Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert tops Zach Ertz in recent TE ranking

Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Organized team activities are ow the hot topics for every NFL squad and its fan base, and if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, one of the more interesting stories isn’t about who will be there. It’s about who won’t be.

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer was the first to report that longtime Eagle Zach Ertz wasn’t among the veterans who reported for the start of the voluntary Phase 2 portion of spring workouts.

McLane also reports that Erz “isn’t expected to report for the remainder of the offseason program or until his situation is resolved”. In other words, 86 has probably played his final down of football for Philly, and the next time we see him, he may be playing for another of the 31 NFL franchises.

Fortunately, the Philadelphia Eagles have a nice young understudy.

All of Zach Ertz’s eight NFL seasons have been spent in the City of Brotherly Love. His most recent was his worst. He missed five games, but in the other 11, he hauled in 36 of 72 targets for 335 yards. His only touchdown was Philly’s first of the season, one that came in Week 1 at FedExField versus the Washington Football Team.

Much of the reason that the Birds, seemingly, now view 86 as being expendable lies in the fact that Dallas Goedert is in town. Since being drafted in 2018’s NFL Draft with the 49th-overall selection in Round 2, Goedert’s appeared in 45 games with 27 starts (if you include the playoffs). He’s hauled in 146 passes on 208 targets.

The results have been favorable, 88 has racked up 149 snags for 1,558 yards, and he’s reached the end zone 13 times. Recently, he outranked Ertz in a ranking by Pro Football Focus of the top 32 tight ends in the NFL.

Goedert finished at number five. Ertz finished 13th. Here’s some of what Ben Linsey, the writer of this one, had to say about both guys. We begin with Ertz.

"(Ertz) was one of eight tight ends in the league to run at least 250 routes and average fewer than 1.0 receiving yards per route run (0.94). That mark was tied with Tyler Eifert in Jacksonville.Prior seasons are still going to carry some weight for Ertz in these rankings, particularly after factoring in the ankle injury that played a role in a down 2020 season. He put up receiving grades of at least 75 in six of his seven career seasons before last year. Any prospective trade partner will have to hope for a bounce-back season in a new environment."

Here’s what Linsey thinks about Goedert.

"Goedert splitting the field with Zach Ertz to begin his career has created a situation where many don’t realize just how good he has been… Goedert is actually the only tight end in the NFL with receiving and run-blocking grades of 80.0 or higher since 2018. He ranks seventh in receiving grades and first in run-blocking grade over that three-year span.An Ertz trade could lead to a featured role and more recognition for the former second-round pick out of South Dakota State."

Rounding up the rest of Linsey’s top five is Travis Kelce (first), George Kittle (second), Darren Waller (third), and Kyle Pitts (fourth). Yes, everyone realizes that Pitts hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet, but he’s as close to being a sure thing as a prospect can be. Think Saquon Barkley at the tight end position.

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Philly will get a look at Pitts in Week 1 of the NFL season, but before that happens, the Philadelphia Eagles need to focus on something more pressing and immediate. A resolution on Zach Ertz needs to be reached sooner rather than later. This is one of those things that has seemingly gone on long enough.