Philadelphia Eagles training camp is almost here. Players report to the NovaCare Complex on Wednesday, July 24. 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 wide receiver position. Previously: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receivers.
Dallas Goedert is rightfully getting a lot of hype heading into 2019. But let’s not forget about the 28-year-old who’s coming off a season where he broke the all-time single-season record for tight end receptions.
Ertz is a masterful route-runner who’s going to continue to be a big part of the offense. He’s not the flashiest tight end you’ve ever watched but he’s just such a reliable chain-mover.
Ideally, Ertz’s volume stats will drop from last year’s gaudy totals because Carson Wentz will have more options when it comes to spreading the ball around. Even so, Ertz projects to finish 2019 as one of the Eagles’ top two targeted pass catchers.
ESPN’s Mike Clay projects Ertz to have 92 receptions for 937 yards and eight touchdowns.
I’ve typed it before and I’ll type it again: the Eagles are actively trying to lose games if they’re not getting Goedert on the field. He’s just too good to not be utilized in this offense. Remember, 12 personnel (two tight end sets) had a big role in the Eagles salvaging their 2018 season.
Goedert followed up an encouraging rookie campaign (44 targets, 33 receptions, 334 yards, four touchdowns) with a stellar spring. The second year tight-end basically caught everything thrown his way. Standing tall at 6-5, 256 pound, Goedert is just so big and strong. He’s incredibly athletic as well, and that really shows up on his runs after the catch. Goedert’s much better than Ertz in this regard; the same goes for his blocking ability.
But with Ertz still clearly ahead of Goedert on the depth chart, the question is: how will Goedert get playing time? That dilemma is one that Doug Pederson told reporters he and his coaching staff have been working on in the offseason. For the team’s sake, hopefully he’s not just giving out lip service.
There is some evidence to suggest Goedert will be more involved in Year 2. Eagles offensive coordinator referred to Goedert as a “starter” during an OTA press conference. The team also ran a lot of 12 personnel looks during spring drills.
Of course, Goedert’s increased playing time could come at the expense of other offensive weapons. A decrease in 11 personnel could mean less playing time for Nelson Agholor as the team’s slot receiver. Again, Ertz is still going to be a big part of the offense, but maybe the Eagles can manage his snap count a little better.
However they work it, the bottom line is that it’s time for the Eagles to give Goedert a bigger role. He’s ready to handle it.
With all this said, it’s not like Goedert is suddenly going to be a 1,000 yard producer. His volume stats are still going to be capped by the presence of Ertz and other offensive weapons. For perspective, ESPN projects Goedert to finish with 35 receptions, 371 yards, and four touchdowns in 2019. I think that’s a little on the low side, especially because I expect Goedert to be a big factor in the red zone.
Total production shouldn’t be the only way we gauge Goedert’s 2019 campaign, though. He should be a really important player when it comes to key areas: third down and red zone. Including the playoffs, 60% of Goedert’s rookie receptions went for either first downs or touchdowns. He should continue to be an important player in this regard.
Rodgers was actually having a good summer last year before suffering a knee injury that limited him to seven games played. He should be a quality third tight end and special teams contributor. As an added bonus, Dick Rod is the team’s emergency long snapper.
Due to a number of injuries, Perkins was seeing significant snaps last September. Ideally he won’t even be on the team this year. Maybe he makes the practice squad, if anything.
Tye actually has some NFL experience (94 career receptions for 897 yards and four touchdowns) but he’s nothing more than camp fodder for Philly.
How will it play out?
Ertz is still going to be a primary focus on offense. Wentz loves throwing to him, and for good reason; he’s usually open. Goedert should also see an increased role. It’s just a matter of to what extent. Rodgers offers depth and special teams support.
Who could be a surprise cut?
No surprise cuts here.
On a scale of 1-5, what’s your confidence level in the Eagles’ tight end position? (5 being the most.)
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