Eagles 2024 Training Camp Preview: The Tight Ends

Eagles TE Dallas Goedert is one of the NFL's best. Replacing backup TE Jack Stoll is an open-ended question right now.
Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a reception during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game at Raymond James Stadium.
Jan 15, 2024; Tampa, Florida, USA; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (88) scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a reception during the first half of a 2024 NFC wild card game at Raymond James Stadium. / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA - The Eagles’ Dallas Goedert remains one of the better tight ends in the NFL even if he hasn’t quite taken the next step and reached the kind of elite status some had predicted for him.

At 29 there is still time for the seven-year veteran to level up and join the top-tier at the position like Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, San Francisco’s George Kittle, and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews.

Statistically, that might not be in the cards, though, because the dynamic outside receiving duo of A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith will generate most of the traffic in the passing game for Philadelphia. The addition of dynamic running back Saquon Barkley to the mix also factors in and there are only so many touches to go around.

Also, Goedert’s punishing playing style has contributed to him missing eight regular-season games over the prior two seasons. He hasn’t played a full season since his rookie campaign in 2018. The games missed have not been terribly significant but have certainly affected numbers and outside perceptions.

The Eagles, though, understand what they have in Goedert, who is on a three-season run of at least 50 receptions and is one of the few old-school, two-way tight ends in the league who can excel in-line or as a flex receiver. 

Philadelphia did lose 2023 TE2 Jack Stoll, predominantly a blocker, to the New York Giants in free agency after failing to tender him as a restricted free agent which was deemed too costly.

Eagles GM Howie Roseman did re-sign the physically gifted Albert Okwuegbunam and signed veteran C.J. Uzomah in free agency to compete with Grant Calcaterra for the backup TE spots. 

Eagles TE Grant Calcaterra
Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Philadelphia Eagles tight end Grant Calcaterra (81) catches a pass before Super Bowl LVII against the Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium. / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

At his height as a player, Uzomah was a legitimate starting-level TE in Cincinnati whose strength was the blocking aspect at 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds but he was also far more capable than Stoll as a receiver. 

His 2021 playoff performance in the Bengals' run to Super Bowl LVI earned him a three-year, $24 million deal with the New York Jets in free agency that was derailed by an MCL injury in December of last season.

Calcaterra and Okwuegbunam are both more receiver than blocker although the latter has enough size (6-5, 258) to get in the way. Head coach Nick Sirianni seems to have an affinity for Calcaterra, who hasn’t proven much through his first two seasons.   

Futures hopeful E.J. Jenkins stood out as a receiver in the spring, and undrafted free agent McCallan Castles is an undersized, receiving developmental option.

Depth Chart: 

TE1 Dallas Goedert; TE2 C.J. Uzomah; TE3 Grant Calcaterra; TE4 Albert Okwuegbunam; TE5 E.J. Jenkins; TE6 McCallan Castles

WHAT’S CHANGED: Stoll, a fundamentally sound but athletically limited backup, stayed in the division and the Eagles probably found an upgrade in Uzomah, 31, if there is anything left in the tank of the veteran. 

The only other change is moving on from practice squad TE Noah Togiai in favor of Jenkins and Castles as the potential developmental types. Jenkins was especially intriguing in the spring. 

COACHING: A former offensive coordinator in Tennessee in 2014-15 Jason Michael has a better grasp of the overall offensive picture than most tight end coaches around the league. He’s also got a little time tutoring quarterbacks with the Titans, New York Jets, and San Francisco so his background is pretty diverse.

Tight end has been Michael’s foundation as a coach and he's helped teach the position with the Jets, Tennessee, San Diego, Arizona, Indianapolis, and the Eagles since 2021 as one of Sirianni’s core coaching group.

THE CEILING: Goedert stays healthy and cleans up the occasional concentration drop in giving Jalen Hurts a big-bodied target on third downs who excels at generating yards after catch. From there, Uzomah still shows there is still the traits in his body to play in line and Calcaterra finally shows the promise that SIrianni keeps talking about.

THE LONGSHOT: Jenkins wowed as an inside receiver in the spring with his length, ball skills and athleticism at 6-6 and 245 pounds. The pads coming on will likely tell the tale on Jenkins. Expect reps with the second team at some point to get a feel for where Jenkins really is as a prospect.  

WHO STAYS/GOES: The best bet here is Goedert, Uzomah, and Calcaterra end up on the initial 53 with Jenkins a good bet for the practice squad. It might be the end of the road for Albert O. without a strong summer and Castles will need to prove worthy as a developmental project to keep a second TE on the PS.

MORE NFL: Eagles 2024 Training Camp Preview: The Running Backs

John McMullen


John McMullen is a veteran reporter who has covered the NFL for over two decades. The current NFL insider for JAKIB Media, John is the former NFL Editor for The Sports Network where his syndicated column was featured in over 200 outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Miami Herald. He was also the national NFL columnist for Today's Pigskin as well as FanRag Sports. McMullen has covered the Eagles on a daily basis since 2016, first for ESPN South Jersey and now for Eagles Today on SI.com's FanNation. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube.com. John is also the host of his own show "Extending the Play" on AM1490 in South Jersey and part of 6ABC.com's live postgame show after every Eagles game. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen