Grading and analyzing the NY Jets' selection of Jeremy Ruckert

NY Jets, Jeremy Ruckert
NY Jets, Jeremy Ruckert / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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NY Jets, Jeremy Ruckert
NY Jets, Jeremy Ruckert / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

Jeremy Ruckert compares favorably to 49ers' George Kittle

Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur’s offense back in San Francisco was built around tight end George Kittle. In his four years and 45 starts with LaFleur, Kittle logged over 3,500 yards, an impressive number for a tight end over that span.

Why bring up Kittle? Ruckert shares a number of traits with the former fifth-round pick and will now be paired with the same coordinator Kittle thrived under in San Francisco.

In terms of their Combine measurements, Ruckert measured just one inch taller and three pounds heavier, with similar arms measurements as well. Ruckert’s hands measured much larger than Kittle’s, which should only work out in Ruckert’s favor.

Production-wise, both players failed to produce exceedingly well at Big Ten schools. As a senior at Iowa, Kittle logged 314 yards and four touchdowns in nine games played.

As a senior at Ohio State, Ruckert logged 309 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games played. Both players also failed to produce much at all before their senior years.

Regarding skillset, both players have very similar traits coming out of college. Like Ruckert, Kittle had plus blocking skills in addition to above-average hands and route-running ability, albeit not as refined as Ruckert’s.

Kittle was drafted 146th overall in 2017 while Ruckert was a second/third-round projection, accounting for the skill gap difference coming out of college.

Of course, nobody should expect Ruckert to be the next Kittle, who has dominated the pros during his time with the 49ers. It is an interesting comparison, though, given their near-identical background, size, production, and skillsets coming out of college.

Pair those similarities with the fact that Ruckert will be playing under the same coordinator and the idea of Ruckert following in Kittle’s footsteps is not so farfetched.