The 2021 NFL Draft season is upon us and the first wave of free agency is now over. Now, scouts, coaches, and general managers will hit the road as all eyes will turn to the draft.
Among the 32 teams building their rosters to compete for the next Lombardi Trophy is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold 10 picks in this season’s draft -- including the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are entering a new era under Head Coach Urban Meyer, and the 2021 draft will serve as a catalyst to the Jaguars’ rebuild moving into the future.
As we march closer and closer to April’s draft, we will look at individual draft prospects and how they would potentially fit with the Jaguars. Instead of looking at any negatives, we are going to look at what the players do well and if they could match what the Jaguars need at the specific role or position.
In this edition, we look at one of this year's top tight end prospects in Notre Dame's Tommy Tremble. Tremble doesn't receive the hype of the perceived top-three tight ends (Pitts, Freiermuth, Jordan) in this year's class, but what does his game say about his potential fit with the Jaguars?
A three-star prospect out of high school, Tremble committed to the tight end factor that is the Notre Dame program over other schools such as Michigan, UCLA, and Auburn. Tremble didn't see any game action as a true freshman in 2018, but the last two seasons have seen him act as a key piece of Notre Dame's offense.
Tremble wasn't Notre Dame's primary tight end as a sophomore in 2019 due to the presence of Cole Kmet (No. 43 overall pick in 2020 NFL Draft), but he saw a lot of playing time by appearing in 13 games and starting seven. He ranked fourth on the team with 16 catches for 183 yards (11.4 yards per catch) and four touchdowns, his most productive season as a pass-catcher.
As a junior in 2020, Tremble once again had to take a backseat to a tight end on the roster. Five-star super recruit Michael Mayer saw the lion's share of targets in Notre Dame's offense, leading to Tremble finishing his final season with the Fighting Irish with 19 receptions for 218 yards (11.5 yards per catch). Ultimately, he ended his college career with 35 catches for 401 yards (11.5 yards per catch) and four touchdowns, with each touchdown coming in 2019.
What Tommy Tremble Does Well
At 6-foot-3 and 241 pounds, Tommy Tremble doesn't carry the biggest frame with him but this never shows to be a negative on tape. He plays like a throwback tight end, always looking to get physical with defensive linemen when in-line, linebackers when asked to move to the second level, and even defensive backs when he is isolated with them in space on the perimeter. His physicality jumps off the screen both as a blocker and receiver, and this type of aggressive temperament usually translates.
As a blocker, Tremble is truly everything a coach could ask for. He fires out of his stance with explosion, power, and good leverage and continues to move his feet on contact against bigger defenders. He takes good angles in space and positions himself well also.
Tremble's mix of athleticism and physicality also makes him a versatile blocker, with Notre Dame deploying him in multiple alignments. He could function as a true H-Back or fullback if that is the role his coaches envision at the next level -- he is that good as a blocker in all facets.
Where Tremble will have to grow the most is as a receiver since he has limited production in that regard, but he has shown a lot of physical traits to suggest his pass-catching production could take off in a major way in the right scheme.
Tremble needs refinement on his routes, but he has terrific agility in and out of his breaks and truly puts stress on linebackers and safeties with his athleticism in the route. His pure speed and ability to get separation by outrunning defenders show up on nearly each of his targets. He is able to make solid in-air adjustments as well, showing some potential to win at the catch point if ever asked to.
How Tommy Tremble Would Fit With the Jaguars
This is a tough one. On the surface, Tremble would be a welcomed addition to the Jaguars because he would instantly be the team's most athletic and highest-upside tight end. On the other hand, he was rarely used as a receiver at Notre Dame, and a receiving tight end is the type of player Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer has already said the Jaguars are searching for.
"We have two different style of tight ends, one is a ‘Y,’ which is—on the line, basically an extension of your offensive line, a very good blocker, but also very functional in the pass game. We identified the guy, had him at the top of the list and that’s [Chris] Manhertz and we got him," Meyer said following free agency. "The next one is the ‘F’ and that’s the primary pass catcher, but also a functional blocker. We have not addressed that."
If the Jaguars' season began today, James O'Shaughnessy would be their top 'F' tight end. While Tremble doesn't have a ton of production as a receiver, his athleticism and flashes as a pass-catcher suggest he could thrive in that role with development, but it may take more than one season for him to make a consistent impact in the passing game.
With that said, Tremble just seems like a Meyer tight end. An athletic and physical player who can block from essentially any alignment on the field while also providing value in the passing game is a rare thing to find and something Meyer would likely appreciate adding to his Jaguars offense.
The Jaguars need receiving production more than anything from the tight end production, making it tough to make a case for Tremble over Pat Freiermuth even if Tremble is a better athlete. Tremble is a better overall prospect than Brevin Jordan, but Jordan has shown more as a pass-catcher. Trimble is a good prospect who could add a lot of desirable traits to the Jaguars' offense, but they may need a tight end who is more ready to make an impact as a receiver.
While the Jaguars have two picks in the second round, it is hard to make a strong argument for Tremble to be one of those selections. He has a ton of skills and a high ceiling, but he simply hasn't yet been able to show enough as a pass-catcher.
But in terms of pure ability, there are few tight ends with more talent than Tremble. Yes, the Jaguars need a pass-catching tight end more than anything else at the position, but they also just need good football players. Tremble is the best blocking tight end in this class and offers the type of athletic upside that most elite blockers don't, so he should appeal to the Jaguars at the start of round three. If they want to take him at No. 45, there are too many questions about his immediate fit and overall production, but he is at least a high-ceiling prospect.
For all of our 2021 NFL Draft profiles, click below.