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Fleener is another former star high school basketball player who has the leaping ability and soft, sure hands that are mandatory in that sport and a big asset in football.
Fleener lined up at almost every eligible receiver position at Stanford and was a huge target for quarterback Andrew Luck. He showed a good feel for finding soft spots in zones and had the speed and guts to run across the middle to catch passes in stride without blinking.
He is not built for, nor does he seem to relish those tough, in-line blocking assignments, although he was impressive on the bench press at the Scouting Combine, hoisting 225 pounds 27 times.
He was most productive as a senior with 34 catches, 667 yards and 10 touchdowns, boosting his four-year totals to career totals in included 96 catches, 667 yards and ten touchdowns, 96 catches, 667 yards (16.1-yard average)and 10 scores.
He is generally considered the best of a below average group of tight ends, but helped himself with a good workout at his pro day, where Luck even threw some bad passes so Fleener had the chance to look good catching them.
Release: Lines up from a variety of positions for Stanford, including as an inline tight next to both tackles, as an H-back, as well as in the slot and even wide. Shows good burst off the snap, quick hands and good balance to gain a clean release. Has enough speed to challenge the seam but does not possess elite top-end speed for the position.
Hands: Soft, reliable hands. Presents a big target to the quarterback and knows when to allow the ball into his pads to protect it when about to absorb a big hit over the middle. Good body control to reach back for the pass behind him. Also shows the ability to high-point passes (Notre Dame), showing a good vertical, timing and hand-eye coordination in jump-ball situations. Catches the ball cleanly outside of his frame and secures it quickly.
Route running: Among his better attributes. Gains a quick, clean release and has enough speed to challenge down the seam. Varies the speed of his route, using a variety of pauses and shoulder fakes to get the defender guessing. Quick feet and good balance to create some separation on the stick and post routes despite lacking elite speed.
After the catch: Above average acceleration for a big man and possesses impressive leaping ability (Virginia Tech) to avoid defenders trying to tackle him low. Only average lateral agility to elude and may not be fast enough to be a consistent threat down the seam against NFL competition. Willing to lower his shoulder and fight for additional yardage, but isn't going to strike fear into the hearts of defenders with his physicality.
Blocking: While far from an intimidator, Fleener does a nice job of helping to seal the edge when operating as an in-line blocker, showing enough strength, leverage and a solid base considering he's a former wideout. Looks to get involved downfield and will block multiple defenders on a single play when he can. Understands his role as a blocker and doesn't shirk from it.
Intangibles: Played tight end, wide receiver and safety in high school. An "outstanding" high school basketball player who earned all-area honors as a junior. Caught a career high six passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns in the Orange Bowl in 2011 -- his three scores went for 41, 58 and 38 yards, respectively -- but just two catches in the overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.
Fifth-year senior is one of the top tight ends in the Pac-12 Conference heading into the 2011 season...has appeared in 38 games, including 11 starts, over the past three seasons...has 62 career receptions for 876 yards and eight touchdowns...combination of size, speed, strength and athleticism makes his one of the most versatile tight ends in the country...hybrid tight end who has the ability to stretch the field.
Fleener, a senior out of Illinois, was one of the nation's top tight ends this past season, leading the Cardinal receiving core with 10 touchdowns while also racking up 648 yards on 32 catches. His 20.2 yards per catch average led the club.
Second team All-Pac-10 selection who finished the season with 28 catches for 434 yards and seven touchdowns...ranked as Stanford's third-leading receiver behind Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen...touchdown total was second highest behind Baldwin (9)...did not catch a pass in the season opener against Sacramento State, but had 13 catches for 217 yards and four touchdowns over the next six games...had 13 catches for 207 yards in the final six contests...had touchdown receptions at UCLA, at Notre Dame, at Oregon, vs. Washington State and vs. Virginia Tech...had a career-high six receptions for 173 yards and three touchdowns in Stanford's 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl...accounted for three of the four second-half touchdowns on passes from Luck measuring 41, 58 and 38 yards...his 58-yard touchdown reception at the 12:28 mark of the fourth quarter was a career-long.
Team's third-leading receiver with 21 receptions for 266 yards (12.7) and one touchdown...had just two receptions for 20 yards over the first three games of the season before catching a season-high five passes for 57 yards against Washington...his first reception of the game was a career-long 42-yarder...caught at least one pass in the final 10 games of the year (16 total for 246; 15.4 average)...caught three passes for 19 yards in the home win over UCLA...caught one pass in each of the next four games, including a 36-yard reception against Arizona State...had two catches for 28 yards at USC, including his first career touchdown reception on a 24-yard pass from Andrew Luck at the 13:10 mark of the fourth quarter...had four receptions for 56 yards against Notre Dame...had one catch for eight yards in the Sun Bowl vs. Oklahoma.
Appeared in all 12 games to earn his first varsity letter...caught 13 passes for 176 yards (13.5)...caught passes in all but four games...caught two passes in the season-opener against Oregon State before going eight games until his second multiple-reception game against Washington State...caught two passes for 30 yards against the Cougars, including a 26-yarder from Jason Forcier...hauled in a career-high four passes for 76 yards in the Big Game at California...was on the receiving end of a 32-yard pass from Tavita Pritchard on Stanford's second possession of the game...also caught a 24-yard pass from Pritchard in the fourth quarter.
Did not see action.
Coby has the size to play tight end and the speed to play wide receiver ... He caught 34 balls for 706 yards (20.4 average) and eight touchdowns as a senior while earning a reputation as one of the state's top prospects ... Scout.com ranked him as the No. 17 recruit in Illinois and No. 1 tight end, as well as No. 39 among tight ends nationally ... Rivals.com ranked him No. 15 in the state and the No. 40 tight end prospect in the country ... PrepStar named him to its All-Midwest Team while Tom Lemming named him to the All-State team ... Following his senior season, he earned All-Conference, All-Area, All-State and Academic All-State honors ... Played safety, tight end and wide receiver as a junior ... Also a standout basketball player ... All-Area selection as a junior in basketball.
Born September 20, 1988 ... Undeclared major ... Member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and an Illinois State Scholar.
Draft Scout Player News
09/12/17 - TE Coby Fleener was one of the few bright spots for New Orleans. Fleener, who had a disappointing first season with the Saints after signing as a free agent from Indianapolis in 2016, caught a team-high five passes for 54 yards and scored the Saints' only touchdown.
08/25/17 - TE Coby Fleener has missed several practices recently to be with his wife, who recently gave birth, head coach Sean Payton said. "These next few weeks will be important for him," Payton said. "I feel like with the time missed, it's hard to give a proper evaluation just because he hasn't played as many snaps."
08/22/17 - Two players who usually are limited to first-half action in preseason games -- WR Willie Snead IV and TE Coby Fleener -- played in the fourth quarter against the Chargers. Both had missed time because of injuries and head coach Sean Payton was looking to get their workload up to par. In addition to both players missing practice time, Snead played just 10 snaps and Fleener didn't play at all in the opener.
08/18/17 - TE Coby Fleener and LB Stephone Anthony missed Thursday's and Friday's work against the Chargers because of undisclosed injuries.
09/27/16 - TE Coby Fleener made seven receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown Monday against Atlanta.