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Tight End Zach Ertz Is Birds “Surest” Draft Pick

ZachErtz8First 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. on Facebook

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Posted by on May 1 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Tight Ends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

65 Comments for “Tight End Zach Ertz Is Birds “Surest” Draft Pick”

  1. right on G I agree 100%. This was a great pick for a position that is growing in threat year after year. This will open up some routes for the wide-outs also. Kudos to Vinnie for predicting this pick weeks ago.

  2. Was a great pick. (should I mention again that I was the only one to call it)Glad the Eagles are getting on the “te revolution”. Great safety blaket for the young QBs.

    Standout player on a standout academic and athletic program. 4 year graduate. Smart and athletic.

    And a fantastic football name.


    Ertz lays the hurtz. I’m gonna copyright that.

    • Whoops…Xevious beat me to it. Thx Xevious.

      • I was calling for double TE threats 2-3 years ago Vinnie..
        The good Offensive Teams, (Pats, Ravens, Packers, Saints, Texans & 49ers) have been utilizing 2 good TE’s for a few Years now and that then Coach AR and Eagles were lagging behind in upgrading the TE as a real receiving threat to spread the field out especially with the small, wimpy WR’s have had the last few years.. Glad they have addressed the Pisition and like the LB position, has been grossly overlooked,undervalued by the Eagles during the AR Era..

  3. Ertz will make a great target for Matt Barkley aka “THE GOLDEN BOY” for years to come.

  4. Yes I am drinking the green juice and will not stop until the season start. Lane Johnson will be the next John Runyan, big and nasty. Ertz the next Jason Whitten. Bennie Logan, baby Warren Sapp is what they call him. And then yes Matt Barkley, the chosen one aka “THE GOLDEN BOY”. We no longer have a Dawk but we have a Wolf HOOOOWL baby. Poyer will be the first shut down corner to ever come out the seventh round.

  5. This is my biggest prediction of the offseason, Emmanuel Acho will be one of our starting outside linebackers book it.

    • Not too far fetch Pdiddy, I like Acho and think he not only makes the squad but contributes quite a bit, long, lanky and gas speed to cover TE’s and get into the backfield.. He definitely needs to bulk up and get stronger at the point of attack but has the frame and desire to do so.. I liked holim 2 years ago out of Texas and think he has some nice upside..

    • Too small pdiddy. Not happening!

  6. This kid is gonna be good. The biggest upside though is Barkley not Johnson. Johnson will develop into a fine OL but if Barkley can be a franchise QB that is far greater than a starting OL. Especially if Foles is a Franchise QB too.

    All of this remains to be seen however!

  7. This will be the relief valve Vick needs and will be the best TE he have had since Crumpler.

    Celek stinks and his position should have been upgraded 2 years ago.

    • To review. Songs says:

      This needs to be upgraded: 71 games 280 rec (3.9 rec/game) 3400 yrds (49/game) 20 tds (0.3/game)

      This is the best Vick ever had: 93 games 316 rec (3.3/game) 4212 yrds (45 game) 35 tds (0.37/game)

      At some point…ever……will you say something that isn’t completely made up bullshit?

      Awwww….isn’t it annoying that Celek was better than Crumpler?

      …another excuse as to why Vick isn’t amazing (Celek) down the tubes….

    • Celek is better at his position than Vick is at QB. If I had to guess which of the 2 is still productive in this league a year to 2 down the road, I’d guess Celek.

  8. We now have a whole new lexicon.

    Vicpologists make Vickscuses about a lack of Vicktories.

  9. You know I would be a 100 million dollar QB if my parents werent both fat white people of average size and questionable athleticism. If I had just had better coaches and more money and a better hair cut and a faster car I could have been a star.

    • Please Vickpologists help me come up with soem more excuses for why I am a social worker and not a freaking NFL star! You are so great for vick maybe I will even end up at training camp taking a few snaps by the end of your wonderful excuses!

  10. Zach Ertz, backed up Coby Fleener the year before, and Fleener stunk in the NFL last year, even with his QB teammate….

    I would temper my expectations of Ertz as well. I hop e he becomes what we need him to become but reality is he has to prove it on the field …we’ll see.

