The tight end position has been morphing over the last decade within the NFL. Once an extension of the offensive line with a small role in the passing game, tight ends have become premier pass-catchers and integral parts of many NFL offenses. The Jaguars have never had a legitimate star at the position (at least when it comes to pass-catching), but they have had some solid players at the position over the years. The player who tops this list was with the team for over a decade. The front office has taken chances in free agency to try and bolster the position, most notably with Julius Thomas in 2016, but again have not been able to find a game-changer. The most recent lottery ticket? The injury-riddled Tyler Eifert. Let's hope he can return to his former self and help second-year quarterback Gardner Minshew progress because the three names on this list are long gone.
1. Marcedes Lewis
Marcedes Lewis was a key cog in the Jaguars offense during his 12 season stint with the team from 2006-2017. Early on in his career, it became known that Lewis was going to function mainly as a blocking tight end, and he was one of the best in the game. Lewis only surpassed 50 receptions twice during his time in Jacksonville but played a vital role in the success of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. He made one Pro Bowl after the 2010 season. Lewis was able to match the franchise's single-season for touchdown receptions and set a career-high that still stands at 700 yards. In total, he racked up more than 4,500 yards and 33 touchdowns. He ranks third on the franchise receiving yards list.
2. Kyle Brady
Kyle Brady is one of my favorite Jaguars of all time, and just so happens to be the second greatest player to line up at that position in franchise history. Brady was drafted by the Jets, out of Penn St. in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft. He proved to be an outstanding blocker early on in his career but didn't provide enough value for the Jets to keep him around. He signed with the Jags in 1999. He was never a game-changing pass catcher, setting a career-high of only 729 receiving yards in 2000. Brady only managed to reel in 25 touchdowns during his 13-year career, but his real value came in durability. He missed only 11 games over his 13 years. He was always on the field contributing.
3. Pete Mitchell
Pete Mitchell is the only other Jaguars' tight end in franchise history to surpass even 1,000 yards, racking up 2,091 as a member of the franchise. Drafted by Miami, Mitchell was traded to the Jags during minicamp of his rookie year. He quickly became a regular in the rotation and eclipsed the 500-yard mark in his first two NFL seasons. Mitchell spent four years in Jacksonville before moving on to the New York Giants, eventually making his way back to Duval to finish out his career.
There are a few honorable mentions to be made for this position, even though only three tight ends in Jaguars' history have surpassed the 1,000-yard mark with the team. Julius Thomas was one of the biggest flops on a free agent gamble this team has ever had, but let's remember who was throwing him the ball. He still racked up 736 yards and nine touchdowns in only 21 games played for the team. He could not stay healthy. George Wrighster provided a secondary blocking option and was a great compliment to Marcedes Lewis for three years as well.
Up next are the offensive tackles, where we are going to run into what should be another sure-fire Hall of Famer, who has been snubbed to this point.
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