Buckle Up: Dallas Goedert is going earn his extension in a big way during the 2nd half of the season
In the first two games without Eagles’ legendary tight end Zach Ertz, his successor, Dallas Goedert, seems more than ready to fill those massive shoes.
He’s totaled nine receptions on ten targets for 71 yards per game since Ertz’s departure and was named PFF’s highest-graded tight end during that span, with a 91.3 offensive grade and a 90.7 receiving grade.
Because of the Eagles’ early-season red zone woes, Goedert and the newly fertilized ground-and-pound game should reap the benefits from a ton of opportunities inside the 20.
The proud South Dakota State Jackrabbit’s splits between man and zone coverage are interesting. Goedert has seen only eight targets against man coverage compared to 16 in zone. Against man coverage, he’s caught five of those targets for 53 yards and a TD, averaging 10.6 yards per reception.
However, Goedert’s 90.4 receiving grade against zone coverage is almost five points higher than the 2nd highest grade (Gronk at 85.4). Of his 16 targets against zone, he’s hauled in 15 passes for 266 yards with two contested catches on two attempts. He’s also helping out the Birds young quarterback by finding those open gaps in coverage, picking up 13 first downs with a 118.8 passer rating when targeted this season against zone.
The Eagles’ speed on the outside is potentially very dangerous. If developed properly into a unit that opposing defenses have to respect the deep ball, Goedert will continue to burn man coverage underneath or in the seams, and be a reliable security blanket versus a soft zone. Not to mention, he’s one of the better blocking tight ends in the NFL to go along with his incredible receiving skills.
Getting the best out of their tight-end mismatches is something Frank Reich and Nick Sirianni have done together for a while. From Antonio Gates’ end of career renaissance to Zach Ertz’s dominant Super Bowl campaign, Reich and Sirianni find ways to get their tight ends in favorable one-on-one matchups consistently.
That theme would continue for Reich and Sirianni in 2018, with Eric Ebron posting career highs in touchdowns (14), receptions (74), and receiving yards (827) during his lone Pro Bowl season. Dallas Goedert already shows plenty of signs verifying that he is a fast-rising superstar for the Eagles and a priority to re-sign this offseason.
Mandatory Credit: USA Today Sports