    • Stanford has run a lot of double TE Sets so Ertz was asked to block alot while Fleener went out in pass-routes.. This Eagle offense will look very similar to Stanford’s Offense than let’s say the NE Patriots.. Lots of 2 TE’s, Power Running with delay draw plays , some bubble, slant routes but still having the delep threat on the outside that the Patriots haven’t had since the Randy Moss Days ..

    • In all fairness to Coby Fleener he was used poorly by Bruce Arians. Chuck Pagano plans on using him this year to his potential instead of blocking for scrubs like Vick Ballard. Dwayne Allen should not be Lucks go to TE.

      • they went from worst team in the league to the playoffs. Bruce Arians was brilliant. Fleener and Allen had the same playing time when healthy— Fleener did get hurt and missed a handful of games but they were both used superbly. Dwayne Allen is the better blocker so fleener often lined up to his outside. It worked, the offense was successful. Don’t worry about personal stats, the offense was producing wins with Luck, Hilton, Allen, Ballard and Fleener rookie additions.

      • Dwayne Allen is a Beast and became and a bigger target as the Season
        Went along for QB Luck.. Combine both of their Stats at the TE Position and they had some pretty good production from their TE’s and do remember that Fleener had some minor injuries as well.. They are both very good Players, provably not All-Pro’s but collectively are good and create match-up problems..

      • We’ll see, because Dwayne Allen did just fine. I think you are making excuses for what some people take for granted. It is not etched in stone that Zack Ertz is a player yet…….

        • Not 1 Single Drafat Pick is a player Yet GMCliff no matter where they were Drafted.. Fletcher Cox is still not a Player yet, he’s off to a good Srart, but it takes 2-sometimes 3 Years for a Rookie to make an consistent impact inthe NFL>. very rare and only a handlful of Players do so during their Rookie Seasons.. and usually they occur with Teams that are already good and utilized by the Better Coaching Staffs around the NFL which are the Winners and not the bottom 1/2 of the Teams that are usually going thru Transition, have crappy Coaches or new Coaches and throwing out Young PLayers because they were high Draft Picks before they were really ready…

          • but you can see a semblance of hope that they will grow to that point. My point was to temper the high praise because Ertz is, no better than Fleener, and Fleener wasn’t great at all, not even close.

            I’m really not being critical, this is a straight up fact that needs to be kept in mind. I hope Kelly utilizes him better so he can succeed.

  11. This is way off topic, R.I.P to Chris Kelly aka Mac Daddy from the group Kriss Kross. They were famous for their song Jump Jump. This young man was found dead at the age of 34.

  12. Okay back to sports, when coach Kelly holds up the three fingers and bring in Casey,Ertz and Celek. Man that’s going to be a problem for a lot of teams.

  13. The only sure things, are death & taxes! Nothing is a given! Especially with this organization!

  14. Celek had a bad year — dropping first downs and TDs. But he still an above average NFL TE. Ertz will complement Celek as a rookie not replace.
    Celek gets his 50 catches and 5 TD and
    Ertz gets 40 catches and 4 TDs –
    Casey gets 20 catches and 2 TDs-

    • Celek is below Average TE and does not even Rank in the Top #15 TE’s in the NFL anylonger.. He’s a tough Player but creates no mis-matches since Defenses can still cover him 1 on 1 with most LB’s in the NFL..
      The Following List are TE’s with better Stats, more upside, more TD’s than Brett Celeks 1 TD Reception from 2012
      1) J Whitten (Cowboys)
      2) J Graham (Saints)
      3) T Gonzales (Falcons)
      4) G Olsen (Panthers)
      5) H Miller (Steelers
      6) B Meyers (Raiders)
      7) R Gronkowski (Pats)
      8) R Gresham (Bengals)
      9) O Daniels (Texans)
      10) D Pitta (Ravens)
      11) J Finely (Packers)
      12) A Hernandez (Pats)
      13) K Rudolph (Vikings)
      14) V Davis (49ers)
      15) J Tamme (Broncos)
      16) M Bennett (Giants)
      17) D Allen (Colts)
      18) J Cook (Titans)
      19) M Lewis (JAgs)
      20) A Gates (Chargers)
      21) L Kendricks (ST Rams)
      22) B Pettigrew (Lions)
      23) T Sheffler (Lions)
      24) B Watson (Browns)
      25) D Keller (Jets)
      26) A Fasano (Dolphins)
      27) Z Miller (Seahawks)

