Every year it seems like Ertz is finally on the cusp of becoming a dominant tight end in the league and every year Ertz has an average season that is held together by a month of dominance towards the end. The stars are NOW aligning both figuratively and literally.
Last year the team had a receiving corp headlined by the newly released DGB, the so far bust Nelson Agholor (note: I remain hopeful for him), and the slot receiver playing outside in Jordan Matthews. The team also fielded the ageless wonder in Brent Celek who primarily sees the field during running plays.
Now, with an offense full of stars, Zach Ertz will look to grow on the production he had at the end of last season. Alshon Jeffrey is one of the best 50/50 ball catchers in the league, Torrey Smith is a very polished deep threat, Donnel Pumphrey will be a playmaker for several years, and LeGarrette Blount is a very consistent running back who can run through or around defenders.
The team is loaded with play makers. Every one will tell you how much it will help Wentz develop, lets not forget about Ertz. Ertz has been and always will be a security blanket, especially on third down much like Jason Avant was but with much more RAC. Ertz will greatly benefit with not being the primary focus of opposing defenses. Athletically, he is a mismatch against most NFL linebackers, in terms of size, he is a mismatch against most, if not all slot or nickel corners.
I know, this does sound like a broken record, but the writing is on the wall for Ertz to go off this season, more so than the last 4 seasons.
A huge criticism of Ertz is that his toughness is often questioned but he has played 16 games his first 2 seasons, followed by 15 in 2015 and 14 in 2016, a total of 3 missed games in 4 years does not exactly scream “injury prone.” We are seeing improvement every season with Ertz, his catch total has increased every season (though his yards per reception has not) and last season tied a career high in touchdowns for him with 4.
With the way his stats have gradually progressed, coupled with the addition of several play makers that will take the attention away from him, I strongly believe this is the year that Zach Ertz enters the “elite” category. With Ertz already having the reputation of being a sure-handed security blanket for Wentz I do not believe the additions will really affect how many targets he gets. Ertz having a stellar season could be crucial to the success of the team as a whole.