For years, the New York Jets had lacked a true, consistent, potential difference-making pass-catching tight end.
This last offseason, Joe Douglas made it a clear priority to change that.
The biggest, immediate-impact addition made by Douglas was the free-agent signing of Tyler Conklin.
Conklin was coming from the Minnesota Vikings, where he had spent the first four years of his career. He was also coming off of, by far, a career-best season in 2021, in which he had 61 catches, 593 yards, and three touchdowns. Conklin just had a breakout year and only turned 27 this summer, giving the Jets hope for years to come at the tight end position.
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Reviewing Tyler Conklin’s great start with the New York Jets:
Through his first eight games with the Jets, Conklin has certainly delivered. Well known for his great route running and reliable hands catching the football, so far, Conklin has 48 targets (six per game), 32 catches (four per game) for 309 yards (38.6 yards per game) with 9.7 yards per catch, and three touchdowns.
Conklin is currently on pace for 68 catches, over 650 yards, and six touchdowns. The best production the Jets have gotten from a tight end in a decade. His current pace is also set to break the career numbers he posted a year ago.
Across the NFL, at the tight end position specifically, Conklin is eighth in catches, 11th in yards, and sixth in touchdowns. It is more than fair to say that Conklin is a top-10 tight end in football right now.
Looking at his production on a game-to-game basis, Conklin has had at least six targets in six of the Jets’ eight games. He had a 10 and 9 target game. From there, Conklin has caught at least three passes in six games, highlighted by a game with eight. Lastly, Conklin has posted 40 receiving yards or more in four games for the Jets.
His two best games were his eight catch for 84-yard game in Week 3, a game in which he hauled in every target. Conklin’s other terrific game was this last week, as he caught six passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
Conklin has made his presence felt in the red zone, where he has caught all three of his touchdowns this year. Also, in three games this year, he has had an explosive play for the Jets’ offense with a catch over 20 yards.
As noted above, Conklin’s best two attributes are his ability to get open with precise routes and his rock-solid hands catching the football. Both traits have been well on display through just eight games. From there, his toughness, blocking, and everyday availability have all been a huge plus for the Jets as well.
Conklin is off to a great start with the Jets and is providing the offense with the best receiving threat at the tight end position in a long time.