Jaguars rookie TE Luke Farrell could move to top of depth chart
The Jacksonville Jaguars don’t have a clear number-one tight end ahead of training camp. Could rookie Luke Farrell become that player?
Tight end is currently the Jaguars’ weakest link even though they had the opportunity to upgrade the unit earlier this year. They passed up the chance to sign Jonnu Smith or Hunter Henry in free agency. They also decided against using an early-round selection on the position in this year’s draft. Heading into the summer, the Jags’ top tight ends right are Chris Manhertz and James O’Shaughnessy, but could rookie Luke Farrell move ahead of them on the depth chart?
Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports believes the former Buckeye product is an under-the-radar player that could start for the Jags in 2021. Sullivan notes that Jacksonville has little to no depth at tight end, which could give Farrell the chance to have a big role this upcoming season. He goes on to say that the rookie has good size for the position and has shown enough athletic ability, running a 4.82 40-yard dash at Ohio State’s pro day.
Sullivan points out that young quarterbacks usually lean on tight ends early in their careers. He believes this could give Farrell some pass-catching opportunities. Later, he says that even though the Ohio State native will not probably become an upper-echelon tight end, he could have a solid rookie campaign.
Can Luke Farrell really become the Jacksonville Jaguars’ starting tight end?
There’s a chance Luke Farrell becomes the Jaguars’ number-one option at tight end. The odds of it happening aren’t necessarily high but it wouldn’t be shocking either. Head coach Urban Meyer says Chris Manhertz could be a functional receiver but expecting him to become a reliable target in 2021 after hauling in just 12 receptions since 2016 may be too much to ask. Meyer says James O’Shaughnessy has also improved but the veteran hasn’t had a featured role throughout his career and isn’t probably the long-term answer at the position.
Sophomore Ben Ellefson has also gotten positive reviews from Meyer but it’s uncertain where he currently stands. Tim Tebow will probably make the roster but he won’t be a tight end in the mold of Travis Kelce or Darren Waller. Instead, he will have a Taysom Hill kind of role on the Jaguars’ offense. Farrell would need to show he’s an adequate blocker and a better option than the bunch in the passing game.
General manager Trent Baalke says the 2021 fifth-round pick was underutilized as a receiver at Ohio State. Farrell doesn’t have elite athleticism nor outstanding measurables. However, he will give the Jaguars another alternative at tight end. It will be up to him to show that he may be their best choice moving forward. He must take advantage of every single rep in training camp.
Although there’s still time to sort the tight end room, the Jaguars must figure out how their depth chart will look by the start of the 2021 season. Will Farrell be at the top?