than a week from the draft. There is more bull sheet flying around than you’d find at a rodeo. Teams down the line bad mouth guys hoping they fall …look at the article here about Kalil falling…but the stuff about RG3…that’s different…he’s going 2 no matter what. It is interesting that all the talking heads and media pundits are falling all over themselves to defend RG by attacking the scouts who criticized him…why you ask. Because the talking heads are now invested in the guy…it’s slobbering man love…and the fear is that the scouts who saw bad film on RG are right and this guy is just a skinny, fast athletic guy who has a strong arm but can’t read a defense even if it’s tattooed on his arm. Good gawd man…what if he’s Akili Smith!!!!!!

  18. raiderinva says: Apr 22, 2012 3:58 PM

    I think someone just simply cut and pasted the scout report from TE Ricky Dudley out of Ohio State.

    Ricky’s nickname in Oakland was “The Preacher” due to his in ornate ability to make 65,000 people scream “My God” all at once.

  19. halo81 says: Apr 22, 2012 3:59 PM

    The anonymous negative scout that McGinn has been quoting consecutively has been consistently saying things opposite of other scouts off the record.

    Egnew “had no idea what he was doing” at the Senior Bowl…

    Over a dozen scouts in attendance have commented around me how surprised they were with his blocking. Said he was physical and strong. Shocked with him having come out of Missouri.

    Blackmon doesn’t “out-physical” people? Has this guy watched him run after the catch? He looks like Anquan Boldin.

    This reeks of BS, misinformation or things being made the heck up.

    Not just those two examples, consistently over the past few weeks.

    The Fleener comments were hilarious, no need to even address those.

  20. djstat says: Apr 22, 2012 3:59 PM

    Comments from “Scout who wished to be annonomous should not be allowed”. Be a man and attach your name

  21. joshmeeker says: Apr 22, 2012 4:01 PM

    The scout is Evan Silva. A well known scout with a good reputation.

  22. stevenfbrackett says: Apr 22, 2012 4:02 PM

    Some conversations are off the record, others off.

    Can we get a proofreader in here? Heck, if the pay is reasonable, I’ll take it on as a second job.

  23. jacobslatter says: Apr 22, 2012 4:03 PM

    That is what happens when you name your kid after a brand name of cheap consumer electronics. Coby, Emerson, Goldstar, Funai, Audiovox……. we’ve all made those bad decisions. Not to mention Panaphonics, Magnetbox, and Sorny. (Simpsons reference)

  24. gmen4life33 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:03 PM

    Says the scout who wants Fleener to fall to him

  25. browncat99 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:03 PM

    The dudes name is Coby Fleener….

    …..

  26. tedmurph says: Apr 22, 2012 4:03 PM

    With a weak TE draft class and what NE,SF and NO did with their TEs, some teams are going to try to see things in this kid that aren’t there.

  27. bigtunna says: Apr 22, 2012 4:04 PM

    He’s exactly what the bass catching tight end has become in the NFL. A matchup advantage who catches passed in the end zone. Aaron Hernandez or Antonio Gates ring a bell?

  28. hedleykow says: Apr 22, 2012 4:09 PM

    What do boy scouts know about football, anyway?

  29. dawgs105 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:10 PM

    I agree he is overrated. I still think some team will end up picking him up late in first round. In my opinion he is worth more of a late 2nd round pick. I still have the Giants getting him with the 32nd pick in my mock draft. I think the best TE is Orsen Charles(that may just be me being a little biased toward UGA players though.)

  30. croghan1919 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:10 PM

    Now I understand why Casserly has him as a late 2nd rounder as opposed to his NFL.com colleages late 1st round.

  31. texan1979 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:11 PM

    Lot of peeps think texans w thatill draft him but if he can’t block that won’t happen

  32. briang123 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:12 PM

    Don’t worry 49ers fan. If Fleener is overrated, who would know it better than Harbaugh?

  33. lolb23 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:14 PM

    He also has a really creepy emo clown look going on.

  34. billhicks666 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:18 PM

    Couldn’t disagree more with this scout. Fleener is the real deal. His blocking could be better, but that can be coached up. You can’t coach up 6’6″ or 4.5 speed. Nice to know that this scout stands by his evaluations so much that he prefers to remain anonymous. Sounds like this tool just wants attention. Next year, or whenever Levine Toilolo is in the draft, this guy will probably say the same negative stuff about him.

  35. dinvean says: Apr 22, 2012 4:20 PM

    I don’t think Tannehill is overrated, he’ll be drafted much higher than his relative status as a player – but everyone already knows this. Most people think he’s around the 20th (ish) player – give or take. Whether that’s an overdraft is subject to debate of course, but he’s probably fairly rated – he just plays a position of extreme need and scarcity.

