Why the Jaguars Got a Steal in Tyler Eifert

Tyler Eifert has had a promising 7 year career up to this point, but has been ridden with injuries throughout. At the peak of his health and his play in Cincinnati, Eifert was regarded among the best tight ends in the league. In the 2015 season, the then-Bengals TE caught 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 TDs, all while catching 70.3% of balls thrown his way for an average of 11.8 yards per catch. That performance earned Eifert his one Pro Bowl selection. Though Eifert has not had much buzz around the league since then, his value as an offensive role player is quite underrated. Eifert is a big body, standing at 6 foot 6 and 255 pounds, but has sneakily elite athletic ability as well. With a 40 yard dash time of 4.68 and a vertical jump of nearly 36 inches, Eifert truly makes an impact in the passing game and run-blocking.

Future with Jacksonville

Signing with Jacksonville, Eifert will join a young offense led by 2nd year QB Gardner Minshew II. Minshew performed at a very competitive level last year, ultimately winning the starting job from Nick Foles. Though the Jaguars finished 6-10, they had some bright spots on offense. As the home team, Jacksonville’s matchups only hit the under three times. A lot of those times in the world of online sport betting, they were expected to hit the under by many sports books, and betting the over was often a very good value bet to make. Expect Jacksonville to hit the over even more often in 2020, as the young offense is only improving. 25 year old RB Leonard Fournette is coming off of his first fully-healthy NFL season, in which he rushed for 1,152 yards and caught 76 passes for 522 yards. With DJ Chark playing wide receiver and the addition of Tyler Eifert, the Jacksonville offense could do some serious damage this fall.

Eifert’s Role in Jacksonville’s Offense

According to an official release, Eifert’s deal is a 2 year contract worth $15.5 million. As a tight end with a lot of upside, he could be worth this money, or more. However, if Eifert’s battle with injuries continues, that could be a big cap hit for Jacksonville. The Jaguars’ tight end spot on the depth chart is very slim, as 2019 starter James O’Shaughnessy only caught 14 passes for 153 yards. I believe as if head coach Doug Marrone was looking for a middle of the field receiving threat, which is what he got in Tyler Eifert. With DJ Chark, Chris Conley, and Dede Westbrook mostly being guys that can beat you downfield, Eifert could be a very important addition over the middle with his size and tackle-breaking ability. Additionally, new Jaguars OC Jay Gruden coached Eifert in the same position for many seasons in Cincinnati. That being said, Gruden may know how to utilize Eifert to the best of his ability in this young offense. The Jaguars themselves said they hope that Eifert brings a level of versatility to their team. Though some Jags fans are upset with the deal and are skeptical that Eifert will get injured yet again, he could end up adding some serious value to this team.

AFI
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