NY Jets: 4 mid-round tight ends to target in the 2021 NFL Draft

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NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /

2. NY Jets draft target: Hunter Long, TE, Boston College

On to more of a traditional tight end, Hunter Long excelled in his junior season at Boston College hauling in 57 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns in just 11 games.

He led all FBS tight ends in catches as a high-volume target in Boston College’s offense. And as such, many have him touted as one of the better tight ends in this year’s class.

At 6-foot-5, 254 pounds, Long has prototypical size for the position and has plenty of experience as an in-line blocker. He isn’t a dynamic athlete, but Long is a reliable pass-catcher who runs smooth routes.

His standout 2020 season saw him earn second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honors. Long may never be a Travis Kelce-type receiving tight end, but he’s well-rounded and should compete for playing time early in his career.

Essentially, Long is what the Jets were hoping they’d get in Herndon, albeit without the injury concerns and with a little less athleticism.

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Long is a capable blocker, reliable receiver, and fluid route-runner. His ceiling is probably along the lines of someone like Austin Hooper in that he doesn’t do anything special, but he has few glaring weaknesses.

The Jets could look to target Long either late on Day 2 or early on Day 3 if he’s still available. Pairing him with Herndon and the newly-signed Kroft would give the Jets a rock-solid trio of tight ends who are all capable blockers.

That would be good news for both the Jets’ new rookie quarterback and the team’s running game that struggled without a truly competent blocker for most of 2020.

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