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After the Eagles traded Zach Ertz during the 2021 season, there was little doubt that Dallas Goedert would be able to pick up right where Ertz left off.
With the heavier workload, Goedert put forth his best season to date. He racked up 56 receptions for 830 yards and four touchdowns. He posted a career-highs in yards per catch (14.8), receptions that went for first downs (42), and yards per game (55.3).
Pro Football Focus has been singing Goedert’s praises for years now, even when he was technically a backup to Ertz. In 2021, Goedert came in as the second-highest graded tight end in football, according to PFF, finishing the year with a 90.7 mark.
In their recent tight ends ranking, PFF again gave Goedert props, placing him in their “Tier 1: Elite” group. Their reasoning:
Goedert was quietly one of the best tight ends in the NFL last season. His 90.7 PFF grade not only topped his previous career-best by eight grading points, but it tied for the second-highest among tight ends in 2021. The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder led the group in yards per route run (2.33), more than six-tenths of a yard better than his previous career-high. Unlike the players ahead of him on this list, Goedert is an inline player. He generated more than two times the yards per route run when inline than when in the slot or out wide in 2021. While Goedert took his receiving game to another level in 2021, his run blocking has always been a strength. He leads all tight ends in run-blocking grade since 2018.”Treash: 2022 NFL tight end rankings and tiers
Tier 1 included the likes of Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, and Kyle Pitts. That’s pretty solid company to be a part of.
There aren’t many tight ends in the league that are elite in the passing game and when asked to block. As PFF points out, Goedert has always been a strong run blocker, posting the best run blocking grade of any tight end in the NFL since entering the league in 2018.
As he enters his first year as the unquestioned TE1, Goedert should take another step in his production in 2022. The Eagles have added a handful of key weapons to their offense, namely A.J. Brown, but Goedert may be the most important pass catcher in terms of Jalen Hurts’ development.
An elite tight end is a quarterback’s best friend. Having a 6-foot-4, 260-pound body who can go across the middle and make physical catches in traffic is an invaluable tool for any quarterback. Especially one that is still developing as a passer.
Interestingly, ESPN’s stat projections have Goedert taking a step back in 2022. They project that Goedert will finish the year with 58 receptions for 688 yards and four touchdowns. With the amount of weapons Hurts has to work with, I can see why ESPN would suspect a so-so year out of Goedert. But, I think there’s a really good chance he finishes the year as the team’s leading receiver.
A 1,000-yard campaign is not out of the question for Goedert. If he can stay healthy, there’s no reason Goedert can’t earn his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2022. Hell, there’s no reason he can’t be an All-Pro.
There are a lot of things to be excited for with the Birds in 2022. Goedert should absolutely be one of them.
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