With the 2019 NFL season fast approaching, it’s quite possible that the New York Jets could have a valuable combination at the tight end position in the form of 2018 and 2019 draft picks Chris Herndon and Trevon Wesco.
When the New York Jets parted ways with Austin Seferian-Jenkins following the 2017 NFL season, it was clear that the team would be looking for a new option at tight end. When the organization selected Chris Herndon out of the University of Miami in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft, however, it was unclear whether or not the now 23-year-old could be the answer the Jets were looking for.
After all, Herndon had suffered a knee injury towards the end of his career at Miami that resulted in him being unable to test prior to the draft. Then, Herndon was arrested last June on DUI charges after crashing into another vehicle.
Now looking back at the 2018 season, however, the Georgia native proved to be a diamond in the rough for the Jets. Despite the season being a somewhat disastrous one overall, Herndon proved to be a talented asset and a player who could potentially be a legitimate playmaker on offense.
Finishing the season with 39 receptions, 502 yards, and four touchdowns, Herndon established himself as a reliable target and quickly formed chemistry with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold. Despite being a formidable blocker, Herndon is far more talented in the receiving game and should continue to provide the Jets with a spark as a pass catcher.
Trevon Wesco, on the other hand, is a bit of a different player, but it’s for this reason that he could potentially compliment Herndon well and provide the Jets with a talented duo at the tight end position.
As opposed to Herndon, Wesco, who was drafted in the fourth round of this past April’s draft, is seen more as a blocking tight end, using his 6’3”, 267-pound frame to play with a type of physicality that perhaps the Jets have been lacking a bit at the position.
Playing his collegiate ball at West Virginia, the 23-year-old had his best pass-catching season in 2018, totaling 26 catches, 366 yards, and one touchdown. Overall, he just wasn’t asked to play as large of a role in this area of the game. That doesn’t mean he can’t perform well in the passing game, however, and Jets head coach Adam Gase is intrigued by his versatility.
“I think it was interesting to see how that fell with us with Wesco and his ability as a Y tight end with some flexibility to do other things, being able to move him in the backfield if we wanted to,” head coach Adam Gase said via NewYorkJets.com. “He’s very versatile and he’s able to do all the things you’d want a tight end to do. He can block in-line, he can catch the ball and he is a good route runner. Is he going to stretch the field 40 yards downfield? Probably not really his thing, but there are a lot of good things that he does do.”
Simply put, Herndon is known more as a pass catcher while Wesco is known more of a blocker. From that view alone, the two would make for an interesting duo, as they could be used to provide opposing defenses with varying looks.
What’s more interesting, however, is that both players appear to be far more versatile than may be initially thought. In addition, both players are extremely young and are expected to continue rounding out their games.
Should progression continue for both players, the Jets could have something special on their hands with Herndon and Wesco.