Eagles star Dallas Goedert is ‘elite’ and no longer in Zach Ertz’s shadow

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images photo pool)
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Imagn Images photo pool) /

You have to feel good about your favorite NFL team’s chances when one of your best players is seen as being ‘elite’, and he isn’t even the top option in the offense. For the first time in what’s been a solid career so far, Dallas Goedert enters the 2022-2023 Philadelphia Eagles season as the number one tight end on their depth chart.

From Week 1 of 2018 to Week 6 of the most recent campaign in 2021, the former South Dakota State Jackrabbit shared the field with Zach Ertz, the man who, for the majority of his career, was seen as one of the game’s top three players at the tight end position along with Travis Kelce and George Kittle.

Goedert’s potential was evident early as he began to prove he was a phenomenal talent in his own right. He even bested Ertz in a 2020 ranking done by Pro Football Focus in 2020. Almost two years later, Dallas is no longer in Zach’s shadow which is one of the reasons why Philly had no issues with saying farewell to one of the best players they’ve fielded over the past ten seasons and in their history.

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Pro Football Focus’ admiration of Dallas Goedert continues.

If Dallas Goedert isn’t loved by anyone else, he’s obviously loved by the many members of Eagles Nation, and he’s loved by the staff over at Pro Football Focus. Recently, Anthony Treash ranked the top 15 tight ends in the game, separating them into three tiers: the elite tier, guys who have tier 1 capabilities but lack consistency or have slipped, and the best of the rest.

Goedert takes his place among the ‘elite’ as the sixth-ranked tight end in the NFL. Here’s Treash’s explanation for that being the case.

"Goedert was quietly one of the best tight ends in the NFL last season. His 90.7 PFF grade not only topped his previous career-best by eight grading points, but it tied for the second-highest among tight ends in 2021. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder led the group in yards per route run (2.33), more than six-tenths of a yard better than his previous career-high. Unlike the players ahead of him on this list, Goedert is an inline player. He generated more than two times the yards per route run when inline than when in the slot or out wide in 2021. While Goedert took his receiving game to another level in 2021, his run blocking has always been a strength. He leads all tight ends in run-blocking grade since 2018."

It’s hard to find something to disagree with there. Sometimes, guys just hit the nail on the head. Once a talented youngster in the shadow of an Eagles legend, Dallas Goedert has surpassed Zach Ertz and has joined elite company in the process.

Ahead of Goedert in the top tier are Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, and Kyle Pitts. Rounding out the rest of the top eight are the members of the ‘guys who have tier 1 capabilities but lack consistency or have slipped’ category (Rob Gronkowski and Dalton Schultz).

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The seven members of the ‘best of the rest’ category are as follows: T.J. Hockenson, Hunter Henry, Pat Freiermuth, Dawson Knox, Mike Gesicki, Tyler Higbee, and Zach Ertz. Call it ‘jumping the gun’, ‘bold predictions’, or ‘reasonable expectations’, but something tells us we’ll be talking about the brilliance of Grant Calcaterra soon.

He’s special, and we’ll be talking about him being a steal in the near future. You just wait and see.