The consensus opinion on Dallas Goedert seems to be that the A.J. Brown acquisition cost Goedert his chance at producing like a top-three tight end. While I agree that Brown’s arrival hurts Goedert’s floor, I’m not sure we should be so quick to dismiss his upside.
Goedert’s 10.9 yards per target in Nick Sirianni’s offense would have been elite even if he was a wide receiver. He accomplished that by tying his career-best aDOT (average depth of target) of 8.5 and pairing it with a career-best 6.9 yards per catch after the catch. While it’s not fair to expect Goedert to match those totals again, his career yards per target averaged is 8.4, so 9.0 isn’t out of the question at all. In fact, it may be more likely with opposing defenses having to give so much attention to Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Goedert averaged 5.7 targets per game after Zach Ertz was traded to Arizona, and I believe this is where most people expect a decrease. While I certainly expect Brown to lead the team in targets, it’s worth noting that the Eagles averaged a league-low 25 pass attempts per game during that stretch. I find it hard to believe they’d make a deal as big as they did for Brown without intentions to greatly increase that number.
If hypothetically, the Eagles’ pass attempts per game jumped to 31 per game, which would have placed them 27th last year, Goedert could see his target share drop from 22% to 18% without losing any actual targets. While Sirianni hasn’t had a receiver like Brown before, he also hasn’t had a team tight end target share below 21.6% in the past three seasons. In other words, there’s no reason to be sure that Goedert’s targets per game will drop this year.
This matters, because if Goedert’s targets stay the same, he likely has a big dose of touchdown regression headed his way. He only caught two touchdowns on those 57 targets in his final 10 games. In 47 games prior, Goedert had scored once every 15 targets.
What do all these numbers mean? A season like Dalton Schultz’s 2021 is very much in play if Goedert can just stay on the field and the Eagles increase their pass rate marginally. If they get anywhere close to a league-average pass rate, Goedert could be a top-three tight end per game even with A.J. Brown on the roster.
Here are my updated top 50 Dynastytight ends: