If you were going to encapsulate the tight end position in the Les Miles era in two words, those would be them. Not since Richard Dickson, in Miles' nascent days at LSU, has LSU featured any sort of consistent pass catching threat at the TE position. Folks marveled at Deangelo Peterson' athletic skillset, but he failed to become a reliable option in the passing game, both due to his use and his own personal shortcomings.
LSU recently recruited stud TE Desean Smith, and, to date, his career has been mostly quiet, sans his recent bowl performance against Notre Dame, which we will hope is a sign of things to come. 4-star Jacory Washington is another talented pass catcher that the Tigers reeled in last season, who took a RS last year, and could factor in 2015.
But by and large, the TE functions as an extra OT in this offense. Mitch Joseph, Chase Clement, Tyler Edwards, Travis Dickson, Logan Stokes, now Dillon Gordon and Colin Jeter. All did/do a lot more blocking than pass catching. It's right to believe this part of the LSU offense won't change any time soon.
Hanner Shipley (Signee)
6'5", 283 pounds
247: ***, UR Nationally, #44 TE
Rivals: ***, UR Nationally, UR TE
ESPN: ***, UR Nationally, #122 TE
Scout: ***, UR Nationally, #45 OG
It's interesting to see that Scout has him labeled as an offensive linemen, while many services keep him labeled as a TE. He's currently listed as a TE on LSU's official roster. There's been some murmurs that the staff could view him as an OL option. If you watch his clips, Shipley can catch. He's not a great athlete as a pass catcher, but he has sticky hands. But what really stands out is that he is a dominant, nasty run blocker. He enjoys putting people in the dirt. Remember, at Colorado, Jeff Grimes took a lightly recruited TE and turned him into a 1st round NFL draft pick. I don't know that Shipley is the same caliber athlete as Nate Solder, but this is a type of transition he's worked with before. At any rate, Shipley's role is pretty clearly defined: he's here to block.
6'1", 230 pounds
247: ***, UR Nationally, #27 TE
Rivals: ***, UR Nationally, #3 FB
ESPN: ****, UR Nationally, #4 TE
Scout: ***, UR Nationally, #23 TE
Mouton fits the classic H-back role to a tee. He's not the tallest prospect, but he's thickly built. In an ideal world, he'll be a moving chess piece. He should be one that you can line up in the slot and get a mismatch against less athletic LBs or smaller CBs, but then also put him on the end of the line where he can hold his own as a run blocker. You may even see him lined up in the FB spot. He catches the ball with his hands, every. single. time. Which I love. He's not a great route runner, but he does have better than average speed for a 240 pounder. And he's a tenacious as hell run blocker, who plays with great leverage.
6'5", 225 pounds
247: ***, UR Nationally, #45 TE
Rivals: **, UR Nationally, UR TE
ESPN: No Stars, UR Nationally, UR TE
Scout: No Stars, UR Nationally, UR TE
Moreau surprised some when he reportedly committed on Christmas Day. Since that time, there's been little else said of the subject, and he's not listed on LSU's current commits list from 247 sports. Moreau is in town for his official visit this weekend. I'm curious as to the validity of his offer. I'm guessing we'll get some clarity to that as we come out of this weekend, but perhaps not until Signing Day.
As a prospect, he's a got a good frame, and he's sneaky athletic as a pass catcher. He could add some additional bulk and be yet another additional blocker for this team. I don't see him becoming one of our top receivers, though.
The future of the position is less clear than perhaps it was with Jacory Washington. Washington is a true TE who should ultimately emerge as a great contender. Shipley and Mouton need some pieces to fall correctly. I think Shipley may be best deployed as a future OL. Mouton will need to be utilized in a way that this staff hasn't done the best with. That said, they did try with Travis Dickson, who got open pretty frequently. Dickson rarely capitalized on his opportunities there, though.
I do really like Mouton, though. I think he's got major sleeper potential in this class.