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Chris Herdon Is Jets Biggest Mystery Heading Into 2021


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Chris Herndon is Jets’ biggest mystery heading into 2021

July 5, 2021 | 8:59am | Updated

 
 

As the Jets get closer to training camp, I am examining the roster and giving you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game.

No. 15: Chris Herndon

Last year’s ranking: 6

Position: TE

Age on Opening Day: 25

How acquired: Selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft

Years left on contract: 1

2021 Salary Cap figure: $2.4 million

Looking back at 2020

There were so many disappointing aspects of the 2020 season for the Jets, but few bigger than Herndon.

There were lofty expectations for Herndon last season after missing almost all of 2019. He looked great in training camp … and then the regular season started. Herndon had a fumble in Week 1 against Buffalo and dropped a touchdown in Week 2 against the 49ers, and his confidence seemed to plummet from there. Herndon finished the year with five drops and two fumbles. He had five games in which he did not catch a pass. The numbers are stunning for a player that showed so much potential as a rookie in 2018.

Chris Herndon with the Jets in 2018. Getty Images

Herndon ended up starting 13 games and playing in all 16 for the Jets. He had 31 catches for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Herndon did show some signs of life at the end of the season; in his final three games, he had 14 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

PFF graded Herndon 60th out of 71 tight ends overall and 46th out of 50 in receiving.

Outlook for 2021

Outside of Zach Wilson, there may not be a more fascinating Jet to watch during training camp and preseason than Herndon. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract with a lot to prove. He has flashed skills at times, but was a maddening player to watch last year. He seemed to regain his confidence toward the end of the season, so we’ll see if the new coaching staff can rebuild him.

What do you think? Be the first to comment.

Herndon has competition at the tight end spot. Tyler Kroft had a very strong spring and was ahead of Herndon in the rotation with the starting offense during some practices open to the media. The new Jets offense can be great for tight ends (see Kittle, George), so Herndon could benefit from the new scheme.

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With Herndon, it never seems like talent is the issue. It is about him playing with confidence and showing the focus to stop drops and fumbles. It is now or never for Herndon with the Jets. He can become a free agent after this season and if he has any hopes of cashing in, he needs to show great improvement this year.

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It would be great for Herndon and the Jets if he lives up to his potential--or what we hope is his potential.  But he has to do it.

I think Costello has it about right.  This could be Herndon's year, but so could last year have been.  Gase may have been a jerk, but he didn't get his hand on the ball and cause the incompletions or fumbles.

Saleh and JD should be rooting for him, pushing him and looking for his replacement just in case.

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He's A question mark, but our biggest mystery? Hell no. I'm way more concerned about our corners. This can be a decent to good offense with or without Herndon (obviously ideal if he's a part of it). But our D is screwed If we can't pick out a couple of corners from this bunch of kids. 

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5 minutes ago, RVAJet815 said:

He's A question mark, but our biggest mystery? Hell no. I'm way more concerned about our corners. This can be a decent to good offense with or without Herndon (obviously ideal if he's a part of it). But our D is screwed If we can't pick out a couple of corners from this bunch of kids. 

Technically Wilson -- or any highly-drafted QB -- is the biggest mystery with the most on the line.

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Nothing about Herdon is a mystery he's a underachieving athletic TE who looks like he wants to be anywhere besides a football field....we have seen this movie 75 times.

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All i have to say is thank goodness its a deep TE draft class next year. Cause i do not share the same optimism for Herndon some jets fans have. i don't see him being anything more than he is which is athletic and inconsistent as hell..

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How is Herndon the15th ranked Jets player? I don’t think he is the 15th ranked offensive player on this team. Hell, I believe Kroft will get more playing time than Herndon so IMO he isn’t even the starter.

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1 hour ago, Claymation said:

How is Herndon the15th ranked Jets player? I don’t think he is the 15th ranked offensive player on this team. Hell, I believe Kroft will get more playing time than Herndon so IMO he isn’t even the starter.

People are fuggin' dreaming that Herdon is an NFL-caliber TE.   Guy is gone after this year. 

