Drafted in the first round at 21st overall in 2013, Tyler Eifert will look to expand his role in the Cincinnati Bengals‘ new offense under Hue Jackson.
Last year in the NFL, tight ends were the hot commodity all throughout the season once players like Julius Thomas and Jordan Cameron came on the scene. Week after week, these pass catchers expanded each offense by showing off their leaping and catching abilities on Sunday’s. Now, Eifert may not have a Peyton Manning-caliber quarterback, but he has Andy Dalton to get him the ball accurately and on time.
Eifert was utilized for most of the season in a two tight end set that featured him and Jermaine Gresham at the beginning of each game. Throughout last season, Eifert was found making great catches on third down, on the sidelines, and down the middle of the field where he is the most dangerous.
Being that it was his rookie season, getting comfortable with the speed of the game was a top priority for this young player. Eifert didn’t manage to get in the end zone for the first time until Week 7, when he scored on a 32-yard touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions. Eight weeks later, he scored a second time coming against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a 30-20 loss.
After being limited in his rookie season, Eifert plans to improve his overall game in 2014 as he began to workout with the coaches since the start of the offseason voluntary workouts. With all the weapons on the Bengals’ offense, Eifert should be able to prosper under Jackson’s game plan. Given the time and situation, Eifert could potentially take over the starting spot from Gresham if this 2014 season goes as planned.
Also, getting better at blocking is another top priority for Eifert, while getting stronger is a must. During his rookie campaign, Eifert gained 445 yards on 39 catches as the No. 2 tight end. Look for those numbers to increase by the end of next season. The guy is determined, and improving during his second season in the NFL will make the Bengals’ offense that more difficult to maintain any given Sunday.
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