NY Jets Optimistic Roster Breakdown: TE Trevon Wesco

NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

NY Jets’ tight end Trevon Wesco will look to take the next step in his second NFL season.

The NY Jets 2019 NFL Draft class was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of success in 2020. While late-round picks Blessuan Austin and Blake Cashman saw significant starting action early in their careers, the rest of the class was overall disappointing.

Third-round pick Jachai Polite was cut before ever taking an NFL snap. Fellow third-round pick Chuma Edoga struggled mightily in his first NFL season. Meanwhile, first-round pick Quinnen Williams showed potential, but was ultimately underwhelming.

However, the forgotten member of the draft class remains fourth-round pick Trevon Wesco.

Wesco played in all 16 games in his rookie season, but didn’t manage to establish much of a role on offense. In total, the West Virginia product totaled just under 21 percent of offensive snaps and tallied just two catches for 47 yards on the year.

The emergence of Ryan Griffin kept Wesco buried on the depth chart as he — for some reason — was even behind veteran special-teamer Daniel Brown on the pecking order.

But as the year went on, the Jets deployed Wesco more and utilized him as both an in-line blocking tight end as well as a fullback.

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It remains to be seen what his role with the team will be in the future, but he showed enough promise in 2019 to warrant a closer look in 2020.

How Trevon Wesco can find success with the NY Jets in 2020

Wesco was certainly underwhelming for a fourth-round pick last year — after all, Chris Herndon was drafted in the same round just a year prior. But in reality, he was never expected to provide much day-one impact.

The 24-year-old was expected to be a true blocking tight end with enough athleticism to maybe bring some value as a receiver as well. Curiously, however, Wesco wasn’t used much even with the absence of Herndon.

But as the season progressed, the Jets seemed more comfortable using him on offense as opposed to the almost strictly special-teams role that he had been playing before.

Wesco found the most success as a lead-blocker while being used as a fullback — a role he is expected to reprise in 2020 without the presence of a true fullback on the roster.

Pro Football Focus gave Wesco a pretty solid 64.4 overall grade (the highest-rated tight end on the Jets roster) including a 64.0 run-blocking grade which ranked top-20 among players at his position.

He was better than people give him credit for, even if he wasn’t used as much as he probably should have been. So how can Wesco ensure that 2020 is a successful season for him?

For starters, he must continue to impress as a blocker. Simply put, Wesco is never going to be a dynamic receiving threat and it’s unlikely he’s ever viewed as a legitimate starting option.

Instead, he’s best served as a role player who doubles as a blocking tight end and surprise target in the passing game from time to time. His versatility to play either in-line tight end or fullback gives him added positional flexibility.

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Wesco must first beat out the aforementioned Brown for the third-string tight end job in the summer. If he can do that, more opportunities are likely on the way.

But if Wesco really wants to make 2020 a success, he could challenge Griffin for the No. 2 tight end job behind Herndon. Wesco already has a significant edge as a blocker, and it’s not as if Griffin is the most dynamic receiver.

He’s sure-handed and reliable. So if Wesco can prove to be both of those things as well, there wouldn’t be much of a reason to stick with the 30-year-old Griffin — especially given the discrepancy in their blocking abilities.

If Wesco can secure the No. 2 tight end job by the end of the season, then 2020 will truly be a success for the former Mike Maccagnan mid-round pick.

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But that all starts with him earning a roster spot and passing Brown on the depth chart this summer.