I can’t say definitely that the Dallas Cowboys wanted to draft a tight end in the second round of this year’s draft, but all of the talk about the possible retirement of their long-time Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten had everybody thinking tight end for them in the second round. Clearly the Eagles had this on their mind when they made a trade with the Indianapolis Colts to move up from 52 to 49 and ahead of the Cowboys to pick South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert.
The young talented receiver gives the Eagles another target at the tight end position. He’s a very good route runner with great hands and the smarts to come in and immediately pick up the Eagles offensive system. Goedert is considered to be potentially a better blocker than Pro Bowler Zach Ertz, who has been consistently improving as a run blocker.
Goedert could be taking over the blocking role of former Eagles tight end Brent Celek, who was released earlier this offseason. This will be quite a challenge for him because they’ll be asking him to block defensive ends, linebackers and sometimes even defensive tackle on wham blocks. He has never faced this level of big, strong and angry defensive linemen. Goedert has got his work cut out for him. I anticipate youngster will be sharing playing time with the recently acquired former Green Bay Packer Richard Rodgers. I have no idea which one of them is going to be the better blocker.
The Eagles may also need Goedert to replace Trey Burton as a target in the red zone. I could see Goedert fulfilling this role. Burton also made quite a few big plays for the Birds on third downs a year ago, so the Eagles are hoping that Goedert will be able to step in and be a weapon behind Ertz on third downs. Defenses will try to double Ertz when they can, so Goedert needs to make them pay when they do on two-tight ends formations. There’s some great footage online of Goedert going up and grabbing touchdown passes out of the air with one hand.
The big risk with Goedert is the fact that he’s taking a huge step up in competition. He wasn’t playing against Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State in college, he was playing at the FCS level, which stands for Football Championship Subdivision. Like Carson Wentz, Goedert is going to need to prove that he’s able to compete against bigger, faster and more talented competition. I’ll be interested in seeing if Goedert can get open against NFL linebackers and safeties, as well as, being able to block the big monstrous NFL defensive linemen and linebackers. He had better make sure he’s got his mouthpiece secured firmly.
Goedert didn’t play in the Senior Bowl because of a strained hamstring, so I haven’t seen any footage of playing against the tougher competition. I also can’t find a forty-yard dash time on him, so the offseason practices will be very interesting to see. All we have from the NFL Combine is the youngster doing 23 reps on the bench press. I hope the youngster passes the test.