  36. billhicks666 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:22 PM

    texan1979 says:

    “Lot of peeps think texans w thatill draft him but if he can’t block that won’t happen”

    Oh, really? Last time I checked, Owen Daniels wasn’t much of a blocker, either. Besides, like I said in another post, blocking can be coached up. 6’6″ and 4.5 speed can’t.

  37. skins21 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:26 PM

    If people think Fleeener is a first round pick, then he is definitely overrated. Just look at the top TEs in the league today…how many first rounders do you see? Tell Fleener deserves to drafted higher than any of them.

  38. lifeofcurley says: Apr 22, 2012 4:32 PM

    Rob Gronkowski 6’6″ 258lbs, 40 time: 4.68, vertical: 33 1/2″, bench: 23 reps

    Aaron Hernandez 6’2” 245lbs, 40 time: 4.64, vertical: 33”, bench: 30 reps

    Jimmy Graham 6’6” 260lbs, 40 time: 4.53, vertical: 38 ½”, bench: 15 reps

    Coby Fleener 6’6” 247lbs, 40 time: 4.45, vertical: 37”, bench: 27reps

    He will be as much of a matchup nightmare as Gronk, Hernandez, and Graham. Plus he has better straight line speed than the other 3TE. Jimmy Graham doesn’t block neither does Hernandez really. Fleener on a team like the Giants or Broncos or someone with an established QB who knows how to use him will make him great.

  39. babyhorsemorgan says: Apr 22, 2012 4:32 PM

    Opinions are like fat, pig eyed, Retweeters in this World. Every site has at least one of them.

  40. veistran says: Apr 22, 2012 4:33 PM

    Wait we’re talking about the most overrated prospect in the draft and its not Kuechly? How?

  41. descendency says: Apr 22, 2012 4:44 PM

    His blocking is awful but he’s easily the best ball catching TE in the draft.

  42. metalhead65 says: Apr 22, 2012 4:51 PM

    what a shock pft running another story based on a unamed scource. how about this being the most over rated site for football “news.”

  43. allseeingone says: Apr 22, 2012 4:59 PM

    No name attached to a statement means that statement is worthless. Could stem from prejudice against big white receivers.

  44. seanmmartin says: Apr 22, 2012 5:09 PM

    I want to be able to vote on comments

  45. Battle Red Raider says: Apr 22, 2012 5:10 PM

    That honor goes to Tannehill

  46. 805_9er says: Apr 22, 2012 5:12 PM

    This is a BS item without a name to it.

  47. EaglesFly58High says: Apr 22, 2012 5:18 PM

    Another anonymous scout. Cowards..

  48. bleed4philly says: Apr 22, 2012 5:25 PM

    Oh yeah, gold is an over rated investment too

  49. raiderrob21 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:28 PM

    The team that drafts him won’t be drafting him to block. They will be drafting him for everything he possesses that you can’t coach. Blocking can be coached up. Best of luck to our Bay Area Kid!

    RAIDER NATION!!!!

  50. deathtoromo says: Apr 22, 2012 5:30 PM

    manzoa says:
    Apr 22, 2012 3:56 PM
    Probably not a good idea to believe anything you hear less than a week from the draft. There is more bull sheet flying around than you’d find at a rodeo. Teams down the line bad mouth guys hoping they fall …look at the article here about Kalil falling…but the stuff about RG3…that’s different…he’s going 2 no matter what. It is interesting that all the talking heads and media pundits are falling all over themselves to defend RG by attacking the scouts who criticized him…why you ask. Because the talking heads are now invested in the guy…it’s slobbering man love…and the fear is that the scouts who saw bad film on RG are right and this guy is just a skinny, fast athletic guy who has a strong arm but can’t read a defense even if it’s tattooed on his arm. Good gawd man…what if he’s Akili Smith!!!!!!

    ————————————————————-

    And there’s the requisite RG3 reference to Akili Smith. It doesn’t make you a smart football fan because you remember Akili Smith was a bust. Please oh wise one, tell us the similarities between Griffin and Smith. Something tells me your team doesn’t get any pub except bad so you jump around making dumb comments. We’re waiting Yoda…..

  51. renaissanceman87 says: Apr 22, 2012 5:55 PM

    The funny thing is 99% of NFL players never become super-stars and most of them are just serviceable, utility players or backups that grease the engine of a greater machine. Robert Fleener would need to become a beast blocking TE, and catch 70 passes and 10+ touchdowns per year to prove this scout wrong.

  52. bigredscouting says: Apr 22, 2012 6:11 PM

    As a guy who could slip to the 2nd round, I’m not sure how he’s overrated. I’m getting tired of these random scouts spouting off at the mouth. Could they all just shut up…please?

  53. bigredscouting says: Apr 22, 2012 6:15 PM

    Fleener is a positional blocker at this point. He needs more nastiness to his game. With his size, length, strength and physicality in pass catching, he could absolutely get better as a blocker. The majority of the time, the draft isn’t about finding the most complete players. It’s about seeing the great in player and realizing where and if he can improve. In Fleener’s case, you can’t teach natural athleticism, but you can teach a natural athlete to utilize his skills to be a great blocker. This scout is part of the old drafting days. He needs to lose his job.