      Celek is in the Category of the old school, tough,slow TE who is a solid option on the 6-8 YArd button hooks Routes to keep the chains the moving,
      but he is no threat to spread the Defense or do defenses have to change much with their game plans to account for him.. He is not going to run away from anyone in coverage (neither is Jason Avant) which is why 2013 will be their final seasons as Eagles as Chip Kelly gets more athletic and speed across the Roster so enjoy Celek for 2013, for he will be a goner come next year.. Good guy, who has maxed out and over-achieve and had a nice Career, but you have to move on in Sports with younger, more athletic TE’s as the Game has gone this way so the days of the slow-footed, tough TE’s are a thing of the past unless your an excellent Blocker which Celek has improved in this area, but still is not a very good blocker

      • ouch 27? whoa, obviously I think he is better that 10-11 on that list but what do you expect from Brent next year? Do you think Ertz out produces him?

        • I am not saying Celek is 27th.. But he more about the 16th-18th TE..
          and I bunch him him with the other slowere Footed TE’s like Fasano,Zack Miller, T Sheffler, B Watson Types who are solid #2 TE’s and have a role, but just not the Threat that you have to have in Today’s NFL to help create mis-matches.. A TE who can be covered 1 on 1 by a LB really gives the Defensive Secondary a nice advantage where they can utilize their 4 or 5 DB’s versus 3 WR’s.. It’s the TE’s that comman Safety COverage that will ennd up putting a CB 1 on 1 with Receivers creating more chances for a big-play.. Celek does not provide this, Zack Ertz and James Casey will..

          • Ertz most likely will develop into that role but not out of the gate as a Rookie – James Casey, never! I didn’t understand the signing and am stoked that they rectified the blunder by drafting Ertz. Celek still will be the best of this bunch, I think Jason Avant’s role will diminish not Brent’s. Celek and Casey are both getting 4 million this year and both won’t get that again next year, I believe Casey gets released after the season and his money goes to Maclin or another WR.

  15. I would rank Brett Celek about the 7th best TE in the NFC or slightly above average. Not close to a pro bowl player but would be a feature Free Agent in on the market.

    • Top TE’s in NFC
      J Whitten,J Graham,T Gonzales,J Finley,V Davis, Fred Davis (when Healthy)
      Greg Olsen, K Rudolph, B Pettigrew, Z Miller, J Cook (now on the Rams)

      Do you really think Celek is better than these 10-11 TE’s that I listed above?? Why do Eagle Fans continue to Overvalue and Overrate their Home Team Players.. I know we want our Eagles to do well, but you have to be realistic about the Talent Level of Teams and Players across the League and the Eagles as I have stated for the last 2-3 Years were not as Talented as a Team as they, the media & fans thought they were..

      • Gonzalez, Whiten, Rudolph, Davis, Graham, Finley, Celek 7th
        Celek gets his 50 catches and 5td this year, now maybe an Olsen gets more involved in the offense this year with a new OC and surpasses him but Celek returns ——rookies Ertz, Escobar, and J.Reed will be in the discussion next year as Whitten, Celek and F. Davis move down the list.

        • Fred Davis was on his way to a big Season before INjury, then his Drug use came back to haunt him..
          I expect Rams new TE J Cook to see a lot more balls thrown his way with the Rams than with the Titans.. Aslo Rudolph on the Vikins will have a big season with 2 WR’s on the Vikings in Jennings/Patterson to take some of the double coverages he was season most of last Season.. Greg Olsen is a very good TE on a so-so Team and Zack Miller on the Seahawks is another under the radar player and as Russell WIlson continues to develop, Miller will get more opportunities
          Bottom line is that there are a lot of Good TE’s in the NFL and Teams need at least 2 Good Receiving TE’s and it’s nice to have 1 srtong Blocking TE .. but usually, 1 TE needs to be that hybrid WR who can run, stretch the field, drag a Safety along with him and make some plays down the field and have running ability after making the Catch..
          It’s just the way the Sport is evolving.. First it was the big,physical WR’s now it’s moved to Athletic TE’s which really put pressure on Defenses on LB’s & Safeties in particular

        • Wrong, I say none of them will be close to what you think they will be. Ertz, Escobar, or Reed.

        • 40 of which are 6-8 yard Routes, Celek is not a threat to opposing teams Defense’s.. He is simply average

      • Yes, he is better than Pettigrew, Zach Miller, JaMarcus Finley,and Jared Cook.

