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2016 Packers Tight End Grades: It takes a lot to make a stew

Green Bay didn’t get huge numbers from the tight end position, but they did finally find an impact player.

NFL: NFC Divisional-Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Until this season the Green Bay Packers’ tight ends had been a sorry bunch for a few years, composed of slow, unathletic people who were not even great blockers and couldn’t follow simple assignments on on-side kicks. But there was one man who changed everything. The rare Ted Thompson signing who re-energized the offense and made one of the greatest catches in Packer history.


Too Many Jared Cooks

Jared Cook

Regular Season: 30 catches, 377 yards, 1 TD, 58.8 catch %, 1 fumble.
Playoffs: 18 catches, 229 yards, 2 TDs, 56.3 catch %, 0 fumbles.

A good tight end is like a stew
A pinch of burst and blocking too,
A scoop of quickness and some height
A dash of speed to make it nice
And you've got...

Jared Cook (x8)

A good tight end is like a stew
His catch percentage used to be 52,
By 6% he did improve
Yeah, Jared Cook, it's true

They say his drops might spoil the broth
But it turned out that's not true
Well, maybe his hands did spoil the broth
but he opened up the offense so much more!

Jared Cook (x8)

An offense is just like a soup
Jared was an important part of the group,
His work in the middle of the field,
Paid off big once Jordy healed,
And you've got

Jared Cook (x18)

The offense is like a stew
Even when there’s no more Kuhn
With Ty and Jared the D’s confused
By Jared Cook, it's true

They say poor routes can spoil the broth
Honey I think that's not true
Well maybe poor routes will spoil the broth
but he left Davante singled so much more
so much more, he left Jordy singled...

Jared Cook (x19)

The playoffs are just like a stew
the Giants and Cowboys are a few
Of the teams who struggle with TEs
And Jared roasted them with ease.

Some say bad blocking will spoil the broth
But that's not the American way
Jared Cook
Jared Cook’s 12.6 yards per catch helped them resist the forces of evil

A good tight end is like a stew
A pinch of burst and blocking too,
A scoop of quickness and some height
A dash of speed to make it nice
And you've got...

Jared Cook!

Richard Rodgers

Regular Season: 30 receptions, 271 yards, 63.8 catch %, 2 TDs, 0 fumbles
Playoffs: 1 reception, 34 yards, 50.0 catch %, 1 TD, 0 fumbles.

There was one game all season in which Richard Rodgers had more than two receptions when both he and Jared Cook played. Most of the time that Cook was around, Rodgers was relegated to a blocker/safety valve, and he was basically fine. The problem with Rodgers is that he’s not that good of a blocker, and when you’re adding virtually nothing in the passing game, merely adequate blocking quickly becomes less than adequate.

Rodgers still possesses excellent hands and even ripped off a big play here and there, but in general he’s still the same plodder he always has been. In this offense a speedy threat in the passing game is loads more valuable than a safety valve. Whenever I think of Rodgers I will think of the fact that he once caught a Hail Mary because he was slower than everyone else on the field. Rodgers is a free agent at the end of 2017 and it should not be that difficult to do better.

Justin Perillo

Regular Season: 4 receptions, 35 yards, 80.0 catch %, 0 TDs, 0 fumbles.

Perillo was released midway through the season leaving only Rodgers and Cook behind. In his 8 games as a PAcker he caught 4 of 5 targets for 35 yards and proved adequate as a blocker. Roughly the same speed as Richard Rodgers, but without the route-running or hands, Perillo became expendable

Overall Grade: B-

The Packer tight ends were an imperfect bunch, and no one will ever mistake any of them for Rob Gronkowski, but as requested, Ted Thompson saw a glaring hole in his roster, went out into free agency, and found a good, budget-conscious solution, like Thompson always does. Nothing unusual about it, no sir.

Jared Cook is still basically the player he always has been, but in this case it was a near perfect fit, and it’s hard to imagine the Packers beating the Cowboys in the playoffs without him. There is room to upgrade the position further, but not every player on a roster has to be an all-star, and in terms of scheme fit, Cook was excellent.