The tight end position will be particularly important for the Eagles this year with first-year starter Kevin Kolb running the offense. Young quarterbacks have a tendency to use their tight ends as security blankets, and Kolb has shown that in his limited action thus far. Lucky for him, he has one of the top tight ends in the league in Brent Celek.
Last year Celek caught 76 passes for 971 yards and 8 touchdowns. Expect those gaudy numbers to be even better with the approach of Kolb. While many will rank Celek behind Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark or Jason Witten, Celek definitely fits into that level. The Eagles tight end could be a fantasy draft steal for some fans this year.
But things really get interesting behind Celek. Cornelius Ingram was a fifth round pick last season, but missed the year with a torn ACL. This was known coming into the draft, causing his drop to the fifth round. The 6’4 250 pound tight end walked onto Florida’s campus as a quarterback and also played on the basketball team, so his athletic abilities are known.
Ingram caught 34 passes for 508 yards and seven touchdowns during his junior year and would have been a top-3 round pick if he had left for the draft. But after coming back and tearing his ACL, he was relegated to the fifth round. The former Gator runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and scouts project him as a good red zone threat. Scouts rave about his ability to split the seam, but his blocking is a concern.
If Ingram is healthy and stays that way, the Eagles could have a very dangerous threat in double tight formations. Clay Harbor is also in the mix there, as a fourth round draft pick of the Eagles this year. The 6’3, 252 pound rookie was a combine hero and had an impressive Pro Day workout. Harbor’s scouting reports label him a good pass catching tight end with fine route running abilities and soft hands. His blocking, though, is a concern. He appears to be a bit of a project, but with Ingram’s knees always leaving room for worry, Harbor could end up being the number two tight end this year.
Either way, the tight end position will be a lot of fun to watch in training camp with the two youngsters battling for the backup spot. Potential and athletic ability abounds and the Birds are hoping Ingram and Harbor can translate their skills into becoming a playmaking second tight end option behind Celek.
Training Camp Coverage
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