Philadelphia Eagles training camp is nearly here! Players are scheduled to report to the NovaCare Complex on July 26 ahead of the first practice on July 27. 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.
For the first time since being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, Goedert will enter an Eagles season as the team’s undisputed top tight end. No more splitting time with Zach Ertz.
Not surprisingly, Goedert thrived following Ertz’s departure. From our 2021 season review:
Goedert’s stats from nine games played after the Ertz departure: 62 targets, 44 receptions, 636 yards (14.5 average), two touchdowns. Extrapolate that pace over the course of a 17-game season and Goedert would be looking at 117 targets for 83 receptions, 1,202 yards, and about four touchdowns. To put those numbers in context, realize that Mark Andrews led all tight ends in receiving yards with 1,361 while Travis Kelce was second with 1,125.
Goedert is poised to post big numbers this year. One should reasonably expect him to go over 1,000 yards en route to pushing for his first career Pro Bowl berth.
While no one else on the roster is going to be stealing tight end snaps from Goedert, it is worth seeing how the Eagles divvy up their targets with DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown around. Jalen Hurts’ success with Goedert thus far would lead one to believe he’ll continue to look his way often. But there could be times when teams try to take Goedert away to force Hurts to use his receivers instead.
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Stoll finished the 2021 season as TE2 behind Goedert. He contributed nicely as a run blocker but didn’t do much as a pass-catcher with just four grabs for 22 yards. Stoll made some quality catches during last year’s training camp so he might not be hopeless in that regard. It’ll be interesting to see if he can cement himself as TE2 in this year’s camp. For as talented as the Eagles’ roster is, they lack super inspiring tight end options if Goedert goes down (God forbid).
Jackson is reportedly set to begin training camp on the active/PUP list. Considering he tore his ACL in January, he very well might not be ready for Week 1. If the Eagles carry him over to reserve/PUP when the regular season starts, he’ll be required to miss at least four games. It’s possible he’ll need even longer to recover. Jackson is missing valuable offseason reps in his second year transitioning from quarterback to tight end. One must wonder how much he’ll be trusted to contribute when he gets healthy. He’s probably maxing out as TE3 to start. He’ll need to find a way to earn more playing time from there.
Calcaterra could be TE2B to Stoll’s TE2A. The difference between them being that the former is the better pass-catcher while the latter is more of an inline blocker. With training camp being a relatively pass-friendly setting, Calcaterra will have opportunities to show off his skills.
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Dick Rod is back for his eleventy billionth training camp with the Eagles. He shouldn’t have any shot at making the roster considering no team is ever rushing to sign him when he’s on the market. The only way that Rodgers sticks if there are a bunch of injuries and/or the young tight ends really the struggle. Rodgers doesn’t offer upside but he does provide the Eagles with a competent floor.
This will be Togiai’s first training camp with the Eagles since his rookie year in 2020. He’s never really showed much.
I find it hard to be intrigued by JJAW moving to tight end. He was basically a tight end as a pure blocking receiver last year. JJAW looked noticeably smaller than the other players at his new position during OTAs. I’m not buying this working out. Even if JJAW looks good in practices … well, he’s done that in previous summers. Only for it to amount to nothing meaningful in the regular season. JJAW’s special team contributions shouldn’t be enough to earn a roster spot but maybe they could allow him to stick on the practice squad?
Goedert is the top tight end by far. Again, he should be expected to have a career year.
The guess here is that Stoll and Calcaterra are the top two backups to start the year. When Jackson is activated at some point, he could replace Calcaterra.
I think Calcaterra will make the team but just because the Eagles used a draft pick on him (No. 198 overall) doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed a roster spot.
JJAW will be a notable cut as a 2019 second-round pick. It won’t be a surprise, though.