Is Dallas Goedert a top tight end?

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Do y’all keep in mind this?

“Yeah, I haven’t beat out Zach but. And I’ll give it to [Kansas City’s] Travis Kelce for being Travis Kelce. And I’ll give it to [San Francisco’s George] Kittle. What he did final 12 months was fairly spectacular. I’m not saying I’m not higher than him, however he had a fairly good 12 months,” Goedert mentioned.

“These are three fairly good tight ends. Simply put me at quantity 4 and I’ll be content material.”

It was in the course of the 2019 preseason that Dallas Goedert mentioned he was the fourth-best TE within the NFL, and will have been the starter on 29 of 32 NFL groups. Zach Ertz was nonetheless rightfully TE1 on the depth chart. Goedert was anticipating to contend not solely with Ertz, however with Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, for targets. These guys aren’t there anymore — as is the man who’d be throwing these targets. How instances have modified.

However Goedert’s need for an expanded function has been answered. With Ertz’s play fallen off a cliff and his future in Philadelphia seemingly determined, Goedert is the unquestioned TE1 coming into camp. There are not any vets behind him on the depth chart, no early-drafted rookies to contend for snaps. He’s the man.

However is he prepared? Since that 2019 quote, Goedert is twenty third amongst tight ends with 50+ targets with solely 10.88 yards/reception; twenty second with 7.44 yards/goal. That places him behind guys like Ryan Griffin, Will Dissly, and Jordan Akins — hardly the caliber of participant that Goedert listed as his superiors two years in the past. Kelce and Kittle are High-10 in each measures.

However Goedert’s arrow is pointing up, even when it appears like nothing was proper with the Eagles’ offense final season. Goedert’s yards/reception was eighth amongst tight ends only for the 2020 season; his yards/goal was ninth. We see this improved explosiveness mirrored in Goedert’s depth of goal, which jumped massively final season with solely a small drop-off in catch fee.

Dallas Goedert Goal Change: 2019 to 2020

Stat 2019 2020
Stat 2019 2020
Yards/Reception 10.47 11.39
Yards/Goal 6.98 8.06
Depth of Goal 6.3 9.1
Catch Fee 74.4% 71.9%

It’s wonderful to see Goedert’s goal distribution change over the 2020 season to replicate that of a prime tight finish. When Ertz was efficient, Goedert was used closely as a display screen receiver on misdirection performs. 17% of his targets in 2019 got here behind the road of scrimmage; that quantity dropped to eight% this previous season. Goedert’s a enjoyable athlete after the catch — a rumbling tackle-breaker with higher acceleration than of us notice — however that’s merely not the way you wish to use your tight finish. It’s a pleasant garnish, however it will possibly’t be the meat and potatoes.

What’s Goedert’s meat and potatoes? Blocking. All the time has been. It’s not robust to right away beat out Zach Ertz as a blocker — even in his prime, that wasn’t Ertz’s sport. However there was a rampant, mistaken perception throughout Goedert’s pre-Draft course of that he was a poor blocker, and that adopted him to his rookie season at Philadelphia. However Goedert has been certainly one of greatest blocking tight ends within the NFL, particularly if you filter for gamers who’ve a minimum of some receiving potential. Tight ends have gotten more and more specialised, however Goedert can do each jobs — block and catch — at a excessive degree.

We’ve talked largely about receiving stats up to now, however Goedert’s potential as a blocker is integral to the variety of the Eagles’ operating sport below operating sport coordinator Jeff Stoutland. The Eagles will run zone and attempt to hit bottom behind a Goedert double-team, work their lure sport off of his wham block on the inside, and used him as a lead blocker closely with Jalen Hurts’ QB run sport. That’s one thing he brings to the desk that different Tier 2 and Tier 3 TEs like Hunter Henry, Robert Tonyan, and Logan Thomas don’t carry, and he’s a greater participant than Austin Hooper and Hayden Hurst at their very own, well-rounded video games video games.

Goedert’s beat all three of these guys in effectivity metrics final season, and with extra quantity, ought to be capable of cleanly out-produce them as receivers. However he doesn’t have the pure velocity of a Noah Fant or the pure receiver motion of Mark Andrews, not to mention the sheer dominance of gamers like Darren Waller and Rob Gronkowski. Even when Goedert brings extra as a blocker than these gamers, it’s robust to crowbar him into that tier, as he merely hasn’t proven that degree of receiving potential simply but.

So Goedert’s someplace on the prime of the third tier of tight ends. He’s a rising younger participant like Fant and Andrews, however he’s behind them by way of quantity and dynamic playmaking potential. A sudden surge of targets might unlock some large performs from Goedert, who’s at all times appeared to have extra within the tank than Ertz allowed him to point out, however up to now, we will’t name him that participant. Goedert isn’t a prime tight finish but.

That doesn’t preclude Goedert from having a 700 yard or 100 goal season subsequent 12 months. T.J. Hockenson had 100 targets; Mike Gesicki had 703 yards. Goedert is a greater participant than each. A fourth-year breakout isn’t unreasonable for a slow-developing place like tight finish, particularly when you think about what number of reps Ertz has taken from him. If Hurts turns into extra snug throwing to the center of the sphere in his second 12 months, he’ll depend on Goedert greater than maybe every other receiver on the roster.

Goedert’s a High-10 TE right now, and with a contract 12 months developing, is in line for a pleasant extension this offseason. However the distinction between Austin Hooper cash and Hunter Henry cash rests in his potential to ship on long-apparent potential now in a outstanding, and even dominant function. If he does, then maybe we will revisit his daring prediction of a High-5 TE seating.

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