Part IV of the previews. This focus now turns to Tight Ends.
Consensus heading into the season
Although Purvis seems like a big loss on paper, the talent at Tight End remains strong and they are expected to be fairly productive.
Backups and Hopefuls
Anderson is ready to step up, but most of the chatter is about Pantale. He was a well regarded recruit, played well as a scout teamer and has looked good during the offseason. Jordon McMichael, who has all the tools, will hopefully stay healthy and become the player he was expected to be.
The real question
Can these guys block? In the final TOB-Bible years, our TEs were major liabilities when it came to blocking. Too often in pass protection and in the running game, they allowed an edge guy to either get by or blow the play up.
My Bold Prediction
Last year the TEs accounted for 34 receptions and 2 TDs. I predict they will easily combine for at least 45 catches and score more than 5 TDs. (That might not seem that bold, but percentage wise it would represent a big jump in production in a year after losing Purvis.)
What keeps me up at night?
Injuries. Ideally Naples redshirts and you don’t need to use Atiyeh. But things happen. Given McMichael’s injury history, you could see BC get very thin, very quickly at TE. I also don’t think you see many 2 TE formations.
Anderson is a quality ACC TE. His production alone should be enough to fill the position this fall. If McMichael and Pantale step up, TE becomes another area where we will surprise people.