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Jets 2018 Roster Countdown: Number 83 Eric Tomlinson

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NFL: New York Jets at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Our Jets roster countdown now takes a look at Eric Tomlinson

Name: Eric Tomlinson

Number: 83

Year with Jets: 3rd

Projected Role: Blocking tight end

His 2017: It didn’t get much attention, but I thought Tomlinson made staggering improvement between 2016 and 2017. I remember rewatching games at the end of 2016 and noticing how frequently Tomlinson was missing blocks. I even remarked on more than one occasion that he looked like one of the least effective players I’ve ever seen on an NFL field. In 2017 he improved into a quality blocker who ended up playing a fairly important role when the Jets had success running the ball.

2018 will be a success if: Tomlinson can develop into a functional receiver. The Jets don’t need him to turn into Antonio Gates. They do need him to be enough of a threat to make the defense account for him. That’s the difference between being having a role a sixth offensive lineman can fill and being a quality tight end. Last year Tomlinson only had 8 catches for 121 yards, and even that might be overstating how effective he was as a receiver since two of his biggest receptions came on plays when a bust in the coverage left him wide open.

Odds of making the roster: It’s conceivable a bunch of young guys could outperform him in training camp, but I think it’s unlikely. I also think the coaching staff likes him so I say Tomlinson is Probable (75-99%).