Tight End Zach Ertz Is Birds “Surest” Draft PickBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Tight Ends Wednesday, May 1st, 2013
First round pick Lane Johnson has the biggest upside of the Eagles draft picks, but the surest pick the Birds made during the draft was the selection of Stanford tight end Zach Ertz. He is without a doubt just what the doctor ordered for the Eagles offense and will be a factor from the start.
A more tight end focused passing game, which Chip Kelly talked about, will make life much easier for the Eagles quarterbacks. They’ll be throwing to bigger targets in the middle of the field and those throws are shorter and a lot easier to complete. Ertz is particularly good at screening off the defender and giving the passer a big target.
He’s going to benefit from the way pass catchers are protected in the NFL. I expect him to draw pass interference penalties in the red zone and when defenders don’t interfere with him he’s going to be catching touchdowns.
Ertz is going to make a huge impact in his first year because he has been tutored by former 49ers All-Pro tight end Brent Jones, since he was in high school. Jones was an adept route runner during his career with the Niners. It’s not a coincidence that Ertz runs great pass routes, plus he has the size and hands to make the great catch. Finally, the Birds will have serious threats in the red zone, which will put major pressure on defenders.
Ertz’ presence will help to make current Eagles starting Brent Celek a better player because they’ll be able to many run combination (brush or pick) routes versus man-to-man. Both of the tight ends are adept at finding seams in the zones. Celek has previously shown he can be a standout pass catcher, so I think some competition will help push up to that level again.
H-back James Casey, who the Birds signed as a free agent, will benefit from having both Ertz and Celek around to draw the attention of defenses. He’ll be able to sneak out with little attention paid to him.
Ertz will definitely be a matchup nightmare for linebackers throughout the NFL. They’re going to split him out on linebackers and safeties to give him the chance to dominate them. He’ll have a huge size and weight advantage on them.
You’re going to see two and three tight end sets, which will give the opposing defensive coordinators headaches. Chip Kelly is stealing a book from the
At Stanford his offensive coordinator called him “QuarterZach” because he used to be in the quarterback meetings. Ertz has a high football acumen and knew the Stanford offense, which was a pro-style attack, backwards and forwards. He’s going to make life much better for the Eagles quarterbacks.
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