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GIF Breakdown: Jace Amaro

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

As we predicted, this past Sunday was, in a sense, Jace Amaro's coming out party. In fact, Amaro leads all rookie tight ends with 24 receptions, while all others combine for 29 total catches. Amaro is currently on pace for 64 receptions this season, 565 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Let's compare those projected numbers to some other tight ends rookie stats, a notoriously slow-starting position:

NAME REC YDs TDs
Vernon Davis 20 265 3
Antonio Gates 24 389 2
Jimmy Graham 31 356 5
Jason Witten 35 347 1
Rob Gronkowski 42 546 10
Aaron Hernandez 44 563 6
Jace Amaro 64 565 2

Now, let's get to the GIFs. You're gonna like what you can see, because Amaro is capable of doing basically everything.

Amaro1

The Denver Broncos are in a hybrid coverage set here. The wide receivers are facing man coverage, and the tight ends at the top of your screen are facing zone coverage. In this situation, Amaro is being used as an inline tight end in a two-tight end jumbo-set. He and Jeff Cumberland split the cornerback, highlighted above, and Amaro is easily able to get to the sticks and convert the first down.

Amaro2

In this situation, Amaro is split out wide. He's being used as a wide receiver in a Joker-type role, like Aaron Hernandez (but with less murdering). What this does is create mismatches. Here, he can easily overpower the cornerback by using his  size and strength to knock the defender's hands away. If they had matched a linebacker or safety on him, they may have trouble keeping up with him downfield. Make no mistake, the defender gets caught flat-footed here, but Amaro's swat lets him get the inside edge.

Amaro3

Similar to the last play, Amaro is split out wide. Because of his height, he's an instant mismatch over almost any cornerback in the red zone. I want you to watch his subtle little jiggle at the line of scrimmage to throw the cornerback off balance, since he now doesn't know if he's going up for a fade or across the middle. Once Amaro has the outside, look at how he uses his height to get over the cornerback and grab the ball above the defender.

Amaro4

I initially made this GIF to highlight Chris Ivory's improving hands and his utter destruction of Von Miller, but it also shows Amaro's downfield blocking.

Amaro is quickly progressing to the second best receiver on the team, after Eric Decker. Not bad for a guy who struggled in training camp. His development is something to keep an eye on, because it's starting to look like we got the real deal here.