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The Value of Things: Gaming the Tight Ends

Do they have enough to go to war with?

Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

We come to the end of the line on our position groups. It seems somehow fitting that it would be the tight ends because they feel kind of like an afterthought. They did address the position somewhat in the draft, so there is hope for improvement. Plus, Brevin Jordan might have been the most impressive rookie on the team once he finally got some playing time late in the season.

However, like most other positions on the team last year, the group as a whole underperformed. The 64,000 dollar question is whether it was a lack of talent or if they were being asked to do things they were incapable of doing. Would new coaching make the position more effective?

As we have done with the other positions, we will look at the snap counts and PFF scores for the tight ends on the team last year. Then, we will look at any new additions this season and see if the unit has improved at all. We will look at overall PFF scores, receiving scores, run blocking scores, and pass blocking scores. Of course, we take these with some skepticism since the offense is new.

2021 Tight End Room

Pharoah Brown— 605 Snaps, 48.0 PFF, 46.0 Receiving, 60.1 Run blocking, 44.1 Pass blocking

Jordan Akins— 327 Snaps, 52.5 PFF, 57.1 Receiving, 45.7 Run blocking, 32.6 Pass blocking

Antony Auclair— 316 Snaps, 55.7 PFF, 60.4 Receiving, 56.2 Run blocking, 43.1 Pass blocking

Brevin Jordan— 232 Snaps, 66.6 PFF, 69.3 Receiving, 62.9 Run blocking, 77.5 Pass blocking

With most of the positions, 60 is more or less the average. Some positions have higher averages, but this is the second position group where the Texans have the player with the player with lowest score amongst qualified players. This time it was Pharoah Brown. He not only led the position in snaps, he was also re-signed. I’m still scratching my head to figure out why that happened.

As you can see, Akins is the only one that is moving on. He was a decent receiving tight end, but not a very good blocker. So, looking at the state of the current tight end room you can see where their heads are at. We’ve talked about the platoon advantage before and it is clear that they have a really good target in Jordan. The question will be if they have anyone that can help on first and second down.

2022 Tight End Room

Pharoah Brown— 605 Snaps, 48.0 PFF, 46.0 Receiving, 60.1 Run blocking, 44.1 Pass blocking

Antony Auclair— 316 Snaps, 55.7 PFF, 60.4 Receiving, 56.2 Run blocking, 43.1 Pass blocking

Darrell Daniels— 271 Snaps, 49.9 PFF, 36.2 Receiving, 59.3 Run blocking, 67.0 Pass blocking

Brevin Jordan— 232 Snaps, 66.6 PFF, 69.3 Receiving, 62.9 Run blocking, 77.5 Pass blocking

Teagan Quitoriano— N/A

Quitoriano has the look of a physical, blocking tight end. If that is the case then the tight end room will actually be fairly functional. At first glance, bringing in Daniels to replace Akins, doesn’t look like an upgrade, but we have to think in terms of the platoon advantage. Akins was a terrible blocker while Daniels appears to be at least average. He will likely compete with Brown for playing time, but since Brown was the worst guy in the league you’d think he would have to be better than that.

The key is that Pep Hamilton is known for having two tight end sets. If Jordan can handle the duties as being the primary receiver at the position then you are just looking for your blocking tight end. They also brought in a couple of fullbacks so the team can offer various formations and sets to aid in boosting the running game.

What’s Missing?

At this point it could be nothing. If Jordan continues to develop as a receiver and just one or two of the others develop as blockers then this team won’t need another tight end. Chances are they will have to spend a draft pick or a free agent allotment on giving Jordan a complement in the passing game. That priority is pretty low at this point as compared with all of the other priorities we have seen so far.