Eagles Training Camp Positional Preview: Tight Ends

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) looks on during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles on September 27, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The tight end position is in a very awkward phase. The Eagles are in the middle of a breakup with Zach Ertz while trying to hide their newfound love for Dallas Goedert, but how will this impact the position this Summer?

While the Eagles should’ve parted ways with Ertz earlier in the offseason, the likelihood of a long-term future in Philadelphia is slimmer than my reflection at the Jersey shore’s house of mirrors.

All in all, the Eagles do have some great potential in this year’s tight end room. From a certain UDFA to a wide receiver convert that all of Eagles Twitter went wild for last season, there are some real reasons for optimism when it comes to developing talent for the future.. Let’s take a look at this seasons cream of the crop: 

Dallas Goedert 

Dallas Goedert is primed for a breakout season providing he can buck the durability trend. The SDSU product went from playing 16 games in his rookie season to 15 games in his sophomore year to 11 games this past season. 

Even so, Goedert has flashed signs of greatness when the ball is in his hands. The big knock on Ertz throughout his career has been the lack of yards after the catch. Dallas Goedert is the complete opposite. Goedert can break the tackle and fight for the extra yards. In 2019, he had 276 yards before the catch and 331 yards after, but his one knack that season was his drop percentage jumped from 2.3% to 5.7%. 

Goedert will be looking to build on a 2020 season that saw him amass 524 receiving yards with 3 touchdowns on 46 receptions. The lack of touchdowns and usage could’ve been a result of the poor QB play and play-calling last season, along with a change of signal-caller late on. With

Zach Ertz

First and foremost, I want Ertz to stay. I would love to see Ertz play TE2 to Goedert and take the high road like Celek did, but the difference is that he is a much better player than Celek was. He still has a lot in the tank but an uncharacteristically poor 2020 campaign surely leaves him with his back to the wall.

Now by the wild chance that he is on the roster by the time that the season begins, I would expect Ertz to bounce back like there’s no tomorrow. However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that expectations of another 800+ yard season like he’s done for most of his career Are realistic. At least not with the Eagles, but maybe with the Bills

Richard Rodgers 

The man, the myth, the growing legend. Richard Rodgers came back to the Eagles last season for his 3rd stint with the team and it was a productive one, finally! Rodgers was a huge security blanket for Carson Wentz when Ertz went down and the offense was in a spiral. Rodgers caught 24 passes out of 31 targets for 345 receiving yards. If Goedert can stay healthy next year then Richard Rodgers is the reason that the team should be okay with moving on from Ertz. 

Jack Stoll 

A big-bodied tight end that has good speed when running up the seam. The Eagles need to keep this rookie on the roster by all means. Stoll is a great blocker and an even better receiving tight end. He has a good catch radius and can really break through defenses. He provides a nice mix of what Ertz and bring to the table. The tandem of Goedert and Stoll could be detrimental for opposing defenses for years to come but Philly has to be patient with his development as a UDFA. They also have to learn from their past mistakes and avoid trying to be cute by thinking they can get Stoll on the practice squad without anyone noticing. 

Eagles Wild Cards

The Eagles have two players that have converted from other positions to play tight end. Tyree Jackson was once a QB at the University of Buffalo who went undrafted in 2019. Hakeem Butler is a former 4th round WR who was cut by the Cardinals last season. Then, you have the infamous Jason Croom who has a 100% catch percentage and his one catch was a wide-open touchdown. You really can’t make this up. Last but not least is  another former Cardinals pick: Caleb Wilson. Wilson has ties to the organization through his father, Chris Wilson, who was the team’s defensive line coach. 

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire