The TOJ Roundtable is back. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter and to let us know your opinion down in the comment section below! Today’s question is…
What are your projections for the New York Jets tight ends in 2015?
Last day this week for international orders of the New York Sack Exchange 2.0 t-shirt
Joe Caporoso – Jace Amaro is the most talented “tight end” on the Jets roster, although the position he will predominantly play is the F/H or “move” spot. Targets will not be easy to come by but he should be able to get himself into the 40-50 reception range with hopefully two or three more touchdowns than the two he had as a rookie. The “Y” or in-line tight end is currently Jeff Cumberland, despite him being one of the worst blocking tight ends in the NFL and not much of a threat in the passing game (from week 8-14 last season he had 11 targets with 1 reception for 5 yards). He should see a decrease reps and I wouldn’t expect him to crack 20 receptions this season. Kellen Davis is basically an extra tackle at tight end, which is a good thing because the Jets need blocking support. Hopefully, he can stick on the 53 man roster.
Joe Malfa – Jace Amaro’s transition to the “move” spot is an indication that he will likely see the most reps of all three tight ends, being that he will be used in more versatile ways. I agree with Joe on the 50 reception number for Amaro, but 50 is the low end for me as I see him getting into the 50-60 range. With that, he can definitely improve upon the 345 yards and 2 TDs he recorded last season. The WR corps around Amaro will open up a lot of space in the middle — space he did not see last year — but the improved WR corps is a double edged sword. While Amaro will have more space and will likely be open a lot more, the ball will be spread around to the WRs limiting the balls he sees thrown his way. Being that Amaro is the main and, after Cumberland’s showing down the stretch last year, only real receiving threat at TE, he will still see enough targets to get 50-60 receptions, 500 yards, and 5 TDs.
As far as Cumberland and Davis, they will each see a good amount of playing time but neither will see as many targets as Amaro. I really don’t know what to make of Cumberland after the way he finished last season; he had the seven week stretch that Joe pointed out in which he had only 5 yards, but he had 88 yards and 2 TDs in the final three games. He might see enough targets lining up at the “Y” in Chan Gailey’s offense to haul in 15-20 receptions, 200 yards, and 2 TDs. Davis is hard to put any sort of statistical projection on because he has always been a blocking tight end and he is coming off a knee injury. He has had success in the past in the red zone with 12 TDs on only 50 receptions from ’09-’13, so if he is healthy he may find the end zone a couple of times. I don’t see him with more than 6 receptions for 30 yards and 2 TDs, but his true value will be measured in the success the RBs have when he is on the field (sounds like a nice video breakdown article for January).
Dalbin Osorio – In Chan Gailey’s offense, the tight end won’t be utilized like how many are. They’ll be used more as a H-back and won’t receive a ton of targets with two high volume machines in Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall on the outside. So, my projections for the Jets tight ends are not as a high as I’m sure some Jet fans would like to see.
Jace Amaro should be the starter and see the majority of the reps, but I think you’re going to see a scenario where Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis are used plenty as well. Amaro was running with the 4th team during OTAs, and I assume it has to do with his war of words with Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan. He has a long way to go to get back to the first team, especially if Cumberland plays well. Amaro led all rookie tight ends in most statistical categories last year, and I expect him to repeat a similar stat line in 2015.
Again, I wouldn’t put it past Bowles and Gailey to utilize Cumberland much more than Amaro especially early on. Davis provides more as a blocker than both Amaro and Cumberland, but he is also pretty good in the red zone. If he is healthy and fully recovered from a nagging knee injury, it could prove to be a nice under the radar signing for the Jets. I project Amaro and Cumberland to have equal reps, with Davis getting reps as the primary blocking tight end.