Philadelphia Eagles training camp 2018 is almost here. Players report to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday, July 25. The Eagles’ summer schedule, including information on practices open to the public, can be found by clicking here. As we count down the days together, Bleeding Green Nation will be previewing every position on the Eagles roster. We continue today by taking a look at the tight end position.
Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers, Billy Brown, Adam Zaruba, Josh Perkins
The Eagles had really good depth at tight end in 2017. When Ertz had to miss two games, the offense didn’t miss a beat with Brent Celek and Trey Burton stepping up.
Now both of those guys are gone. And yet the Eagles still might be in pretty good shape.
Ertz is coming off that breakout year we were all waiting for. There’s no reason to think that the 27-year-old is about to slow down. Ertz looked virtually unguardable during spring practices this year. If you put a linebacker on him, he’s going to use his route-running to get open. If you put a corner on him, he’s going to use his size to make the play. Ertz will continue to be a cornerstone in the Eagles’ passing attack.
As if Ertz’s presence wasn’t threatening enough, the Eagles selected Dallas “Philly” Goedert with their first selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Goedert has drawn a lot of comparisons to Ertz but I think he’s more in the Travis Kelce mold. Goedert’s athleticism pops more in the form of contested receptions and yards after the catches. Goedert looked real good in this regard during OTAs and minicamp. He was lethal as a big red zone target.
Ertz and Goedert have the potential to be a dynamic duo for the Eagles. It’ll be especially interesting to see how Doug Pederson gets them on the field together with two tight end sets. The GodErtz package gives the defending Super Bowl champions a new offensive wrinkle.
Rodgers isn’t someone to be excited about but he could end up being a solid depth piece for this team. He offers reliable hands in addition to his ability to contribute on special teams.
Brown, Zaruba, and Perkins did virtually nothing to stand out in spring practices. I barely even noticed them. They need to be much more visible this summer.
How will it play out?
Ertz led all Eagles players in receiving yards with 826 last season. He was second in targets with 110; only Alshon Jeffery had more at 120. Wentz loves throwing to his trusty tight end so I don’t see Ertz’s production changing much. He’s an important chain-mover in this offense.
The bigger question is the snap split between Goedert and Rodgers. Last year, Celek played 40.8% of the Eagles’ offensive snaps while Burton only logged in at 26.5%. I would think Goedert comes close to replicating Celek’s number while Rodgers slides in to the Burton role.
I think the Eagles will then keep a fourth tight end on the practice squad. It could be Brown for the second year in a row.
Who could be a surprise cut?
It’s possible one of Brown, Zaruba, or Perkins could have a strong summer and unseat Rodgers as the Eagles’ third tight end. Based on what I saw in the spring, I don’t think that’s likely. Things could change, though.
On a scale of 1-10, what’s your confidence level in the Eagles’ tight ends? (10 being the most.)
This poll is closed