Dallas Goedert is quietly having a terrific training camp, and maybe we don’t talk about him enough because after his auspicious rookie season we all expected him to have a terrific training camp.
Still, it’s encouraging to see how far he’s come from the overwhelmed rookie of August 2018 to the polished second-year pro of August 2019.
It’s a lot different,” Goedert said. “Last year at this point it was tough. I’d look at the script, look at the playbook, try to figure out what I was supposed to do, then I’d go out there and I’d still make quite a bit of mistakes. It was a big learning curve where now I can just glance over stuff and go out there and just play.
We all saw the progress Goedert made as his rookie year progressed. He caught 18 passes the first 10 games and 15 the last six, finishing 33-for-334 with four touchdowns.
Those numbers are pretty remarkable considering Zach Ertz was busy setting an NFL tight end record with 116 receptions.
That there were still 33 catches to go around for a rookie tight end speaks volumes about how the Eagles feel about Goedert.
“Every time I stepped on the field and ran a play I felt like I learned it more,” he said. “I still made mistakes as the season went on, but late in the season I really started to feel more comfortable.”
Now add to that a full offseason of learning and growing and you have a No. 2 tight end with the ability to be a No. 1 tight end.
“The guy is explosive, gets down the field in a hurry, he's a big target,” offensive coordinator Mike Groh said. “He has soft hands. He’s easy to spot down the field. Even more than that, he is continuing his development on the line of scrimmage as a blocker, really understands the game and the communication it takes to not only play his position but next to the tackle and all the things they have to get done together. He was really strong at the point of attack and continued to improve all year long last year.”
What’s Goedert’s ceiling? Ertz, then playing behind Brent Celek, only had three more catches as a rookie than Goedert.
Not that Goedert will ever catch 116 balls in a season, but that ceiling is very high.
Listen to what Goedert says about where he is now compared to a year ago:
You just kind of hear (the play call) and you go now. You’re able to use your abilities and reaction. You’re not thinking about what the defense is going to do or what you’re going to do, you just kind of see it all happen at once and just go out there and play. You can really be yourself and not have to think about what’s going on. That’s when everybody’s at their best, when you’re not thinking.
I don’t know what kind of numbers Goedert will put up in an offense with three big-time veteran receivers, a promising rookie, a Pro Bowl tight end, a running back with over 500 career receptions and a couple other running backs who have shown flashes of ability catching the football.
There’s so many weapons it’s certainly possible Goedert’s improvement won’t really be reflected in his stats. He could catch one more pass per game and be right around 50 receptions for 500 yards, and that would be a heck of a season.
Whatever the numbers say, I have no doubt he has the tools to be a legitimate top-10 tight end in this league.
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