Philadelphia Eagles’ tight end Dallas Goedert is already a top-tier starter.
Sure, the idea of owning Goedert’s namesake team by taking their preferred player generated a ton of joy throughout the Delaware Valley. But after trading away the 32nd overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens so they could select Lamar Jackson, landing a tight end in the second round was hardly the needle-moving move the Eagles needed to score in order to field a viable title defense in 2018 – especially with Zach Ertz already under contract through the 2021 season.
One could even go so far as to argue that the lackluster production the Eagles have received thus far from their starter-less 2018 class as a whole is a big reason why the fabled ‘Philly Dynasty’ we were promised post-Super Bowl has yet to materialize.
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However, fast forward two years into the future, and it’s hard to knock the Goedert pick in hindsight.
In 2019, Goedert finished out the season with the second-most receiving yards of any player on the Eagles roster despite only playing 770 offensive snaps (66 percent). That mark ranks Goedert 10th in the NFL among tight ends and one of only 10 players regardless of position to pick up 600 or more receiving yards with nine or fewer starts.
Despite entering the league as an unproven blocker – a role he was seldom tasked with in college due to his freaky receiving abilities versus FCS defenders – Goedert has rapidly developed into the Eagles’ best non-lineman run blocker, a role Ertz has never, and will never be able to fill consistently. This ability to remain on the field regardless of down and distance has allowed the Eagles to keep only two tight ends for long stretches of the 2019 season and commit additional roster spots to players retaining additional offensive linemen, defensive linemen, and wide receivers.
If Goedert was on pretty much any other team in the NFL – think the New England Patriots – he’d probably be considered one of the league’s brightest young tight ends, but because he’s stuck behind Ertz for the foreseeable future, he’s largely flown under the radars of many casual football fans. Barring a total collapse of Howie Roseman’s relationship with the three-time Pro Bowler, Ertz will surely earn another long-term deal with the Eagles to keep him in the City of Brotherly Love well past the 2021 season, so there’s a world where Goedert may never truly become an every game starter as a member of the Eagles.
Could this situation eventually lead to Goedert leaving South Philly for the greener pastures and cushy payday of a guaranteed starting role? It’s not only possible but likely. Still, wouldn’t any team rather have four productive years of Goedert than six, seven, eight years of lesser play from a lesser player? If Goedert balls out in 2020 he will certainly be offered a new contract moving forward, and if he doesn’t want to sign said extension, the Eagles can always franchise tag him for the 2022 season and go from there.
I’d certainly rather have Goedert as a part-time player than be forced to give an extension to Blake Jarwin, who has surpassed 400 receiving yards in a regular season, out of necessity. Boy, that would be unfortunate.
The NFL, especially in 2020, is all about getting a competitive advantage and having a ‘move’ tight end like Goedert who can dominate on the line, in the slot, or flexed out wide is a chess piece few opposing teams can match up with down-in, down-out.
Dallas Goedert is in a weird place going into the 2020 NFL season. On one hand, he’s firmly established himself as a top-tier tight end who should land on a slew of ‘breakout candidates’ lists going into the regular season. That being said, the presence of Zach Ertz may make his development into a legitimate superstar a virtual impossibility, as it will be incredibly difficult for a TE2, even the best one in the NFL, to get enough targets, snaps, and opportunities to break out fully. With Ertz and Goedert’s contracts both expiring at the end of the 2021 season, how each player performs this fall will go a long way to determining who will be Carson Wentz’s safety blanket for the foreseeable future.