This week, I’ll be taking a closer look at five young Eagles who have a chance to enjoy a “breakout season” in 2019. We looked at Derek Barnett yesterday.
Up today: Dallas Goedert
How acquired: 2018 second-round pick
Entering: Year 2
While Goedert was a second-round pick last year, he was the Eagles’ first pick of that draft. They traded out of the first round but then back up in the second to get Goedert, whom they considered to be a first-round talent.
Early returns were certainly good.
As a rookie, the 6-5, 256-pound tight end caught 33 passes for 334 yards and four touchdowns in limited snaps. It definitely didn’t matter that he didn’t play at the highest level of college football.
"We’re very excited about Dallas," Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh said this spring. "He is a very talented guy. He had a very productive rookie campaign. I know he’s just as excited as anybody to get out there and do it again this fall."
Goedert finished his rookie season with 525 snaps (48 percent) and then played 50 (42 percent) in the playoffs. Based on how good Goedert was as a rookie, the Eagles need to figure out a way to get him on the field even more in 2019, but it won’t necessarily be easy. This is an offense that features a ton of weapons.
According to SharpFootball, the Eagles used their 12 personnel (two-tight end sets) on 35 percent of their offensive snaps last season. That was tied for second-most in the NFL behind just the Houston Texans (40 percent). So they already used 12 personnel a ton in 2018; can they use it even more in 2019?
The short answer: Yes.
Doug Pederson has already hinted at using his two-tight end offense more frequently and perhaps even making that his base offense. I think a near 50-50 split between 11 and 12 personnel in 2019 makes a lot of sense. So if everyone stays healthy, here’s what each package would look like in terms of skill position players:
11 personnel: Carson Wentz, RB, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz
12 personnel: Wentz, RB, Jeffery, Jackson, Ertz, Goedert
The way this shakes out is that either Agholor or Goedert will be on the field. Now, there will be different variations. The Eagles are multiple and they have players with versatility. Will DeSean work out of the slot sometimes? Sure. But we’re just looking at the basics for now and the basics say either Agholor or Goedert will be on the field. A lot of this should be matchup dependent and based on how teams decide to defend their different personnel groupings.
So the fact that we’re not just entertaining the thought but saying that Goedert should take snaps from Agholor (who is making $9.4 million this season!) kind of tells you about the expectations for Goedert in Year 2.
The traits that made Goedert’s rookie season a success were on full display this spring. His hands, body control and leaping ability are going to give him a chance to be a part of a nightmare lineup for the Eagles in the red zone. Think about trying to guard Jeffery, Ertz, Goedert and JJ Arcega-Whiteside inside the 10 yard line. That won’t be easy.
When the Eagles drafted Goedert, it raised some eyebrows because they already had Ertz. It was viewed as a luxury pick. But Goedert’s early success and possible breakout season in 2019 show why teams can’t draft simply based on position or need. The Eagles took a really good player and it paid off.
Now, they need to get him on the field. I expect him to do the rest.
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