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Jace Amaro: Second Year Growth

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Last year I posted this chart from time to time.

Name Receptions Yards TD
Jason Witten 35 347 1
Antonio Gates 24 389 2
Vernon Davis 20 265 3
Rob Gronkowski 42 546 10
Jimmy Graham 31 356 5

These are the five active tight ends who have made an AP All Pro team. These were their rookie statistics.

The point of the chart was how even the best tight ends struggle to make an impact as a rookie, and expectations for Jace Amaro should be kept in check.

Amaro's 38 catches put him second behind Grokowski on this list. His 345 receiving yards put him second lowest but within 50 yards of all but Gronkowski. His single touchdown put him at the bottom.

This is not to say Amaro is necessarily destined to become one of the top tight ends in football. I am sure you can compile a list of players who did not turn out that good with similar rookie stats. I do think Amaro has a lot of ability, though. The Jets brought him along slowly last year. He struggled to adjust in the offseason so the coaching staff smartly limited his role. As a follow up to the chart above, I wanted to take a look at how these performers grew in their second NFL seasons.

Name Receptions Yards TD
Jason Witten 87 980 6
Antonio Gates 81 964 13
Vernon Davis 52 509 4
Rob Gronkowski 90 1,327 17
Jimmy Graham 99 1,310 11

The numbers seem pretty clear in this case. Even great tight ends struggle to be impact guys as rookies. By year two, the guys who dominate start dominating.

  • Four of the five registered at least 48 more receptions in year two than year one. Davis, the exception, had a fairly robust 32 catch improvement.
  • Aside from Davis, all improved their yardage by at least 575.
  • Aside from Davis, all improved their touchdown totals by at least 5.
I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I am simply looking for ballpark figures to give us an idea of where Amaro should be at the end of the year if he is going to join the top tight ends in football. The average improvement is 51 catches, 637 yards, and 5 touchdowns.

For Amaro, that would mean around 89 catches, 982 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Will he get there? Who knows? If his numbers at the end of the season are in that ballpark, the Jets could have something special on their hands.