Tight end. Some of you may not think of football when you think of a tight end (Kashberry, I'm lookin' at you), but for the purposes of this post, we will be sticking to football tight ends only.
We have a nice mix of age on the roster, which should allow the veterans to do their work while also getting a nice youth infusion at the position. Without further ado, let's get to it.
Jacob Tamme is the old man of the group, though he's not super old at 31 years old. He was the main TE for Matt Ryan last year, amassing 59 receptions, 657 yards, and a single TD. He's relatively reliable with his hands, but his athletic decline lead to issues on multiple occasions last year. I can recall one play where he was as open as Waffle House on a Monday, but he just wasn't fast enough to catch up to the pass (perhaps a little overthrown) by Matt Ryan. His blocking isn't great, though he's not exactly of blocking size at 6'3" 230. He'll be used moderately this year, but don't expect a Tony Gonzalez-esque performance.
He's what I'd call average. Won't light the world on fire, but more often than not, he won't let you down.
Levine Toilolo is an interesting one because he is a mammoth at 6'8" 265. To compare, Lebron James is 6'8" 250.
Toilolo never really developed into the red zone threat we all hoped he would, but instead cemented himself as (our right tackle) a blocker with good size and strength. He'll only be 25 this year, though, so there's still plenty of room for improvement. He'll probably make the team based on his size and special teams ability. Think of him like Bear Pascoe at this point. There's a spot in the league for tight ends like him, but you won't be seeing him spike the ball in the end zone much.
Tialavea has a few years of experience, but has not done much of anything since he came into the league. I seem to recall him being rather good in last year's preseason, but the team didn't seem to see much value in him past that. With the addition of Austin Hooper, I think Tialavea's exit will come sooner rather than later once team cuts begin.
Aside from having a fantastic name, he's young (21), and he's got good size (6'4" 245), but he was only mildly productive in his final year of college with 34 receptions, 438 yards, and 6 touchdowns. That's a relatively high TD number for so few receptions, so I think it's safe to say that he'll be a reliable red zone target for us, just as he was for Stanford. Don't look for him to break out this year. He'll need a year of seasoning, but there's value to be had with Hooper.
This is an undrafted guy out of Washington. He's more along the lines of a big receiver at 6'4" 227 (Julio is 6'3" 220), and what's even better is when you look for information on Perkins on the team website, this is what you get:
I think that pretty much spells out how long Perkins is gonna stick around. Hope he makes the team (as I do all the new people), but the writing, or lack thereof, is on the wall.
If you were wishing we had Gronk and Travis Kelce instead of what we have, then you're probably (never pleased with anything in your life) going to give us a Super F.
In reality, this group is just average. It remains to be seen just how good Hooper will be, but until we see him in action, we won't know for sure. Tamme will provide a moderate amount of receptions and yards, and Toilolo will probably get 15-20 receptions himself, but how much Hooper gets will depend on how fast he grows this year.
Your thoughts on our TE group?