February 20, 2014
Combine profile: Notre Dame TE Troy Niklas
Notre Dame's Troy Niklas (right) started his career as an outside linebacker before moving to tight end.
Name: Troy Niklas
Position: Tight end
School/class: Notre Dame/Junior
Projected round: 2nd-3rd
Career highlights: Began his career at Notre Dame as an outside linebacker before moving to tight end as a sophomore. ... Played behind former Irish TE Tyler Eifert, a first-round pick of the Bengals last year. ... Niklas started all 13 games last season and was third on the team in receiving with 32 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns.
Did you know?: Niklas is the nephew of Hall-of-Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, the 14-time Pro Bowler for Houston/Tennessee from 1983-2001. ... Attended same high school (Servite in southern California) as former Panthers QB Steve Beuerlein, Panthers C Ryan Kalil and Vikings OT Matt Kalil.
Quotes: (On leaving school early) "The biggest thing was going back to my childhood. I always wanted to play in the NFL, watching my uncle play in the league. Seeing him get inducted in the Hall of Fame."
(On position switch) "I actually played outside linebacker my first year. I was definitely all for it. That was the position I wanted to play going to ND.”
Panthers’ level of interest: Greg Olsen is coming off the two best receiving seasons by a tight end in Panthers' history. And while the situation behind Olsen is less certain -- blocking specialist Ben Hartsock is a free agent and Brandon Williams and D.C. Jefferson are projects -- the Panthers would seems to have greater needs to address in the early rounds.
Posted by Observer Sports on February 20, 2014 at 10:50 PM | Permalink
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