Eagles Named Top Potential Spot for Massive Playmaker With ‘Freakish Ability’

Zack Kuntz

Getty Jets TE Zack Kuntz wowed at the 2023 NFL Combine.

The Philadelphia Eagles have been named a top landing spot for rookie tight end Zack Kuntz, a likely cut candidate for the New York Jets.

With C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, Jeremy Ruckert and Kenny Yeboah all ahead of the seventh-round rookie on the Jets’ depth chart heading into cut day on August 29, Kuntz is looking like a definite practice squad candidate. Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus listed Kuntz as a player he expects will be cut, and he also named the Eagles as a top potential landing spot.

“It’s not necessarily a surprise when a seventh-round pick rookie doesn’t make the initial 53-man roster, especially on a team like the New York Jets who are all in on chasing a Super Bowl ring in 2023 and will concern themselves less with developmental projects. However, Kuntz may have gone as late as he did in part because of how loaded the tight end position was in the 2023 NFL Draft,” Spielberger wrote on August 28, adding:

“Nathaniel Hackett’s offense will ask its tight ends to block quite a bit, and that doesn’t appear to be Kuntz’s forte by any means. However, Kuntz’s size-speed combination did flash at times when he got open over the middle and turned upfield in a hurry after hauling in a reception. The Old Dominion product’s testing numbers were truly off the charts, and he’s an intriguing name to monitor if he can land somewhere else with the opportunity to fill out his 6-foot-8 frame and continue to develop.”

Jets Have Been High on Kuntz Since Drafting Him

Kuntz has an undeniably unique skill set coupled with eye-opening athletic ability. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound tight end transferred from Penn State to Old Dominion University in 2021, where he played for two seasons. He had a standout campaign for ODU in 2021, when he caught 73 passes for 692 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games.

A dislocated kneecap limited Kuntz to just five games as a senior in 2022, but the young tight end impressed at the 2023 NFL combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.55-seconds and finishing top amongst all tight ends in the vertical jump, broad jump and three-cone drill. After that showing, the Jets couldn’t resist scooping him up when he was still there in the seventh round, a likely result of the aforementioned injury.

“There’s an old saying, ‘Always take the freak that loves ball.’ And if you do, usually they pan out,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh told the New York Post about Kuntz in May of 2023. “So, he’s got freakish ability and he’s got a love for football, so now we just got to work with him.”

“He tested through the roof,” Jets general manager Joe Douglas also told the Post about Kuntz. “We were sitting there at the top of the seventh round and just going through some of the guys who just had that freak factor to him and he was right there at the top — the size, the speed, the length, the jump, just everything and another guy who may have been drafted a little sooner if not for the injury this year.”

Kuntz Had Solid Preseason for Jets

Kuntz caught six passes on six targets for 41 yards and a touchdown in his three preseason appearances for the Jets this year (stats via PFF). Quarterbacks had a rating of 134.7 when throwing his way and he netted 5.7 yards after the catch in those three games.

Considering his size and speed combo coupled with the Jets’ crowded tight ends room, Kuntz would make an intriguing developmental prospect. Behind Dallas Goedert on the Eagles’ depth chart at the position are 2021 UDFA Jack Stoll, who caught 11 passes for 123 yards last year, and Grant Calcaterra, who caught five passes for 81 yards in 2022.

Clearly, there’s room for a young playmaker with Kurtz’s potential in the Eagles’ TEs room. We’ll know if he becomes available soon enough.

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