Ryan Griffin has been a Pleasant Surprise for the New York Jets in 2019

Signing Ryan Griffin was one of the first moves that new New York Jets‘ GM Joe Douglas made this offseason. He hasn’t disappointed.

When word of a four-game suspension for Jets’ starting TE Chris Herndon came down it was a big blow. The Jets didn’t have a competent replacement on the roster. The only other TEs on the roster were rookie Trevon Wesco who had never produced in college and Daniel Brown who had 130 yards in a season.

So, when Joe Douglas took control of the Jets’ roster he had an immediate whole to fill. After about a month on the job he was able to come to terms with Ryan Griffin on a one-year $1,000,000 deal. A cheap deal for a guy who was cut by the Texans and remained a free agent for over two months.

Nobody thought much of the move. Some thought he would lose the starting job to either Wesco or Brown. That was never a thought for the Jets though. Griffin played very little in the preseason as the Jets needed to make sure he was healthy and ready to go for week one.

Now, Griffin has been the starting TE for every game this season. While, Chris Herndon compounded his suspension with multiple injuries and he won’t play another game this season. That’s still a huge blow to the Jets’ offense because Herndon is one of the best young TEs in the NFL, and he is one of Sam Darnold‘s preferred targets. However, Griffin has done a good job softening that blow.

Ryan Griffin has 28 receptions for 282 yards and 5 TDs this season. That puts him on pace for 41 receptions for 410 yards and 7 TDs. Griffin came into this season with seven career TDs, and he’s on pace to match that this season. That goes to show how much Darnold loves big-bodied targets in the RedZone. He’s also going to set a career-high for first down receptions, as he has 18 now and his current career-high is 19.

Griffin isn’t all of a sudden a good starting TE, but he is a competent NFL quality TE. Griffin is tied for 21st in receptions, 24th in yards, and 4th in TDs among TEs this season. That’s not great or even good. He’s a below-average starting TE, but those numbers clearly show he’s a low tier starting TE. Someone who’s worth of his three-year 10.8 mil extension.

That contract is set to give him $3.6 mil a year. That ranks 26th among TEs in AAV, and that’s before free agency when contacts will inflate even more.

A TE duo of Chris Herndon and Ryan Griffin should be the best duo the New York Jets have had at TE since Dustin Keller and Jeff Cumberland. It’s just another reason to look forward to the 2020 season.

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