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Tight end is one of the Jets’ strongest positions entering the 2020 season, but I still could see them using a mid- or late-round pick to secure the position going forward.
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Chris Herndon was expected to have a big role in their offense last year, but a suspension then two injuries limited him to one game. He is expected to be healthy entering 2020 and again will be leaned on as one of Sam Darnold’s top targets.
Herndon’s absence led to the emergence of Ryan Griffin, who was an afterthought when he signed just before training camp, but became a big part of the offense with five touchdowns. The Jets signed him to a contract extension in November.
The Jets also have Trevon Wesco, who was drafted last year, and Daniel Brown at the position, so they have some depth for now.
The question is how secure they are in the future at the position. Herndon now must prove he can stay on the field. Griffin is 30 and won’t be around long.
If GM Joe Douglas does decide to take a tight end, it probably won’t come until Day 3 and will be more of a developmental player who can contribute on special teams immediately.
Vanderbilt’s Jared Pinkney and Florida Atlantic’s Harrison Bryant are names to watch. The most interesting storyline might be if they take LSU’s Thaddeus Moss, who is the son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
The Jets have drafted tight ends in each of the past three years — Jordan Leggett, Herndon and Wesco. Herndon has the potential to be an impact player. He would be their first pick at the position since Dustin Keller in 2008 who had a major impact on the offense.
Historically, this has been a tricky position for the Jets when it comes to drafting. Fans have scars from Johnny Mitchell and Kyle Brady in the 1990s.
Douglas won’t be taking any tight ends in the first round this year, but maybe on Day 3 he adds to the position.