Philadelphia Eagles training camp is right around the corner ... maybe? Players are currently scheduled to report to the NovaCare Complex later this month. 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. Previously: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver.
What’s there to say about Ertz that you don’t already know? He’s far from a dynamic YAC monster but he’s remarkably reliable. He knows how to consistently get open and move the chains. He’s one of the NFL’s most effective players near the goal line. There’s good reason why Carson Wentz loves throwing to Ertz so much. The Eagles will hope that their added deep speed will open up the underneath passing game and make life easier on Ertz. Opponents shouldn’t be able to key in on No. 86 so much like they did last year. If they do, Wentz should be able to make defenses pay by beating them in other ways.
Hopefully there will be no lasting impact from the sucker punch that Goedert suffered this offseason. Scary to see him take such a big shot to the head. Goedert made a jump from Year 1 to Year 2 and it’ll be interesting to see what he can offer in Year 3. His ceiling is capped to some extent with Ertz still around but that hardly precludes him from being an effective weapon. As said with Ertz, Goedert should theoretically benefit from the Eagles adding field-stretching speed that will take attention off of him. Goedert also figures to continue to be an asset in the running game since he’s a great blocker. One can wonder if Goedert might see some more traditional fullback looks at times with the Eagles bringing in Kyle Shanahan ally Rich Scangarello as their new senior offensive assistant.
Perkins could be the favorite for the No. 3 tight end spot since he finished the 2019 season in that role. The Eagles seem to value his “versatility” as a tight end who can also line up at wide receiver. Still, Perkins has hardly proved to be anything exciting as a pass catcher. He averaged 9.7 yards per reception on nine catches late last year. I also remember him struggling as a blocker. Perkins needs to earn his spot on the team.
This offseason would’ve marked Ellis’s first full one in Philly since he originally joined the Eagles last August. It would’ve been interesting to watch him since he showed some good flashes in last year’s practices and preseason games. He demonstrated ability as a pass catcher, a blocker (Eagles used him as a fullback in some goal line situations in the regular season), and a special teams contributor. Maybe Ellis can still do enough to make the team this year. He’s my preference for the No. 3 tight end spot.
Togiai earned the third highest guarantee out of the Eagles’ 13 undrafted rookie free agent signings. The book on him is that has some pass catching ability but his blocking needs a lot of work. More likely to make the practice squad than win a roster spot.
HOW WILL IT PLAY OUT?
The Eagles entered the 2019 season with the thought that they could seamlessly flip between effective 11 and 12 personnel packages. They would’ve been a dangerous offense if that was truly the case.
Unfortunately for them, their receiver situation turned out to be abysmal. The Eagles had to over rely on two tight end sets and that led to them actually being one of the worst NFL teams out of 12 personnel last season.
The Eagles are hoping their wide receiver improvements will also lead to more efficiency from their tight ends. Ertz and Goedert could benefit from not having to be the top two passing game targets on a weekly basis.
While this article is focusing on Eagles’ 2020 outlook, it’s hard not to think about the long-term viability of Philly’s tight end situation. There’s been talk that the Eagles plan to extend Ertz’s contract despite the fact he turns 30 in November and is signed through 2021. Does Goedert, who’s signed through 2021 but becomes eligible for an extension after 2020, really want to re-up if Ertz is still going to be blocking his path?
The Eagles don’t have to cross that bridge quite yet; they can enjoy one of the league’s best two tight end duos in the meantime.
WHO COULD BE A SURPRISE CUT?
Ertz and Goedert obviously aren’t going anywhere. The only question is: who makes the team as the third tight end? Or do the Eagles just keep two on the main 53 and use the new practice squad rules to elevate a third guy to the 55 when necessary?
On a scale of 1-5, what’s your confidence level in the Eagles’ tight end position? (5 being the most.)
This poll is closed