How can Jaguars address tight end position after the 2021 NFL Draft?
The Jacksonville Jaguars came out of the 2021 NFL Draft with a solid haul. Besides acquiring their quarterback of the future, they added a few prospects that could become key contributors right off the bat. However, they didn’t do much to upgrade their tight end room, so what can they do about it?
Before the draft, head coach Urban Meyer said the Jags needed to fix their tight end room. After all, they opted not to bring back Tyler Eifert, and other than signing Chris Manhertz and re-signing James O’Shaughnessy in free agency they didn’t make major changes to their unit. Nevertheless, Jacksonville didn’t address the position until the fifth round, when the team picked Ohio State tight end Luke Farrell.
Manhertz will be the Jaguars’ blocking tight end in red-zone and short-yardage situations but he’s not much of a deep threat and neither is Farrell. On the other hand, O’Shaughnessy is a reliable target but isn’t someone opposing defensive coordinators spend the night before the game scheming for.
While it’s possible that the Jags won’t feature their tight ends in the passing game and have a talented wide receiver corps, think about how a deep threat could help them stretch the field. Back with the Seattle Seahawks, Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevel had the chance to coach former All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham and he knows the impact an upper-echelon tight can have on offense.
What are the Jacksonville Jaguars’ post-draft options at tight end?
The Jaguars recently gave former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow a try-out with the twist that he changed positions and is now a tight end. Before the draft, it wouldn’t have made sense to bring in the Florida product but after not making major additions in the draft, he may be worth an invitation to training camp. He’s a fan favorite and this Jacksonville team could use his leadership skills. What do the Jaguars have to lose? Not much.
Another possibility is to sign a free agent but the tight end market has dried out and there aren’t many enticing options available besides Trey Burton and Richard Rodgers. Neither of them is a top-tier player but could offer depth.
If the Jaguars aren’t interested in signing Burton or Rodgers, they could try trading for an established tight end. Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said Zach Ertz is still under contract in Philly but Jacksonville could inquire about his availability. The same is true for Foster Moreau, who hasn’t seen the field much for the Las Vegas Raiders but showed he can be a red-zone target in his rookie year, hauling in five touchdowns in just 20 receptions.
There’s not much the Jags can do to address their tight end room after the draft. They have limited actions and may decide that the best course of action is to stay put and work with the current group.