Goedert’s size, speed turning heads in minicamp
PHILADELPHIA » Immediately after Wednesday’s practice, Eagles rookie tight end Dallas Goedert got together with a visitor from South Dakota State University, where he developed into a second-round draft pick.
Jason Eck is the offensive line coach and rungame coordinator for SDSU. He watched the entire practice. And while Eck offered encouragement, he also asked about the alignments used by the Eagles.
“He’s looking for a few things that SDSU could do better,” Goedert said. “He’s a great guy. He was great to me at South Dakota State and he wants the best for all of the players from there. He’s kind of here supporting me.”
The apple hasn’t fallen far from the SDSU tree. Goedert is learning the pro game from the likes of Zach Ertz.
Goedert has stood out in minicamp by his sheer size. The 6-5, 256-pounder has long arms, big hands and the feet to run any number of pass routes.
What Goedert lacks is knowledge of the offense. Instead of breaking off a route to go get the ball, he lets defenders get in the way. Or he runs the wrong route and lets defenders get the ball.
When everything clicks, Goedert looks like a Rob Gronkowski knockoff. Quarterback Carson Wentz, who shares the same sports agency with Goedert, thinks the real tight end will show up once the hitting begins.
“He looks good,” Wentz said. “A lot of free agents and young guys I’ve been impressed with. Just knowing Dallas, I think once we throw the pads, on that’s when you’ll really see. I think any time you play a position like that with a body frame that he has, I think once you put the pads on and let him bang around a little and be physical I think he’ll really kind of step up.”
Widely considered a first-round prospect, Goedert slid to the second round partly because the level of play on SDSU’s schedule and the lack of sophistication in its offense. He’s smart enough to know that studying Pro Bowl tight end Ertz is his ticket to potential stardom.
“Being able to watch him and see how he does it, how he goes about his day, I mean he’s a true professional,” Goedert said. “A great guy to kind of mentor me and for me to follow his lead. I just try to follow in his footsteps be the professional he is. It’s just going to set me up for success.”
Ertz had growing pains when he arrived in Philadelphia in 2013. The second-round pick out of Stanford studied Brent Celek, who caught 398 career passes for 4,998 yards and 31 TDs before the Eagles released him after the Super Bowl.
Ertz is impressed with the size and speed ratio of Goedert.
“He’s coming along great,” Ertz said. “He’s physical. He’s able to use his body. He has really good hands, long arms. We’re excited to see him in pads come the fall. But I think right now he’s really doing well kind of picking up the offense and doing everything we’re asking him to do.”
*** Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said cornerback Sidney Jones, who sat out the OTA’s and the first two days of minicamp, is dealing with soreness.
“Not related to his Achilles,” Pederson said. “We’re just resting him, making sure he’s 100 percent.”
Jones wasn’t around for comment. He spent most of last season rehabbing from a torn Achilles’ tendon sustained at his pro day at Washington.
“We’re taking precautions,” Pederson said. “Again, this is not the time that we’re going to push anybody. We’re not going to put anybody out there that’s nicked-up, banged-up. We want to make sure everybody is ready to go for training camp.”
*** The Eagles hired Jerome Reid as head athletic trainer. Reid most recently worked on the Titans training staff.
The Eagles chose not to promote their inhouse candidate, lifelong Philly resident Joe O’Pella, who was made associate head athletic trainer. He’s in his ninth season with the Eagles’ staff.
Reid replaces Chris Peduzzi, who stepped down after 19 seasons with the Eagles, the last five as head athletic trainer.
*** NOTES » The Eagles formally put linebacker Paul Worrilow, of Concord High and the University of Delaware, on the season-ending injured reserve list with torn knee ligaments. … First-year cornerback D.J. Killings picked off Nick Foles in 7-on-7’s Wednesday. Nine more of those and he’ll make the 53-man roster. … The Eagles practice Thursday afternoon and pick up their Super Bowl championship rings in the evening. “I have no idea who’s going to be there, what performers are going to be there,” Ertz said. “My wife is going to be there so that’s going to be probably the highlight for me.”
Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert catches tennis balls during practice at the NFL team’s training camp, Wednesday, in Philadelphia.