        I’m sure you’ll have have a defensive rebuttal but you asked my opinion. All that I mentioned are painfully overrated, and If Celek wasn’t asked to stay in in block for a terrible Offensive Line, he was well on his way to developing into potential Pro Bowl TE.

        I had Fred Davis on my fantasy team, and he was nothing close to pro Bowl status Paul. He too is a little overrated by you on this list.

      • Celek is better then Finley, Cook , Davis, Pettigrew and Miller and maybe Olson.

    • A little rough on Celek aren’t we, he still is productive and he has led all te’s in YAC the last three years. Ertz may turn out to be a great player but let’s not bury Celek just yet.

  16. As far as Production Goes, I see Celek with about 40-45 Receptions
    Casey with about 40 Receptions and Ertz with about 35 Receptions
    I see Ertz by Mid-Season taking more snaps as the lead TE than Celek as the torch get’s handed off..
    I see 5-6 Veteran Players who will play for the Eagles in 2013 but will be phased out by mid-season and replaced by Younger Players
    Celek,Herremans,D Ryans,Trent Cole & Nate Allen
    ( I am not so sure Jason Avant or Riley Cooper even make this 2013 Roster)

  17. I think Ertz takes Casey intended role from day one in camp —

  18. Paulman’s Eagles Mock Draft for 2014 (Version #1)

    1st Rd – OLB Antony Barr (UCLA 6-4 240lbs) A True Speed Edge Rusher
    who replaces Trent Cole/Vin Curry who both don’t work out in the new 3-4 Scheme — Brandon Graham moves to ILB and replaces D Ryans)
    2nd Rd – CB Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State 6-0 195lbs) A Solid Cover Guy, plays Physical and Fast, long and rangy arms ..
    3rd Rd – Guard Brandon Thomas (Clemson 6-3 305lbs) Becomes Day 1 Starter at RG for 2014 and replacesa Watkins who time in the NFL comes to an end
    4th Rd – WR Trey Burton (Florida 6-2 228lbs) – a big, Physical WR with some wheels and physicality.. Avant is Traded in Summer of 2013
    and Maclin is not resigned after 2013 and Cooper gets cut leaving the Eagles with WR Corps of D-Jax, Benn, D Johnson, Tall Kid from Boston College and now Burton
    5th Rd – Safety Jerrion Johnson (Southern Miss 6-1 205lbs) – Replaces Kenny Phillips who was a 1 Year Stop-Gap for the Eagles as his Knee Issues keep him off the field on a full-time Basis
    6th Rd – OT Michael Scharffer (Michigan 6-7 300lbs) Becomes the RT in 2015 when Lane Johnson moves over to LT to replace s Jason Peters
    7th Rd – ILB Mike Marry (Old MIss 6-2 250lbs) Competes for ILB Depth as Demeco Ryans is released after 2013 and Kendricks is moved to OLB where her belongs leaving Brandon Graham to play ILB with Marry..

    That’s it for now ..

  19. Zach is the next Ron Gronkowski. I watched this kid at Stanford and he was a complete monster at TE/WR. Is a ferocious blocker, and has soft hands. Hes a complete TE with great speed. Hes the next Gronk in the NFL. Book it, courtesy of The Great JH..

    • Just don’t backpedal from this exaggeration JH, if, and or when he proves otherwise. He is an ok T, NOT A GREAT BLOCKER, nor is he a complete tight end, by any sense of the imagination….

      Next Gronkowski,….i think not…the next Coby Fleener, is more realistic.

      • He better be better than Fleener, to warrant them wasting a 2nd round pick! That would piss me off even more, than I already am!

  20. How can you guys compare Ertz to Fleener, when we don’t even know what the hell Fleener will end up being. You understand Fleener put up very similar numbers to what Witten, Gates, Davis put up their rookie years…not saying he will be that good. And I will not be a dumbass and call Ertz the next Gronk either. Just saying, give a dude a fair chance to develop first. Most of the best players in the league don’t make the NFL transition in one year.
    We don’t know what the hell a player is after a rookie season. (Unless they are a once a decade type of player like (Gronk/Moss).

    Damn if some people on here ran NFL organizations, they would be some of the biggest jokes in the business since they would have gave up on guys like Witten, Gates, Vernon Davis, Graham, Rogers, Big Ben, Calvin Johnson etc. (this list can go on and on).

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