Eagles Bring in Explosive ‘Strong Arm’ QB for Tryout

Tyree Jackson

Getty Former Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson might be converted to tight end.

The depth chart at quarterback is about to get a little more crowded for the Philadelphia Eagles after the team brought Tyree Jackson in for a tryout on Wednesday. He threw for 6,999 yards and 49 touchdowns in three years at the University of Buffalo.

There’s a wrinkle to the transaction, though. The Eagles are working him out as a tight end, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, and not a quarterback. The 6-foot-7, 250-pounder definitely has the size, but can he catch the football? Well, the Seattle Seahawks already worked him out as a tight end but he left without a contract. And he did play basketball at Mona Shores High in Michigan, a trait that translated into great NFL careers for guys like Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham.

Jackson went undrafted in 2019 before signing with the Buffalo Bills as a rookie free agent. He appeared in four preseason games as a quarterback and completed 30-of-57 passes for 315 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Prior to that, the 23-year-old played in the short-lived XFL where he saw limited action in five games as a backup quarterback for the DC Defenders. He finished 11-of-18 for 46 yards and a touchdown, plus nine rushes for 28 yards.

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‘Ascending Player’ with Great Size, Mobility

Some scouts had projected Jackson to go as high as the third round coming out of college. He was the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2018 after throwing for 3,131 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior at Buffalo.

He garnered attention at the NFL Scouting Combine as a strong-armed thrower with good mobility — 4.59 seconds in the 40 — but accuracy issues sunk his draft stock. He had a completion percentage of just 55.8% in 32 starts.

“The first thing you look at is the size, and I truly thought he would be drafted,” Bills GM Brandon Beane told the Buffalo News. “He has a strong arm, and he’s got some mobility. I think he’s shown improvement during the year and he played in the Senior Bowl. It wasn’t too big for him, and I think he’s still an ascending player.”

Eagles Love Hybrid Players

It’s no secret the Eagles love players who can play multiple positions, especially former quarterbacks. They brought in former Texas Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes for a tight-end tryout earlier this year and attempted to convert former Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate to wide receiver during training camp. Neither player made the final roster.

They also have converted receiver Hakeem Butler down on the practice squad listed at tight end, plus former Houston quarterback Greg Ward has emerged as their starting slot receiver. He caught the first touchdown of Jalen Hurts’ career last week and is considered one of the leaders on offense. The Eagles also famously employed former college quarterback Trey Burton and used him at tight end.

There’s no telling if Jackson will get a deal but the Eagles could add him to the mix for depth at the position. They currently have three tight ends on the active roster — Zach Ertz, Richard Rodgers, Dallas Goedert — as well as three guys — Butler, Jason Croom, Caleb Wilson — on the practice squad.