The Jets have integrated the tight end position into their offense in recent years, and in 2019, they will look to be even more productive.
The Jets finally invested some draft stock into the tight end position, and it paid off big time. The Jets drafted Chris Herndon in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and just one year later, he has become a key building block in Gang Green’s offense.
Herndon had an extremely impressive rookie season, posting 502 yards and four touchdowns. He was extremely productive from the tight end position, averaging 13 yards per reception and 8.96 yards per target.
This type of production is nearly unheard of from rookie tight ends. The only other rookie in the last seven seasons to post 500+ yards and 8+ yards per target was George Kittle. Allow me to remind you, Kittle was one of, if not the best receiving tight end in football last year. Herndon has that type of potential.
Chris Herndon finishes his rookie season with 502 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, while owning a yards per target average of 8.96.
He's one of only two rookie tight ends this century to hit each of those three numbers: Rob Gronkowski is the other.#Jets
— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) January 1, 2019
Herndon has the potential to become a premier pass catching tight end in the future. Him and Darnold will be connecting for years to come. With Rob Gronkowski out of the AFC East, Herndon arguably takes the throne for best tight end in the division.
The Jets decided to invest yet another fourth round pick into the tight end position in 2019, drafting West Virginia tight end Trevon Wesco. Wesco was primarily used as a blocker for the Mountaineers, and that will likely be where his role will be for the Jets as well.
Wesco can play as a receiver if the Jets need. He caught 26 passes for 366 yards in his final season in college. He averaged 14 yards per catch, a very impressive number. Wesco will likely be the second string tight end, and will be brought in primarily in blocking situations.
Wesco is likely to take what was Eric Tomlinson’s spot in the Jets’ offense. Tomlinson was brought back by the Jets in free agency this offseason, and is a decent backup tight end. He and Neal Sterling, who spent last season injured, will battle for the third tight end spot. The Jets did keep four tight ends on the roster last season, so it is very much possible all four of these guys make the roster again in 2019.