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Inconsistent yes

he played better down the stretch 

I think he will benefit from the new staff and new athletic card and performance department, his issues so far have been commitment and focus in my opinion 

Im sure he knows it’s put up or bye bye time 

 

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plus and we’ve all said it before - gase screwed up so many players with incoherent game plans and incompetent coaching - will herndon be a star? i don’t know but at least he will have the benefit of a coaching scheme that utilizes a tight end properly - juries out till october


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7 hours ago, RVAJet815 said:

He's A question mark, but our biggest mystery? Hell no. I'm way more concerned about our corners. This can be a decent to good offense with or without Herndon (obviously ideal if he's a part of it). But our D is screwed If we can't pick out a couple of corners from this bunch of kids. 

I agree. The biggest mystery is Hall as a #1 or #2 in this system, Guidry or Carter II in the slot and to a lesser degree Bless. You could say the same about the weak side linebacker position where we have Cashman penciled in but could very well see him supplanted by a rookie safety-hybrid. 

Herndon is not a mystery, he just needs to cut down on the drops and he will be an impact player. I have no doubt about it. One of the biggest issues last year wasn't HIS confidence it was Gase's/Darnold's confidence IN HIM. Seemed like he did not get targeted by Darnold nearly as much as he should have (considering the putrid WRs we had trotting out there as starters) and Gase mainly used him as a blocker on run plays. 

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We have four rookies, including the QB, who are expected to either start on offense or at the very least, make significant contributions.

We have a rookie HC with a first time OC.

We have two back up QBs who have never taken a snap in a live NFL game.

We have a second year WR with a lot of potential, but who struggled to get on the field as a rookie due to injuries,.

We have two rookie converted safeties who will be competing for positions as OLBs.

We have a middle linebacker who has barely played in two seasons and has played his entire career in a 3-4.

The corner position does not have a proven NFL player on the depth chart.  A lot of potential but all mysteries.

Herndon is a mediocre TE who may have some upside.  He is not even in our top 12 "mysteries" on the roster, Mr. Costello.

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3 hours ago, munchmemory said:

People are fuggin' dreaming that Herdon is an NFL-caliber TE.   Guy is gone after this year. 

After this year? More like after training camp.

seriously, if he drops anything in the pre season, he should be shown the door.

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15 minutes ago, joewilly12 said:

image.thumb.png.245f63928018aa99cbf6d0ffa6dba8a7.png

Has to prove he can stay on the field.  I like him as a player and think he can be good, but he has missed 13 games to injury in his first two seasons,  After missing 19 games in his last two years at Rutgers.  Heading into 2021, he is still a mystery.

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Gase misuse Herndon so badly last season it isn’t funny. He was not involved in the passing game as much as he should have been. He was kept in way too much to help protect Sam.
Yes ,Chris had some bad drops and fumbles and it’s my belief Gase and his staff did nothing to help him.
I watched Herndon play in Miami and he was an outstanding TE for the Canes. I refuse to believe that all that talent that I saw in his college career just disappeared.
I expect to see that talent we saw in his rookie season to return under this coaching staff.
We have have so many fans will to throw players away at the slightest difficulty in there game. You know who you are , Willams is a bust, Big Ticket is fat and lazy, Herndon is garbage.
We all need to understand sometime you have to give it a little time before you make all these final judgements


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I've felt this was about Herndon every offseason for the past 3 years. Every year he gets my vote of confidence that he's finally going to put it together this year. Honestly, I just don't have much hope that he's going to be able to put it together. It's a real shame because compared to the other TEs we've drafted in the past decade plus (Is Amoro still in the league?) Herndon has talent, there's just always been something stopping him from putting it together. But hearing reports of more drops already in mini camp isn't giving me much hope. 

One things for sure, IF he can ever put it together, it'll be this year. If he still can't be productive in this offense with this OC/coaches... No more Gase to take the heat off. 

I've heard great reviews about Yeboah. Honestly, if Herndon doesn't flash big time this summer, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't end up making the final cuts. 

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3 minutes ago, Biggs said:

I think he gets cut to send a message.  Saleh is a players coach but he's not going to tolerate guys who dog it.  

If he gets cut from this group of TEs, he might as well hang up the cleats.

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