  54. bigredscouting says: Apr 22, 2012 6:20 PM

    Also, Fleener isn’t a build up player. He fires off the line with great explosiveness. He isn’t a master of elusiveness, but neither is Orson Charles, or Dwayne Allen. Even if Fleener is truly overrated. He’s the least of the three evils between himself, Allen, or Charles. Charles has off the field issues, inconsistent hands and looks lost at times. Allen is Leonard Pope 2.0. Once again, this scout needs to be fired.

  55. mungman69 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:21 PM

    Where do these writers get their information? Do they invent the “unnamed scout”?

  56. geo1113 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:34 PM

    The funny thing is 99% of NFL players never become super-stars and most of them are just serviceable, utility players or backups that grease the engine of a greater machine. Robert Fleener would need to become a beast blocking TE, and catch 70 passes and 10+ touchdowns per year to prove this scout wrong.

    —————

    Robert? If you mean Coby, that statement is false. All he has to do is show that one player drafted ahead of him had a less productive career. And based on past drafts and his expected draft position, that will be easy to do.

    Having said that, I do agree with the first part of your statement.

  57. butkus54 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:36 PM

    I wouldn’t put much stock in these stories less than a week before the draft.

  58. steviemo says: Apr 22, 2012 6:41 PM

    Never believe anonymous crap like this right before the draft. It’s likely floated by a team who wants Fleener to drop to them.

  59. lilmiddle78 says: Apr 22, 2012 6:46 PM

    CONTINUED:

    And if I was forced to choose, I would say that Burfict looks like he’ll be an above average LB in the league for a long time. Fleener just looks like your typical old style receiving tight end, a little stiff, I can see what they mean by “straight line, build up” runner. He seems to lack the agility that Gronk, Hernandez & Graham have displayed recently. Let’s face it, those three are the exception and not the rule!! I’m guessing that other positions will be asked to put on or drop weight in order to get better more agile athletes at the tight end position.

    Burfict = Next great Bears LB drafted in round 3

    Fleener = 4 years in the league with below average numbers before discovering he’s a really good long snapper!!

  60. thefreaksfg says: Apr 22, 2012 6:48 PM

    Didn’t Florio just post something last week about how scouts/teams intentionally release bad comments about players to try and hurt their stock because they’re actually interested?

    I watch every Stanford football game as a fan out here in the Bay Area. Fleener was the best TE on that team, and not just the favorite target. Ertz will likely be a high draft pick next season as well, but saying Toilolo is better is almost trolling. Toilolo has size (6’8″) on Fleener, but he’s not even close to as polished. He makes some catches with his very lengthy arms and size that Fleener can’t make as well, but that’s about it.

    I will say that Ertz and Toilolo will be two of the best at their position by the time they enter the draft. On an off note, it’s pretty impressive how well Stanford has developed their players. Fleener came into Stanford as an unranked recruit, and has turned into the best TE in this year’s draft.

  61. sportsfuhnatic says: Apr 22, 2012 6:49 PM

    Let him slide to #32…Big Blue will take em

  62. mwood1718 says: Apr 22, 2012 8:03 PM

    What’s the point in doing all these stupid drills at the combine if you’re going to ignore the fast times and say he’s not an athlete? So the scout is basically saying yeah he performed really well and all the measurables and he runs really fast but he’s fooled you in to thinking he’s an athletic person. Thanks genius.

  63. paulieorkid says: Apr 22, 2012 8:15 PM

    The scout explained. “All these reports about him being an athlete and this and that, they’re assuming that because he ran fast. He’s really just a red-zone, jump-ball player.”

    ===

    “All he does is catch touchdowns.”

  64. usmutts says: Apr 22, 2012 8:45 PM

    Most over-rated guy in the draft: Mel Kiper.

  65. fafaflunky says: Apr 22, 2012 8:55 PM

    @rayday1980..
    The giants picked shockey in the
    First round..he couldnt block either..

  66. butkus54 says: Apr 22, 2012 9:26 PM

    More of the same from babyhorsesassmorgan…we’re you looking in the mirror when you posted that comment?

  67. stricknineskinz says: Apr 22, 2012 9:47 PM

    I would like to give more thumbs ups to deathtoromo’s comment. why is this not possible?

  68. amg503 says: Apr 23, 2012 12:54 AM

    Somewhere in Heaven, Al Davis just stopped reading this article at the word “fast”, and drafted Fleener.

  69. granadafan says: Apr 23, 2012 2:19 PM

    Fleener owes Andrew Luck a big fat steak dinner with all the drinks he wants, because he caught a lot of perfectly placed passes from the best QB prospect in a long long time.

    That said, Jim Hairball utilized the TE very well at Stanfurd and continued with Vernon Davis with the Niners.

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