One thing is very clear through the first two weeks of the New York Jets 2021 regular season, they need an upgrade at the tight end position.
Despite featuring that position heavily:
- Tyler Kroft (55 snaps)
- Ryan Griffin (45 snaps)
There have been minimal results so far. The main reason for that is a lack of star power and fortunately for the green and white, there are several players that are available that can change that.
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A Pair of Options Have Suddenly Become Available
The other problem with the current options for the green and white is they’re literally all the same type of player. A quasi-block first, unathletic, and unspectacular player that are overall meh players at the position.
They need some splash, sizzle, and zest injected into this room as soon as possible.
The good news is a pair of interesting players have suddenly become available that could immediately provide some juice.
On Tuesday, September 21 the Green Bay Packers released tight end, Jace Sternberger.
He went unclaimed on waivers and ultimately signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a member of their practice squad.
The 25-year old originally entered the league as a third-round draft choice out of Texas A&M.
He has intriguing measurables at 6-foot-4, 251 pounds, but just hasn’t seemed to find his footing at the professional level.
The Jets are intimately familiar with him because they participated in some joint practices with the Packers back during the preseason.
That provided a unique opportunity to observe him up close and personal. He would bring some size and hope for the future of the position.
The longtime NFL wideout recently made the conversion to tight end. He had been with the San Francisco 49ers practice squad but was released this week.
He’s exactly the kind of player the green and white should seriously consider adding to the roster. There’s a ton of upside and big-play ability under the surface. What do you have to lose?
If he doesn’t work out you can simply cut him and move on. However, if he works out then all of the sudden general manager Joe Douglas will receive a ton of praise for finding another gem on the free-agent market.
If Not Now, Then Very Soon
With how often the Jets have been using the tight end position in this Mike LaFleur offense, it’s absolutely paramount to upgrade that spot.
Michael Nania of Jets X-Factor shared some next-level analytics on that positional group:
- Receiving first downs: 2 (31st)
- Yards per route run: 0.87 (26th)
- PFF run block grade: 55.2 (23rd)
- Pff pass-block grade: 35.3 (32nd)
They’ve used 12 personnel (two tight ends) 38 percent of the time which ranks second highest in the NFL.
It just isn’t working with guys like Tyler Kroft, Ryan Griffin, and Daniel Brown. None of these players have any special qualities that separate them from the rest of the pack.
It’s time to finally upgrade this unit and we mentioned a few options they could chase right now and the only thing it would cost them is money.
If they choose to wait until next year they’ll have a treasure trove of draft picks and a ton of cap space to make something happen in 2022.