Kiper: Top five tight end draft prospects

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. is rolling out his early top five rankings at each position this week.

Here are the positions he's looked at so far:

Now we're looking at the top tight ends and linebackers to keep an eye on during the 2013 season. First, we'll check out the tight ends and then look at linebackers a little later.

No SEC players made Kiper's top five, but Georgia's Arthur Lynch is in his "Next up" list. Lynch was third in the SEC among tight ends in receiving yards last year, hauling in 24 catches for 431 yards and three touchdowns. Georgia has a handful of receiving targets to use this year, and Lynch will continue to be one for quarterback Aaron Murray.

Other draft-eligible tight ends I'll be keeping an eye on this fall:

  • Rory Anderson, South Carolina: The coaches are really excited about what sophomore Jerell Adams could do this fall, but Anderson is a reliable target, especially in the red zone. Five of his 14 catches went for touchdowns.

  • Malcolm Johnson, Mississippi State: He missed five games last year, but will enter the fall as one of Tyler Russell's top receiving targets. He has the talent and athleticism to be one of the best at his position.

  • Austin Tate, Arkansas: He did well filling in for Chris Gragg at times last year. He isn't the mismatch problem that Gragg was, but he's a big body who can make players here and there and should be targeted a lot by the Hogs' young quarterback.

  • C.J. Uzomah, Auburn: He will enter the fall as Auburn's top returning pass-catcher and has the ability to extend the field with his speed. Uzomah is someone a young quarterback could really use as a reliable safety net.