The NY Jets are expected to have competition at various different positions throughout training camp and the preseason. One position that certainly cannot be overlooked at this point in the offseason is the tight end spot.
Highlighted by the likes of fourth-year tight end Chris Herndon and seventh-year tight end Tyler Kroft, both will look to establish themselves as valuable contributors in a scheme that relies so heavily on athletic, pass-catching tight ends.
While teams around the NFL still have a bit of time left before the start of summer camp, many members of the Jets certainly hadn't looked like they've lost a step during late-May OTAs and early-June minicamp.
One player that fits this description thus far is Tyler Kroft.
Tyler Kroft could be the NY Jets' starting tight end come Week 1.
Formerly of the Buffalo Bills, the Jets signed Kroft during the free-agent period to add depth to a position that struggled mightily throughout the 2020 season.
Though total blame shouldn't be directly shoveled on the players, coaching has been a huge part as to why the position hasn't flourished in years past. Now, the Jets have ushered in a new staff to potentially churn the gears of production at the tight end spot.
Tyler Kroft, now entering his seventh season in the NFL, has seen much of what it takes to play at a high enough level to succeed at the position.
Kroft has certainly let it be known through OTA's and minicamp that he's the best player currently employed at tight end for Gang Green.
In Buffalo, Tyler Kroft was more used as a situational pass-catcher, often in goal-to-go situations as a run-blocker as well. Despite only starting in four games for the Bills in 2020, Kroft tallied 12 receptions, racked up 119 yards, all while hauling in three total touchdowns.
Before agreeing to sign with Buffalo back in 2019, Kroft saw success as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Tyler Kroft had a career year in 2017, starting in all 16 games for Cincinnati, really solidifying himself as their solid option at tight end.
That's the Kroft the Jets are hoping to get in 2021. Kroft worked ahead of Herndon for most of minicamp splitting first-team reps with Ryan Griffin.
Kroft's surprisingly athletic ability and sure hands make him a prime candidate to potentially thrive in offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's scheme. He's already the best overall blocker on the team as well which should aid in the run game.
Time will tell if Kroft can keep up his momentum into the later summer months, but the early returns seem promising.