Cole Patterson breaks down the New York Jets second round pick, tight end Jace Amaro. Check out our breakdowns of third round pick Dexter McDougle and first round pick Calvin Pryor. Stay tuned for breakdowns of the rest of the Jets draft picks…
BackgroundAmaro was a four star recruit out of MacArthur High School (San Antonio, Texas) where he was a two sport star. He was an All-American tight end and, like many stars at his position, was dominant on the hardwood. As a freshman at Texas Tech Amaro’s 2011 was underwhelming. He started zero games. While he only caught seven passes, two of them were for touchdowns. Amaro’s 2012 was markedly better. He started six games and caught 25 passes for 409 yards and four touchdowns. His best game came against West Virginia with five receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown. Amaro’s season ended late in the game when he was knocked out with a spleen laceration. Despite being sidelined, Amaro was named first team All-Big 12 by ESPN. After a lengthy healing process, Amaro’s Junior season started off with a bang and quickly earned first team All-American nominations from CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, and USA Today. In 2013, he set the NCAA single season records for receiving yards (1,352) and receiving yards per game (104). He also ranks seventh in both categories on the NCAA’s career rankings. Amaro ranked in the top five tight ends in every combine drill (save the three cone drill).
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 265 lbs
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.74 sec
- Bench Press: 28 reps
- Vertical: 33″
- Broad Jump: 118″
Amaro excels as a route runner. He has a full grasp of the route tree which should help him transition to the pros. He displays good balance and fluidity in and out of routes. Along with solid short area quickness, this allows him get good separation out of his breaks.
Here Amaro shows good burst out of a sharp cut to gain instant separation from his defender.
Amaro shows good physicality on this route. He engages the defender, appears to set up a seam route, and breaks it off at the exact right moment.Amaro also has a large catch radius (34″ arms) and attacks the ball in the air. Soft hands and good body placement help him consistently come down with contested catches.
Here Amaro makes the catch with the defender draped all over him.
Amaro makes this catch in between two defenders while being pushed from behind.
Amaro shows the necessary straight line speed to be a threat down the seam and on the perimeter.
Here, Amaro simply out-runs the mismatched coverage to make a deep conversion down field.
Though he has the frame to add some weight, Amaro does not currently have the ideal bulk. Because of this, Amaro will likely struggle when tasked with defending NFL defensive linemen.
Amaro may also struggle as a blocker in the pros because he is prone to poor hand placement. He often aims too high and is susceptible to rip moves and being over powered.
The biggest knock on Amaro may be that his production came in a highly efficient Texas Tech spread offense. Those who make this claim see Amaro lined up in the slot on 87.5% of his snaps and never truly used as an in-line blocker.
Fit with the New York Jets
You can never truly diagnose the cause of a season like Amaro’s record setting 2013. Realistically, any level of production is the result of numerous variables including (but not limited to): scheme, scheme fit, athletic ability, preparation, etc.
Amaro was used all over the field in Texas Tech’s offense with the intention of creating matchup problems for opposing defenses. This succeeded, in part, because of offensive coordinator Eric Morris’ creativity and Amaro’s raw ability and dedication to his craft. There is no reason to believe that the same trend wouldn’t continue in the NFL under Mornhinweg’s direction.
Amaro will be used early as a size/speed matchup on the inside, more of a “move” or “joker” tight end. If he can bulk up and refine his blocking technique, Amaro may eventually develop into a true in-line tight end.
Amaro was the focal point of Texas Tech’s offense in 2013 which could help him transition to an NFL workload. He projects to be third in line for targets after Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley. Many were hoping for wide receiver help early in the draft but Amaro provided tremendous value in the second and drafting him killed two birds with one stone. His presence should solidify a fluid tight end position and upgrades the pass catching options available to Geno Smith.