Wednesday, August 15, 2007

19 Days, 19 Questions: #17

With 17 days left until KICKOFF, 'The Forty' is back in business and going to run down the top 19 questions for the upcoming year.

17: Will Jermichael Finley Be the Best Tight End in the Big 12?

While Jermicheal is a top-tier tight end, he has plenty of competition from his competing Big 12 tight ends. Finley burst on to the scene last year as a freshman play maker for Colt McCoy and the Texas offense. As the year progressed, Finley's role in the passing game increased and he eventually became a reliable go-to pass catcher. In 10 games, J-Mike had 31 catches for 372 yards and 3 touchdowns.

While he has the potential to be one of the top threats in the Big 12, the TE position is deep with talent in 2007. A pair of TEs from Missouri lead the way in the league. Chase Coffman and Martin Rucker each logged over 50 catches and 500 yards and combined for 14 touchdowns in 2006. Needless to say Chase Daniel and the Tiger offense will focus on these two ends to get the pass game going.

The other premier TE in the Big 12 is A&M's Martellus Bennett. Bennett logged 38 catches for almost 500 yards and became Stephen McGee's go-to pass catcher in 2006. This Jr is being tabbed as one of the most talented TEs in the country and looks to be playing on Sundays in the near future. Bennett chose to forgo his basketball dreams to concentrate on becoming one of the top TEs in the Big 12.

But while all 4 TEs are share great talent, the advantage Finley holds is that his passes are being thrown by Colt McCoy. Look for Finley to catch everything thrown his way this year. The one thing holding him back, however, is the depth that Texas possesses at WR and McCoy's willingness to spread the ball around in a Tom Brady fashion. This should be the only thing that keeps Jermichael Finley from racking up the most impressive numbers in the Big 12.

My prediction: 45 catches for 550 yards and 7 TDs.

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