Kendall Blanton (6'6, 250, RSFr.)
The Beef: Sounded like the coaches were really excited with what Blanton may be able to bring to the offense. Not saying he is another Chase Coffman or anything, but he may have the ability to go up and get the ball like Coffman used to (ala 2005 Independence Bowl) and become a nice red-zone weapon. In an offense that will lack for established pass catchers to start the season, Blanton joins a group of many where a good fall could propel him quickly up the depth chart to a prominent role this fall.
AlaTiger: Practice reports are positive. Let’s see if that translates into playing time.
Fullback U: Kendall Blanton is huge. He's bigger than Sean Culkin, he's practically a power forward playing football. I think to an extent his massive size hurts him because while I think he could have the strength to be an effective in-line blocker he forfeits leverage due to a higher center of gravity. I think Blanton is a future-weapon, something Mizzou coaches are waiting to unleash in a year or two but if he sees the field this fall it has to be in goal line situations where his huge wingspan and size benefit him the best.
Bill C.: Mizzou definitely has room for a third tight end in the rotation, but Blanton might get a little bit washed out by the fact that he doesn't have a well-defined niche yet. Or, to put that another way, the things he appears to do well right now (primarily "be a big target"), Jason Reese might also do well, and Reese is a more proven blocker. He has immense potential, but he might not see the rotation just yet.
Clayton Echard (6'5, 260, Sr.)
The Beef: Echard is a senior? That means a nice hand for him come Senior Day. With the defections from mid/late July, and the scholarship count potentially down below 85 (unless we add someone at the absolute last second), I hope the extra scholly we might have goes to Clayton. Seems to me he has been a hell of a blocker and warrior for the team.
AlaTiger: A blocking machine, Echard is your prototypical 'third tackle' style tight end. A ball thrown in his direction would certainly surprise defenses. It might surprise Echard too.
jaeger: ECHARD SMASH
Fullback U: Getting the job of being the "blocking end" is thankless enough, but he's a walk-on senior for a team that has had two passing touchdowns to tight ends in the past two years. I agree with Beef here -- Echard is a candidate to be rewarded with that final scholarship spot but I imagine his role will remain the same regardless.
Bill C.: Compared to Blanton, Echard absolutely has a niche. He was basically a sixth offensive lineman last season, and he was good at it. And if the first spring scrimmage (in which he caught three of three passes for 31 yards, albeit all with the third string) is any indication, we know that he actually has hands that can hold a football, too! Here's to hoping he catches a play-action rollout on third-and-2 at some point this year. He's earned it.