Back in early October, Eagles QB Michael Vick made a bold prediction regarding rookie tight end Zach Ertz.
“There are three players that I told that they would be great players in this league: I always told Alge Crumpler that he was going to be great, I always told Shady McCoy that he was going to be a great player in this league, and I always told Roddy White. And now I’m saying Zach Ertz. And I think in time, he will be one of the best tight ends in this game.”
Ertz had all of five NFL catches at that point. Still working through a learning curve — steepened by his inability to participate in the offseason program because of graduation rules — the Stanford product played a limited role initially. He was featured more as the year went on and ended with 36 catches for 469 yards with four touchdowns. While we still have a ways to go before determining whether Vick’s intuition is correct, it’s fair to say that there are encouraging signs.
Ertz averaged 2.8-32-.56 over the final nine games of the season (including the Eagles' sole playoff game) and that included two goose eggs in Week 10 and Week 14. That equates to 6.6 fantasy points per game, which is what Martellus Bennett averaged as the #10 TE in fantasy football. Brent Celek is signed through 2016 and he's a far better run blocker than Ertz. James Casey is signed through 2015, and he ate into Ertz's snaps when the Eagles tried to run more. Ertz has top 5 fantasy TE potential, but his run blocking is holding him back.