Marcedes Lewis (Getty Images)
The Jacksonville Jaguars finished their season with a 7-9 record, and depending on who you talk to, 2009 was either a nice surprise or a bitter disappointment. However you look at it, 2009 is over and it’s time to reflect on the play at each position and what we can expect going forward. We are are now going to look at the tight end position.
Marcedes Lewis - 32 receptions, 518 receiving yards, 16.2 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns
The good: Lewis continues to get better each season with his in-line blocking and his production receiving.
The not so good: Lewis still isn't getting quite the number of receptions as most fans have hoped for, and he still has somewhat of a bad habit of dropping passes.
Going forward: Marcedes Lewis keeps getting better each season. What was once a weakness in his blocking is now a strength. He has become more of a threat downfield, and led all tight ends in the NFL in yards per catch. He is also an alternate for the 2009 pro-bowl. Lewis should be a building block for the offense going forward.
Ernest Wilford - 11 receptions, 112 receiving yards, 11.2 yards per catch, 1 touchdown
The good: Ernest Wilford didn't suffer a major injury and didn't have many drops.
The not so good: Wilford isn't a traditional tight end, so he cannot really be relied on to block on the line of scrimmage like Marcedes Lewis. Wilford is in his 30's and his production has gone down each season the past few seasons. He was barely an afterthought in the passing game this season.
Going forward: Wilford may be on the roster next season, but I wouldn't count on it. He shouldn't be too difficult to beat out. Wilford was originally drafted by the Jaguars in 2004 in the 4th round, and he's lived up to his stock thus far in his career as a Jaguar.
Zach Miller - 21 receptions, 212 receiving yards, 10.1 yards per catch, 2 touchdowns
The good: Miller seemed to make the transition from college quarterback to NFL tight end without much of a hitch. He showed an ability to catch the ball with his hands and break tackles. He also displayed some quickness and deceptive speed towards the end of the season.
The not so good: Miller suffered a knee injury in the preseason, but he seemed to fully recover. He took a lot of shots as a quarterback who ran a lot in college, but they are not the same kind of shots he's going to take as a tight end. His blocking is also quite a bit under par.
Going forward: Miller solidified himself as the 2nd tight end on this football team. He's shown playmaking ability in the open field similar to someone like Owen Daniels and Dallas Clark. Going forward, Miller's production should increase as I expect him to be used as a flex tight end quite a bit, similar to a Dallas Clark or Chris Cooley.
Final grade: B- The tight end position is still in a bit of flux and was that way through the whole season. Aside from Marcedes Lewis, the team had nothing but what would be considered "hybrid" tight ends who were effective in the passing game, but left a lot to be desired blocking.