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2024 NFL Combine

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Tight end is a 'prime' position to be in right now

BROCK-BOWERS-HELLMANNS

Super Bowls. Endorsements. Taylor Swift. It's a good time to be a tight end in the NFL.

Now it is Brock Bowers' turn.

"Tight end is a prime position right now to be in," Bowers said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "I'm just glad it's now."

The first back-to-back winner of the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end, Bowers has already been a household name for years. He broke onto the scene as a true freshman in 2021, when he established a Georgia record with 13 touchdown catches. He helped the Bulldogs claim consecutive national championships, the first of which he won here at Lucas Oil Stadium. Bowers went on to become only the third player in program history to earn first-team All-America honors in three seasons, joining Herschel Walker and David Pollack.

He did so despite missing a month of his final season due to an ankle injury.

"It was an injury that happened this year, so [teams are] obviously asking about it," Bowers said. "It's 100 percent."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his updated ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Bowers entered the combine as the No. 7 overall prospect on Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 and the first non-quarterback, non-receiver to appear on the NFL Media analyst's list. The Giants currently hold the No. 6 pick in the draft.

"I feel like [I bring] yards after the catch and just being able to make people miss," said Bowers, a native of Napa in California wine country. "Just turn good plays into great plays."

The Giants could use an influx of those. They ranked 31st in yards after catch last season and tied for 30th in plays of at least 10 yards. It didn't help that Darren Waller, whom the Giants acquired via trade a year ago, missed five games due to injury.

Coach Brian Daboll knows what tight ends can do for an offense. He coached the position in New England, where Rob Gronkowski was selected first-team All-Pro in 2014 and 2015 under his watch.

"I grew up watching Gronk," Bowers said. "I loved watching Gronk. He's a huge role model for me looking at him growing up and watching [George] Kittle and [Travis] Kelce."

The latter two just helped their teams reach Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, where Bowers got to meet Gronkowski, now a TV personality, on Radio Row. That makes three future Hall of Famers, and Bowers is just beginning his journey to try to join the club – or at least get an invitation to Tight End University.

"I hope so," he said. "It's always good to talk to people with good football knowledge."

Bowers, meanwhile, doesn't have to look at only the seasoned veterans for a blueprint. Just last season, Detroit's Sam LaPorta set the NFL record for most receptions by a rookie tight end.

"It's exciting to see those young guys balling out," Bowers said. "My rookie year's coming up, and I'd like to do the same thing. It would be good to learn from those dudes and learn from what they did and what worked well."

View photos of NFL.com's list of the top 101 free agents of 2024.

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