Top 10 2025 NFL Draft TE Rankings: Mitchell Evans Striving To Join the Ranks of Michael Mayer

There might not be a Brock Bowers in the 2025 NFL Draft TE class, but the top TEs in the 2025 group could still garner early-round capital.

As we transition to the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, who are the preliminary top-10 tight end prospects in the upcoming class? There might not be a blue-chip prospect in 2025 like there was in 2024, but the 2025 TE class has plenty of early-round depth to peruse.

Way-Too-Early Top 10 TE Prospects in 2025 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft class had one of the best TE prospects in recent memory with Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Brock Bowers. And past Bowers, prospects like Ben Sinnott, Ja’Tavion Sanders, Theo Johnson, and Jared Wiley also commanded respect.

The 2024 TE class looked good on the surface, and several landing spots could help glean even more production.

But for teams who weren’t able to capitalize, there’s no reason to fear. The 2025 class, though lacking a Bowers-level talent, may have even more volume to boast.

10) Jack Velling, Michigan State

The hope is that the Michigan State passing attack will find its stride again, with a contingent from Oregon State leading the way in its revitalization. Head coach Jonathan Smith and quarterback Aidan Chiles loom large, but so too does TE Jack Velling.

In 2023, Velling was a top target for DJ Uiagalelei at OSU, racking up 438 yards and breaking the school record for touchdowns by a TE with eight. At 6’5″, 246 pounds, he’s an incredibly smooth receiving threat with great deceptiveness in his route running.

9) Gavin Bartholomew, Pittsburgh

Gavin Bartholomew enters the 2025 NFL Draft cycle as a four-year senior, and if he declares, he’ll be just 22 years old by the end of the draft.

Young, but also experienced, Bartholomew already commands attention as a potential mid-to-late round target for teams.

Across his three-year career with the Panthers, Bartholomew has amassed 67 catches for 935 yards and seven scores. Pittsburgh’s QB play has been sporadic since Kenny Pickett’s graduation, but Bartholomew has remained a steady presence and a willing blocker.

8) Jake Briningstool, Clemson

Clemson’s passing attack wasn’t always the model of consistency in 2023, but Jake Briningstool was a bright spot at TE, picking up 498 yards and five TDs on 50 catches. If Cade Klubnik can take a step up in 2024, Briningstool could once again hit career highs.

At 6’6″, 230 pounds, Briningstool is extremely light and lean, and that impacts his effectiveness as a blocker at times. But as a receiving weapon, Briningstool brings plenty of desirable qualities. He’s explosive, agile, fluid, and instinctive with his adjustments.

7) Tyler Warren, Penn State

The New York Giants selected Penn State TE Theo Johnson with the 107th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Johnson was highly regarded, but there were more than a few evaluators who viewed Tyler Warren as the better prospect before he returned to school.

Warren might not be quite as explosive as Johnson on the linear plane, but his route tree is more expansive, his hand technique is more consistent, and he makes his presence felt as a blocker, both in-line and out in the slot. His utility is extremely appealing at the position.

6) Terrance Ferguson, Oregon

The pecking order past TE1 is still being settled, and down the stretch, Oregon’s Terrance Ferguson is one prospect who could drastically improve his stock with another good season.

In 2023, with Bo Nix under center, Ferguson logged 42 catches for 414 yards and six TDs.

At 6’5″, 256 pounds, Ferguson has great size and play strength, and he’s a physical blocker. That same physicality also shows up in the passing phase, where he’s able to outmuscle DBs at the catch point and plow through arm tackles for additional RAC yardage.

5) Bryson Nesbit, North Carolina

Drake Maye was a top-tier QB prospect, but he has Bryson Nesbit to thank for some of his production across the past two seasons.

Nesbit was one of Maye’s favorite targets, and in 2023, he notched career-highs in all categories, with 41 catches for 585 yards and five TDs.

Nesbit isn’t the same asset as a blocker that other TEs are on this list, but the 6’6″, 245-pound prospect carries plenty of value as a seam and red zone threat. He’s a streamlined athlete and a natural zone-dissecting force, who can create chunk plays over the middle.

4) Luke Lachey, Iowa

Unfortunately, Luke Lachey suffered a broken leg after just two games in 2023, ending his season prematurely. Had he remained healthy through the year, he could’ve been an early-round pick. Nevertheless, that same potential is there for him in the 2025 NFL Draft cycle.

The son of three-time NFL All-Pro offensive tackle Jim Lachey, Lachey has all of the requisite size and athleticism at 6’6″, 250 pounds. He can work up the seam and box out defenders, he can make tough catches in clutch moments, and he can generate RAC.

3) Mitchell Evans, Notre Dame

Just two cycles ago, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a TE1 candidate in Michael Mayer, who went in the early rounds to the Las Vegas Raiders. Now, in 2025, Mitchell Evans could be in a similar conversation after a productive 2023 campaign was cut short by injury.

Evans isn’t quite the athlete that Mayer was, and athleticism may be a separating factor between him and other TEs.

But at 6’5″, 260 pounds, he’s a relatively smooth separator with good bend on breaks and incredibly sturdy hands over the middle and through contact.

2) RJ Maryland, SMU

In the transfer portal era, you won’t see homegrown prospects with early-round potential at the Group of Five level quite as often. RJ Maryland, however, is a trend breaker, after a 2023 season that saw him amass 518 yards and seven TDs on 34 catches.

At 6’4″, 233 pounds, Maryland is tailor-made to be a dynamic seam threat and big-slot weapon at the NFL level. He has the speed and burst to threaten coverage angles, and the body control to convert — but he also has the nuanced footwork and physicality to beat press.

1) Colston Loveland, Michigan

Michigan’s Colston Loveland is the top TE prospect on our preliminary TE rankings for the 2025 NFL Draft cycle.

The Wolverines lost Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson to the 2024 NFL Draft, so Loveland will return as Michigan’s top receiving weapon — and that status is merited.

Loveland racked up 45 catches for 649 yards and four scores in 2023. The production alone is impressive, but the film takes it to a whole new level.

At 6’5″, 245 pounds, Loveland has elite flexibility and fluidity as a route runner, and he can channel his speed and burst through seamless execution, while also contorting for high-difficulty passes.

Honorable Mentions

  • Kyle Morlock, Florida State
  • Rivaldo Fairweather, Auburn
  • C.J. Dippre, Alabama
  • Oscar Cardenas, UTSA
  • Cole Rusk, Illinois
  • Maliq Carr, Houston
  • Seydou Traore, Mississippi State
  • Harold Fannin Jr., Bowling Green
  • Carter Runyon, Towson
  • Justin Joly, NC State

KEEP READING: Top 100 NFL Prospects to Watch in 2025 NFL Draft

Other 2025 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Check out our other way-too-early position rankings for the 2025 NFL Draft:

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