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On to 2024: Tight End; A Position of Strength for the Jacksonville Jaguars

030824 on to 24 TE

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser and Jaguars/NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks examine the Jaguars' tight end position in this position-by-position look at the '24 offseason

Position: Tight end.

  • Position coach: Richard Angulo.
  • 2023 starters: Evan Engram (15), Luke Farrell (8), Brenton Strange (4).
  • Others: Josh Pederson.

2023 At A Glance

This was a position of strength for the Jaguars, with Engram following a solid 2022 season with an even more productive season in 2023 – becoming by season's end quarterback Trevor Lawrence's most reliable and consistent option in the passing offense. Engram in his second season with the Jaguars caught a team- and career-high 114 passes for 963 yards and four touchdowns with his receptions total the second-most by a tight end in NFL history and the second-most by any player in Jaguars history. Farrell in his third NFL season emerged as an occasional option in the passing game and a strong blocker, catching 13 passes for 155 yards. Strange, a second-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft, was a strong blocker much of the season as a rookie and caught five passes for 35 yards and a touchdown.

Offseason Storyline

This appears a relatively stable position entering the offseason, with Engram last offseason agreeing to a contract extension and with Strange entering his second season. Farrell also has a year remaining on the rookie contract he signed after the team selected him in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. If the Jaguars make a move here this offseason, it figures to be for added depth at a position that often needs three-to-four active players in various roles.

Free agents as of March 13: None.

Bucky Brooks' Top Three Free-Agent Tight Ends:

  1. Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
  2. Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks
  3. Gerald Everett, Los Angeles Chargers

Bucky Brooks' Top Three Collegiate Tight Ends:

  1. Brock Bowers, Georgia
  2. Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas
  3. Cade Stover, Ohio State

John Oehser Analysis: Engram in two seasons with the team has turned what long was an underproducing position into one of the Jaguars' most productive, consistent positions. His 114 receptions were 19 more than any NFL tight end in 2023, and he was the NFL's only tight end in 2023 to catch at least four passes in every regular-season game. With wide receivers Zay Jones and Christian Kirk both missing long stretches of the regular season with injuries, Lawrence increasingly depended on Engram's consistency and reliability as the season continued; he caught 50 passes in the last six games for 439 yards – and he had nine or more receptions in four of the last six games. The Jaguars ideally don't want to depend on the tight-end position to that extent, but Engram's ability to beat defenders across the middle was unquestionably the offense's go-to  play during a time when the unit otherwise was struggling for consistency.

Bucky Brooks' Analysis: The consistent performance and production of Engram steadied an inconsistent offense. The two-time Pro Bowler nearly eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark (963) while tallying 114 receptions—second-most by a tight end in NFL history. With the seventh-year pro adding four scores, the playmaking tight end emerged as Lawrence's No.1 target, with Kirk and Jones sidelined with injuries. Despite Head Coach Doug Pederson's affinity for multi-tight end sets, the Jaguars received minimal contributions from Farrell and Strange. The duo combined for 18 catches on 24 total targets and rarely saw the ball in their direction on crucial downs. Although they are not expected to shoulder a heavy load, the Jaguars' considerable investment in the backup positions should produce better results in the passing game

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