The 2022 Eagles have exploded through the first half of the season to an 8-0 record. While newcomers like AJ Brown, James Bradberry, Kyzir White, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson have all made huge impacts, many reasons for Philadelphia’s success come from the internal improvements of homegrown players.
The Eagles promising weapon
One of the vital breakout stars of this year is tight end Dallas Goedert. He always has had the talent, but this is the first year he has gotten the opportunity to showcase his full ability.
Goedert was selected in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL draft out of South Dakota State University. He was the Eagles’ first draft selection after winning the Super Bowl, so there wasn’t a lot of pressure on him coming into the league. The team and all the fans knew he would be the number two tight end behind the sure-handed pro bowler, Zach Ertz. Over the course of the next 3 years, Dallas Goedert steadily improved.
In years where the wide receiver core was lacking in skill, Goedert slotted in as the number two overall receiver, something that does not happen very often in the modern NFL. From 2018-22, he caught 137 passes for 1,465 yards and 12 touchdowns. Halfway through the 2021 season, Howie Roseman recognized he was not going to re-sign the aging Ertz and traded him to the Arizona Cardinals.
Dallas Goedert then slotted into the number one tight end position on the depth chart for the Eagles and has blossomed into one of the very best tight ends in football in that time. In the season and a half since he’s become the full-time starter, Goedert has almost equaled his previous production, with 96 receptions, 1,351 yards, and 6 touchdowns. The only tight ends to out-catch and out-gain him during this period are Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. That is elite company to be in.
What sets Dallas Goedert apart
The thing that sets Dallas Goedert apart from his Eagles predecessor is his physicality. Zach Ertz was (not so) affectionately known as “No YAC Zach” and this year Goedert is third in the league and leads all tight ends in yards after the catch, with 365. The tight-end screen has become an integral piece of the Eagles’ offense and that’s due to Goedert’s ability to break tackles and run through defenders after he gets going downhill.
He also excels in blocking for the Eagles as well. Goedert has comparable size to an offensive lineman at 6’5” and 256 pounds. He lines up at the end of offensive formations on run plays as an extra blocker and drives linebackers off the line of scrimmage, leaving room for the ball carrier.
On run plays, he can create holes for Miles Sanders and in the passing game, he can help leave Hurts upright long enough to complete a bomb to AJ Brown. Since Goedert doubles as a receiving threat, he is extremely difficult to defend and game plan for. Right after pancaking a defender, he can slip underneath the defense for a long catch and run.
Dallas Goedert has always been talented, it was just a matter of when he was going to get his opportunity to shine. After 8 games, Goedert has established himself as a top tight end in the league, and with 3 years left on his current contract, will continue to be a staple of the Eagles’ offense for the foreseeable future. He just adds to the list of weapons that have made the team so dynamic and entertaining this year.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire