The Jet Press
Jets News

Jets Training Camp Position Battle: Tight End

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Chris Herndon #89 of the New York Jets celebrates with Eric Tomlinson #83 after socring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 23: Chris Herndon #89 of the New York Jets celebrates with Eric Tomlinson #83 after socring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on December 23, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

With the start of training camp only days away, here’s a breakdown of the tight end battles heading into New York Jets training camp.

Although we are still in the dog days of summer (and baseball season), the beginning of football season is rapidly approaching. For New York Jets fans, that’s music to their Gang Green ears.

Believe it or not, the start of Jets’ training camp is less than a week away.

With training camp comes exciting positional battles, and we here at The Jets Press will be covering all of them. For now, let’s focus on the tight end position.

At first glance, tight end seemed like one of the least interesting positional battles for the Jets. Chris Herndon excelled in his rookie year (502 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns), and all signs point to him being the #1 tight end for the Jets this upcoming season.

Unfortunately, Herndon’s drunk driving arrest last year netted him a 4 game suspension to open this season.

When he returns, Herndon will undoubtedly be the starting tight end and a valuable receiving weapon for the Jets. What will be interesting is seeing how the Jets get by in his absence. Their other options at tight end are weak at best. They include the following players.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 29: Tight end Eric Tomlinson #83 of the New York Jets scores a touchdown against free safety Ricardo Allen #37 of the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – OCTOBER 29: Tight end Eric Tomlinson #83 of the New York Jets scores a touchdown against free safety Ricardo Allen #37 of the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on October 29, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Eric Tomlinson

By default, Eric Tomlinson would seem to be the Jets’ starter during Herndon’s absence. He was on the Jets last year, though some fans might debate whether or not that was a good thing.

When he wasn’t dropping easy passes, Tomlinson managed to catch 8 passes for 72 yards and no touchdowns. And before you get excited, those were his numbers over an entire season, not just one game.

At best, Tomlinson projects to be a small role player for the Jets in 2019.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 26: Daniel Brown #85 of the Chicago Bears makes the catch as Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles defends in the second half on November 26, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 26: Daniel Brown #85 of the Chicago Bears makes the catch as Brandon Graham #55 of the Philadelphia Eagles defends in the second half on November 26, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Daniel Brown

Another potential option for the Gang Green is newly signed tight end Daniel Brown.

Take heart, Jets fans. While Herndon is out, Brown will clearly be the most “experienced” tight end on the roster.

Unfortunately, Brown’s experience is limited to 4 NFL seasons. Over those 4 seasons, he has amassed only 35 catches for 317 yards and one touchdown.

Perhaps with more playing time, Brown takes a big step forward. However, the Jets would be foolish to count on it.

Brown might be the New York’s best receiving tight end behind Herndon, but he also projects to be a marginal role player.

MORGANTOWN, WV – OCTOBER 25: Trevon Wesco #88 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs after the catch against Terrel Bernard #26 and Clay Johnston #44 of the Baylor Bears at Mountaineer Field on October 25, 2018 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
MORGANTOWN, WV – OCTOBER 25: Trevon Wesco #88 of the West Virginia Mountaineers runs after the catch against Terrel Bernard #26 and Clay Johnston #44 of the Baylor Bears at Mountaineer Field on October 25, 2018 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Trevon Wesco

The final name to watch in the Jets’ tight end battle is Trevon Wesco.

Wesco, like Tomlinson and Brown, projects to be more of a blocker and role player on the Jets. However, unlike the others, Wesco is a rookie.

Wesco’s college numbers were far from impressive (only 26 catches for 366 yards and one touchdown over his last season), and he was only a 4th round draft pick.

However, there is something exciting about rookie players. Wesco will probably be a marginal NFL player at best, but there is always some hope that he could be more than that.

If nothing else, the team is so desperate at the tight end position they should at least give him a chance over the first four games.

Bottom Line: When the Jets get Herndon back, they should be fine at tight end. However, they will struggle to find production from this position in the meanwhile. While Herndon is suspended, the Jets should seek to minimize the impact of his absence by experimenting with different players and different looks at the tight end position.

facebooktwitterreddit