The Eagles would be wise to address the tight end position in this upcoming draft for multiple reasons, but most important reason is that Brent Celek may be turning into Heisenberg…
We don’t know how many years left we have until Celek gets caught in a large Meth bust, so they would be wise to sure up the position now.
Besides Celek’s imminent arrest for making and distributing meth he’s pretty clearly on his last leg. His playing time was significantly reduced last year and when the ball did get in his hands he wasn’t able to make the even semi-explosive moves to really help the team. His blocking also took a step back last season. The Eagles need to find another tight end or else we’re looking at Zach Ertz or Trey Burton being forced to block, which I’m not prepared for just yet. I thought Ertz made major strides as a blocker last season, but I still don’t have full trust in him and I have no faith in Burton being able to.
The great news for the Eagles is that, along with this draft being deep at cornerback, wide receiver and running back, it is also deep at the tight end position. The problem is that you’re probably going to have to use an early round pick to snag one, which doesn’t allow you to fill another hole on this team. But, tight end is going to be a hole within the next year, so you might as well fill it now.
Let’s look at the tight ends that could be available for the Eagles:
O.J Howard TE Alabama:
From everything I’ve read, O.J Howard won’t be there when the Eagles pick. But nevertheless, if he is there when the Eagles pick he should absolutely be considered. I’ve seen a lot of people on social media platforms scoff at the idea of taking Howard at 14/15, which makes little sense to me. The Eagles desperately need playmakers and Howard is one the best playmaking tight ends to enter the draft in a LONG time. Him and Ertz would create mismatches all over the field and maybe, just maybe, we could use them how Belichick used Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, minus the whole murdering someone thing. Howard is total package at tight end from blocking to his other worldly receiving talents and would immediately make this team better. Howard should absolutely be an option at 14/15 if he slips.
David Njoku TE Miami
If I was a betting man, Njoku would be a late first early second round pick that 1.) I wouldn’t take with the first round pick and 2.) don’t think he’ll be there when the Eagles pick in the second round. Njoku would be a steal at the Eagles second round selection as Njoku is one of those freakish athlete tight ends that we’ve seen come out in the past couple of drafts. He’s not the greatest blocker in the world but there’s strength there to be molded into something.
Gerald Everett TE South Alabama:
I will not convince myself he’s the next Jordan Reed. I will not convince myself he’s the next Jordan Reed. I will not convince myself he’s the next Jordan Reed. OKAY FINE HE’S THE NEXT JORDAN REED. Mayock has him at ranked as his 35th best prospect in the whole draft and he should be there when the Eagles pick in the second round. He’s got the size and speed to make a second round selection on a small school kid a good idea…
Jake Butt TE Michigan:
The tweet that got me thinking about this article was this one…
As OJ Howard and David Njoku stock soar. The injured Jake Butt slides. Some lucky team is going to get a great TE in 3rd. Over and Out.
— Jared Tokarz (@NFLDraftInsider) February 22, 2017
Butt was widely considered a first round pick before tearing up his knee in a meaningless bowl game. I would absolutely take a risk on him in the third round because I come from the Sam Hinkie school of thought. Butt’s a talented pass catcher and an improving blocker, plus, we get to name our fantasy teams things like “My Butt Ertz.”
Jordan Leggett TE Va Tech:
Another candidate for “literally Jordan Reed” is Leggett. He’s probably a third round guy and he’s another talented pass catcher with good length and really good size. As you can see in this video below he’s a willing blocker that has some competitiveness when it comes to that.
Some people would throw Evan Engram on here as well but he looks just like Burton so I’m out.
The overall point is that this is one of the deepest tight end draft classes to come out in recent memory and I think it would be wise for the Eagles to sure up the position now with Celek on his last leg. If a tight end is your best player available make him your pick. The Eagles need as much help as they can get on the offensive side of the ball and good coaches form a system conducive to the players *cough Chip cough*.
Drafting a talented tight end would be a good thing for this Eagles team.