Devin Funchess is one of the most interesting draft prospects that will likely be entering the 2015 NFL draft after the season is over. Funchess has spent most of his time at Michigan as a tight end and has been quite successful at the position. The junior was named the Big Ten tight end of the year in 2013.
With Michigan in dire need of a wide receiver this year, Funchess moved from tight end to wide receiver and is succeeding at the position. His versatility will likely move Funchess up many team’s draft boards as they will vision him to help their offense at many positions.
NFL offenses are becoming more complex every year and having a player you can just plug in at different positions is a huge asset. Many teams do not see their wide receivers as a simple number one, number two or even a number three wide receiver any more. These receivers are seen for what they bring to the table which could be slot receiver, possession receiver, deep threat, etc. With Funchess having experience at tight end and wide receiver, he will come in to the NFL with experience at both positions which will allow offensive coordinators to place him all over the field.
NFL offenses want to be able to put their best weapon against the opposition’s greatest weakness. For example, with Funchess’ ability, he would be able to expose the Chicago Bears weak linebacker core and safeties by playing tight end and running the same seam route that Rob Gonkowski destroyed them with a few weeks ago. He would also be able to play outside against the Saints and expose weak cornerbacks with his height and power.
With all of these skills, Funchess should be a first round pick but he is currently seen as a second round prospect to a lot of teams. After the NFL combine, he should be able to sneak into the late first round. The ideal spot for Funchess to land will be with the New England Patriots where he could fill the void left over by Aaron Hernandez. Many players have failed in New England due to their complex offense but with Funchess’ tight end and wide receiver expertise, he should be able fit in quite nicely with the Patriots’ offense.
*Section Photo credit to Gregory Shamus, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports.