Tyler Conklin starting to emerge as the NY Jets' top tight end

NY Jets, Tyler Conklin
NY Jets, Tyler Conklin / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

The NY Jets have seen a few notable standouts from OTAs so far, but perhaps the most impressive player on offense has been tight end Tyler Conklin.

Conklin was signed to a three-year, $21 million contract by the Jets this offseason, and alongside the likes of C.J. Uzomah and Jeremy Ruckert, he'll look to transform a position that's been dormant in the Jets' offense for far too long.

While Uzomah and Ruckert have been sidelined nursing minor injuries, Conklin has taken advantage of every opportunity this spring. It's still early, but he's beginning to separate himself from the pack.

That was the sentiment shared by D.J. Bien-Aime of the New York Daily News who recently predicted that Conklin "will be the Jets TE1 by a decent margin." He isn't alone in his analysis either.

The Athletic's Connor Hughes had the following to say about Conklin's strong start to his Jets career.

""Conklin struggled some with drops during the Jets’ first media-open OTA, but he’s been much more sure-handed in the practices since. Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur will use all tight ends at his disposal, but Conklin might be separating himself as the lead dog.""

Connor Hughes

Tyler Conklin could play an important role in the NY Jets offense

A fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Conklin spent the first four years of his career with the Minnesota Vikings where he primarily played a part-time role. That was until his final season with the Vikings in 2021 when he got the chance to start for the first time in his NFL career.

He didn't disappoint either, as Conklin finished with 61 catches (T-7th in the NFC) for 593 yards and three touchdowns. He parlayed that success into a shiny new contract with the Jets this offseason.

Conklin wasn't the only free agent the Jets added at the position, however, as former Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah was signed to a similar contract in free agency.

The initial assumption was that Uzomah, who's being paid slightly more and has more starting experience, would be the team's top tight end entering the 2022 season, but Conklin is doing everything he can to change that.

Ultimately, the Jets will likely utilize both Conklin and Uzomah in their offense, and perhaps even a little bit of Ruckert. But right now, it's hard to argue that Conklin isn't the Jets' top tight end.

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Don't be surprised if Tyler Conklin becomes a focal point of the offense by the season's end.