The Jacksonville Jaguars are stacked at several position groups and the tight end is no exception. Besides starter Evan Engram, the Jags have rookie Brenton Strange, Garret Prince, and Luke Farrell. The surplus of talent at tight end has led Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report to think that the Jags should move on from Farrell.
Knox recently came up with a list of one player each NFL team should release. He picked Farrell for Jacksonville, noting that he's played sparingly the last two years. On top of that, Knox argues that Prince has more upside and should move ahead of Farrell on the depth chart.
"Tight end Luke Farrell has played sparingly for the Jaguars since being drafted in the fifth round in 2021. He appeared in all 17 games last season but performed mostly on special teams and finished with only four receptions for 40 yards.
The Jaguars should cut the 25-year-old to make room for a tight end with a little more offensive upside, like 2022 practice-squader Gerrit Prince."
A fifth-round pick in the 2021 draft, Farrell played 35 percent of the Jaguars' offensive snaps in 2022 and 24 the year before. He's appeared in 32 games and caught 11 receptions for 96 catches. On the surface, those aren't numbers to write home about but Farrell's main role isn't that of a pass catcher but rather of a blocker, and he's good at it.
The Ohio State product doesn't get many targets because of the presence of Evan Engram, and that's fine. The Jags already have plenty weapons; they also need players that can play a supporting role and Farrell fills his role well. Look at No. 89, that's him opening a running lane for rookie running back Tank Bigsby.
The Jaguars can keep both Luke Farrell and Gerrit Prince in 2023
Although the Jaguars brought back Evan Engram on a three-year deal, they let Chris Manhertz, a blocking specialist, in free agency because they believe Farrell can replace him. So far, he's validated the team's trust and it's hard to see him getting the boot before the start of the season.
It's true that Gerrit Prince, a 2022 undrafted free agent, has improved immensely in training camp. In fact, he seems to have secured a roster spot after spending his rookie season in the practice squad. However, that doesn't mean Jacksonville should just go ahead and make Farrell walk the plank. While they could create $850,000, his blocking skills make him a valuable contributor.
Last year, the Jags carried four tight ends: Evans, Manhertz, Farrell, and Dan Arnold. With Manhertz and Arnold gone, both Farrell and Prince can have a spot. This isn't an "either or" proposition. They have different skill sets and they could both fill roles on offense in 2023.
The bottom line is that Farrell won't probably get many targets next year and he won't get the kind of spotlight players such as Trevor Lawrence or wide receiver Calvin Ridley will get. However, that won't make him any less valuable.