Philadelphia Eagles fans might be surprised by a recent tight end ranking.
Stopping a Philadelphia Eagles fan and telling them that they employ two of the NFL’s top ten tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert isn’t going to qualify any of them as news. Regardless of what you felt about Goedert’s rookie season, it’s clear that he’s in that class now
Following a sophomore campaign where he hauled in 58 receptions for 607 yards and five trips to the end zone, ’88’ has distinguished himself. Without question, Dallas Goedert is a top-ten tight end in the NFL. His tutor and good friend, Zach Ertz, is one of the top three.
The general consensus is that Travis Kelce and George Kittle are the other two. That’s why Ertz turned down a recent offer from the organization and figures to help re-set the market for the position when his number comes up again. The good news, if you’re an Eagles fan, is that you don’t have to worry about that until 2022 as Philly’s picked up his Wertz’s option for 2021.
At a minimum, ‘Birds’ fans will have 32 more regular-season games of watching ’86’ and ’88’ work together, but what happens after that? Goedert’s rookie deal expires at the same time Ertz’s does. We can’t expect the Eagles to give massive deals to two tight ends, can we? This might become an interesting conversation piece as we near the 2022 offseason.
If you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, this is a good problem to have.
2020’s regular-season campaign nears, and both Ertz and Goedert are primed for nice showings. Wentz has a couple of guys that help this team out tremendously in the red zone and on fourth down, but here’s something interesting.
Recently, ahead of the 2020 NFL season, the stat gurus over at Pro Football Focus released a ranking of the top 15 tight ends in pro football. Both Ertz and Godert made the list. Again, we knew that, but here’s what’s interesting. ’88’ bested ’86’. Here are some of the reasons for that happening according to Ben Linsey, the writer of this one. Fear not. You don’t need a premium account to access the story.
We begin with what was said about Mr. Ertz. He made the list at number seven. Wait! Number seven? Is that a misprint?
Many would rank Ertz as high as third on this list, so I’ll start this out by explaining a little bit why he comes in at just seventh. Primarily, he isn’t nearly as dynamic as some of these other guys with the ball in his hands.
Sandwiched between Antonio Gates (36 years old at the start of this stretch) and Jason Witten (34 years old) is not where you want to be as one of the most productive tight ends in the NFL in your prime. Ertz forced just 14 broken tackles on 356 receptions over that stretch. For comparison, that matches Demetrius Harris, who did so on just 62 receptions.
Just wait. It gets better. Here’s more.
Ertz clearly does other things well, though. He does a good job of using leverage and footwork to create separation on his routes and performs well in contested-catch situations when the separation isn’t there. The Eagles figure to run plenty of 12 personnel again in 2020, testing NFL defenses with the best one-two punch at tight end in the league. It will be interesting to see if Goedert eats into more of Ertz’s targets in his third season of action.
That brings us to Godert, He bests his teammate and mentor as the six-best tight end on the list. Here’s some of the explanation for that decision.
The best tight end on the Eagles’ roster heading into 2020 is not Zach Ertz. Despite the receiving totals pointing pretty clearly to Ertz being the better player in Philadelphia, it’s actually Goedert who graded out as the better receiver in 2019. Goedert’s size and athleticism make him dangerous in one-on-one situations, evident in his receiving grade against single coverage that ranked near the top of the list this past season.
Interested yet? Our staff sure is. Here’s more.
Goedert can block, as well. In fact, he joins Kittle as one of just two tight ends to post top-10 PFF receiving and run-blocking grades at the tight end position this past season, and his 81.4 run-blocking grade over the past two seasons comes in at second among tight ends behind only Maxx Williams. He just needs more opportunities in a featured role, because the talent is there.
Just in case you’re curious, Mark Andrews of the Baltimore Ravens, Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders, Rob Gronkowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, and George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers were all placed in the top five.
Buckle the chin straps. Sound the alarm. NFL football is approaching, and you can just feel those debate tables and arguments at the water cooler being birthed everywhere, can’t you? Thank goodness! Football has returned.