The most important desire of the New York Jets front office this offseason was to surround their young quarterback Geno Smith with weapons at the receiver position. Though they delayed drafting a wide receiver until the fourth round, their second-round selection tight end Jace Amaro will have an immediate impact.
Amaro is a beast. He is a huge specimen who will instantly create mismatches for NFL defenders. Though he is listed as a tight end, he is much more of the neo-TE that has changed the NFL landscape of late with his superb receiving skills. Standing a robust 6-foot-5 and 260-pounds, Amaro is the kind of force that no linebacker or defensive back wants to collide with. At Texas Tech, he blistered coverage and wreaked havoc for opposing defensive coordinators, amassing 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013
Glancing at the current Jets roster, Jeff Cumberland and Zach Sudfeld are the two players Amaro will be competing with for the starting slots. Cumberland enjoyed an eye-opening 2013 campaign, where Sudfeld had a mediocre impact after being signed off the waiver wire.
Fear not Jet Nation, as Amaro will win the starting job and line up with Cumberland in multiple packages for HC Rex Ryan and OC Marty Mornhinweg. Cumberland is better suited as the No. 2 option at TE, and letting Amaro see more of the field is wise. Neither are exceptional blockers, though both have the potential to be adequate enough to be effective in protection. Amaro gives Smith a big, young target down the seam, in the flat and especially in the red zone.
Look for Amaro to see a lot of snaps early in training camp as he works his way into Mornhinweg’s system. Sending Amaro in motion and lining him up as the X or Z will be a nice wrinkle for Smith to play with as well. We all know how much Ryan loves trickery from his offense. Adding high-octane weapons to Smith’s arsenal was crucial for the young Jets’ offense.
Amaro’s effect on the offense will be reminiscent of what Jason Witten and Heath Miller brought to their respective offenses. The rookie is stepping into an ideal situation in New York, and the AFC East has officially been put on notice — beware of the Jets.