What’s Up at TE?

Posted: March 21st, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on What’s Up at TE?

Brent Celek is gone. So is Trey Burton. Celek was cut and has talked to some teams, but is still on the market. Burton is now a highly-paid member of the Chicago Bears.

The fact the Eagles haven’t added anyone and that Celek hasn’t signed anywhere makes you wonder if he could return to the team. The Eagles haven’t talked to any free agent TEs. They obviously aren’t in a rush to get anything done.

It is possible that they would prefer to add someone in the draft. If they could add a talented TE to pair with Zach Ertz for the next four to five years, that would be ideal. It is also possible the Eagles aren’t in love with any free agents and are waiting for the players on the market to lower their prices. Don’t pay for steak if you’re eating hamburger.

There are some guys I still have interest in. It sounds like Luke Willson will be signing in Detroit, but there are still a few interesting targets.

Levine Toilolo
Troy Niklas
Sean McGrath

That’s not a compelling list. Toilolo was cut by the Falcons, which helps his case. If you sign him, he doesn’t count against comp picks in 2019. Toilolo is an effective receiver and solid blocker. Niklas is a massive man at 6-7, 270. He will turn 26 this summer. He is coming off his best season, but only caught 11 passes. He is more blocker than receiver. I do wonder if he could develop in a more creative offense.

McGrath is strange. He’s 30. He was a rookie in 2012, but has only played in four years. His best season came for KC in 2013, when Doug Pederson was the OC for the Chiefs. He is more of a #3 TE, but at least does have NFL experience and has played well for Pederson.

The name I left off the list is Martellus Bennett. Would he be a great addition? Possibly. The problem is that he is a volume receiver. He was a backup to Jason Witten for the first four years of his career. Since then, he averages 58 catches a year. Celek had 54 catches over the last three seasons combined. I get that Bennett might be willing to make sacrifices to play with his brother and chase a ring, but is he really going to be happy with 30 catches? I struggle with that.

One of the special things about the 2017 players is that they didn’t complain when the ball didn’t come their way. That was a team offense. The stars were racking up huge numbers. I just don’t know that Bennett would be okay with that.

The key for me in all of this is that the Eagles must get someone who can be at least an average blocker. Ertz is below-average. The run game requires a TE who can get the job done on a regular basis. Celek did a terrific job in that role. I do not want the Eagles to go sign another Ertz. They must find someone who wants to block and who can block.


The Eagles are checking out TE prospects. Hurst is my top TE. He can block and catch. I expect him to go in the 2nd round so the Eagles would have to take him at 32 or move back. Some are bothered by the fact he will turn 25 in August.

Do not listen to Bo, generally considered the Mike Kafka of Eagles writers.

Age is a concern, but players are playing longer than ever so this isn’t as big a deal as it was 10 to 15 years ago. Hurst would be a good addition to the Eagles and a solid replacement for Celek.

Many of you love Mike Gesicki. He is an athletic freak and can make some incredible catches. The problem is that he’s more of a big WR than a true TE.

Gesicki could potentially develop as a blocker, but those clips are not easy to watch. That’s a big guy who is hesitant about making real contact. Ugh. You draft that guy to catch passes and make plays for you. The problem is the Eagles already have that guy in Ertz. They really need someone who can block and catch.

It is possible the Eagles could love Gesicki and go for him, but I’d be shocked. Pederson appreciates physicality, which is not a strong point for Gesicki, whether blocking or catching. I think Gesicki can develop into a real weapon in the NFL if he goes to the right team. I just don’t see him as a good fit for the Eagles as it currently stands. I’ve been wrong before so those of you who want him can keep your hopes up.

I prefer this guy.

Hurst was 44-559-2 as a receiver this year so he can get the job done in the passing game as well.


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