I've never been a Cumberland guy, he's always had athletic potential and he can do a job when given the correct match-up and when asked to just catch the football. He should be playing around 30-40% of the snaps with this offensive unit, the current game-time Amaro receives. This will allow him to showcase his receiving ability without highlighting his obvious weakness, his blocking. At the moment, Cumberland is playing in around 70-80% of the Jets offensive snaps, and that is simply too many for a man who just can't block.
Cumberland is rated as the third worst run blocking tight end in the NFL and overall he is rated as the 4th worst TE in the NFL through four weeks. Now this is mainly based on his blocking ability, or lack there of. However he has been targeted 12 times with 8 receptions, which is good for a 66.7% completion which is very average in this league, but at least it's production. However the basis of this article is not to bash Cumberland, I've never been one of those guys saying he'll turn into a monster, but he plays his part as a tight end. However that part should not be that of the featured one.
I believe the Jets agree with this, at least in principle. Which is why they spent a high second round draft pick on Jace Amaro, a huge bodied tight end from Texas Tech. A man who by and large was considered one of the best tight ends in this draft and who many thought could be the top target at the position. Eric Ebron was of course selected over him, by the Detroit Lions. Ebron is an athletic tight end in the mould of Jimmy Graham, I'm not saying he's as good as Jimmy, that would be absurd, but he's a similar player. Amaro however, I believe, is the more rounded TE.
So when you look into his statistics, it's hardly surprising to see he is rated as the 13th best TE in the league at the moment. His run blocking is 10th best and he's caught 11 of the 13 passes that have come his way, which is an 84.6% completion for the QB, good for 11th best in the league. He's coming off a game where he caught 5 of 5 passes thrown his way. He's 15th in total yards even though he's only played 92 snaps this season.
Now I am by no means saying he is the finished product, he isn't. However if you get chance, go back and look at this game again and see just how well he ran his routes and just how much effort he puts in the blocking game. I think he's a confidence player who will only get better with the amount of snaps he receives. If we can increase him to around 60% of the offensive snaps we run, I think we'll really start to see him cause headaches for defenses across the league.
Please click on image to enlarge. All stats are courtesy of Pro Football Focus