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July 06, 2024

Eagles 2024 training camp preview: Tight end

Dallas Goeder is coming off a bit of a down year for the Eagles where he missed three more games due to injury and was just 14th in receiving yards among tight ends.

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2040_09142023_Eagles_Vikings_Dallas-Goedert.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Dallas Goedert

Over the next few weeks (basically whenever there isn't other news to cover), we'll take a look at every player on the Philadelphia Eagles' roster, and how they fit with the team heading into training camp. Today we'll look at the tight ends.

Previous training camp previews

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver

There's probably no need to show the depth chart. They're basically in order (as I see it) below:  

Dallas Goedert

From 2021 to 2022, Goedert led the NFL with 10.6 yards per target, an impressive feat in and of itself, but especially for a tight end. He made the most of the targets that came his way, he blocked well, and generally speaking he is an unselfish player. He is an ideal No. 3 option in the Eagles' passing game, which most assumed would continue to be a juggernaut in 2023. It didn't go that way, obviously.

Goedert was unstoppable in training camp, which in hindsight might have been misleading given the Eagles' bad linebackers and safeties. He finished the season with 59 catches for 592 yards and 3 TDs. His 592 receiving yards ranked 14th in the NFL among tight ends.

Goedert missed three games, but it's hard to view his season positively given the expectations.

The Eagles drafted Goedert after Zach Ertz's fifth season when Ertz was only 27 years old. They drafted Ertz after Brent Celek's sixth season when Celek was 28. Goedert has played six seasons and is now 29. He's a good player and is certainly capable of having a bounce back season, but it's only a matter of time before the Eagles start looking for a younger replacement to eventually take over for him.

C.J. Uzomah

Uzomah is entering his 10th NFL season. His career stats: 

C.J. Uzomah Rec Yards YPC TD 
2015 4.0 
2016 25 234 9.4 
2017 10 92 9.2 
2018 43 439 10.2 
2019 27 242 9.0 
2020 87 10.9 
2021 49 493 10.1 
2022 21 232 11.0 
2023 58 7.3 

Those look a lot like backup tight end numbers, but Uzomah has been a starter for most of his career, as he has played in 106 games with 82 starts. So why was he a starter if he wasn't much of a threat as a receiver? Because he is one of the biggest tight ends in the league at 6'5, 271, and is a good run blocker. For example, in 2023 he finished fourth in PFF's run blocking grades behind George Kittle, Charlie Woerner, and Will Dissly.

The Eagles likely signed Uzomah for a role similar to the one Jack Stoll has had with the team over the last three seasons. He'll block, and get probably get very limited targets in the passing game if he makes the roster. But for now, he'd probably be penciled in as the No. 2 tight end behind Dallas Goedert, and ahead of other guys like Grant Calcaterra and Albert Okwuegbunam.

Grant Calcaterra

Calcaterra had 5 catches for 81 yards as a sixth-round rookie in 2022. He had 4 catches for 39 yards in his second season in 2023. Positive contributions can come slowly for young tight ends in the NFL — and Jalen Hurts doesn't exactly like throwing to guys not named A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, or Dallas Goedert — but Calcaterra still didn't make a second-year leap.

Calcaterra is still on his rookie contract, so he's cheap, but he'll have to earn a roster spot in training camp.

Albert Okwuegbunam

Albert O. had one target in 2023, and he dropped it. He was also notably wide open on a play against the 49ers, and Hurts did not pull the trigger.

Okweugbunam played 57 snaps on the season before landing on IR near the end of the season with, I dunno, a hangnail? He was scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, but he signed a one-year deal prior to the start of free agency.

He appears to be Howie Roseman's new pet tight end project now that Tyree Jackson has moved on.

McCallan Castles

McCallan initially enrolled at Cal in 2018, but entered the transfer portal during the 2019 season. He transferred to UC Davis, and then to Tennessee in 2023. In 2023, Castles had 22 catches for 283 yards and 5 TDs. His most productive season was in 2021 at UC Davis, when he had 27 catches for 387 yards and 4 TDs. There are a bunch of broken tackles in this highlight reel:

34 is a weird number for a tight end, but I digress. (He's 43 with the Eagles.)

With only four other tight ends on the roster, there is some opportunity for an undrafted rookie tight end to make the initial 53 with a good camp.

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