Tyler Kroft’s surprising spring has him in mix for Jets’ tight end gig

Kroft has seen a lot of time with the starting unit and tight end is a position battle to watch in training camp.

As the Jets get closer to training camp, I am examining the roster and giving you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game. 

No. 20: Tyler Kroft

Last year’s ranking: Unranked (not on team)

Position: TE

Age on Opening Day: 28

How acquired: Signed a one-year, $2 million contract as a free agent on March 22.

Years left on contract: 1

2021 Salary Cap figure: $1.8 million

Looking back at 2020

Kroft started four games and played in 10 for the Bills last season. He had 12 catches for 119 yards and three touchdowns. 

Kroft slid down the depth chart in Buffalo and was inactive for all three of Buffalo’s playoff games last season with the Bills turning to other tight ends. 

PFF graded Kroft the 37th tight end out of 71 the site graded. Kroft was a disappointment in Buffalo as he struggled to stay healthy and on the field. 

Tyler Kroft catches a pass for the Bills against the Jets on Oct. 25, 2020.
Getty Images

Outlook for 2021

Kroft has been one of the bigger surprises of the spring. He has seen a lot of time with the starting unit and tight end is a position battle to watch in training camp. Kroft could beat out Chris Herndon for the job if Herndon does not shake out of the funk he was in last year. The 49ers showed how they value the tight end with what George Kittle has done there and now Mike LaFleur is bringing that same system to the Jets. 

The key with Kroft will be staying on the field. He played just 27 percent of the snaps last season, 23 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2018 as a member of the Bengals. The last time he played a full season was 2017 when he had 42 catches for 404 yards and seven touchdowns with Cincinnati. 

The Jets have an interesting tight end room with Kroft, Herndon, Ryan Griffin and Trevon Wesco. All of them can make a case for playing time (Wesco more at fullback). If Kroft can continue playing the way he did at the end of the spring this summer, he might end up with the starting job. 

This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Brian Costello

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