Jets News

NY Jets Post-2021 NFL Draft State of the Roster: Tight ends

May 15, 2021, 7:00 AM EDT
NY Jets, Chris Herndon
NY Jets, Chris Herndon / Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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The NY Jets have made sweeping changes to their overall roster this offseason.

Some of that is a byproduct of coming off a two-win season, and part of the overhaul has to do with an entirely new coaching staff arriving and bringing with them vastly different schemes than the Jets have had in recent years.

The Jets' have a brand new quarterback, new running backs, receivers, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs.

Players like Zach Wilson, Michael Carter, Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Carl Lawson, Vinny Curry, Sheldon Rankins, Lamarcus Joyner, and Jarrad Davis all figure to be starters and key contributors from day one.

Almost every single unit of the team on offense and defense has new blood, and that's not taking into account what the returning C.J. Mosley can bring to the defense and the linebacking corps specifically.

One of the areas on the Jets that has seen very subtle changes is the tight end position. Except for a couple of low-key acquisitions, the top of the Jets' depth chart at tight end remains roughly the same as it was last season.

And the player on top of the chart, Chris Herndon, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, will be looking to rejuvenate his fading career. 

The Jets will play an entirely different offensive scheme than they did last season, with Mike LaFleur coming over from the San Francisco 49ers to call plays.

In the past, the Kyle Shanahan system, which the Jets figure to run a hybrid of, has featured the tight end as a key component in the run and pass game.

The tight ends are often key cogs in the deception used in setting up pass plays and will be utilized in motion heavily to lead block in the run game and to sell running plays on play-action to opposing defenses. 

With the Jets lacking a true fullback on their roster, look for them to utilize a couple of their tight ends in dual roles this coming season.

One of the key coaches on the Jets' new offensive staff is longtime tight ends coach Ron Middleton, a former tight end himself, who played 10 seasons in the NFL and was most recently coaching with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the last eight seasons. Middleton will be entrusted with getting the most out of this position group. 

In 2020, the Jets' tight ends were targeted only 61 times in 16 games last season, and the overall group combined for just 43 total receptions, 409 receiving yards, and three touchdowns. By default, in 2021, these figures should see improvements from a year ago. 

Let's take a look at the tight ends on the Jets' roster post-draft and where they could all fit this coming season.

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