Jason Reese (6'5, 250, So.)
2014: 3 targets, 1 catch, 12 yards (4.0)
The Beef: Another big body out there roaming around, but it will be interesting to see how much of Mr. Reese (Person of Interest reference) we see this season, simply because I am not sure if he is more pass catcher or blocker. Clayton Echard seems like the more likely to play if we are going jumbo from a blocking standpoint, and I think Kendall Blanton may be on the ascent when it comes to pass catching (especially with his length). Have heard good things about Reese, but he may need to end up having a real nice camp to cement his spot in the mix.
AlaTiger: I don’t think we’ll see a return to the Rucker/Coffman days at TE, but Reese appears to be the most likely candidate to step into such a role. But that could just be us fans having a case of backup QB syndrome.
jaeger: Reese looks like a guy who could actually contribute some productivity in a backup role. Hopefully, that’s the case. I’d just like to see us get more than blocking out of the position.
Fullback U.: I can not deny I am very high on Jason Reese's potential this fall. In my opinion he's a better blocker than Sean Culkin and more dynamic in open space. We saw Mizzou use him as an H-back in the backfield vs. Minnesota, and I believe that's a natural fit for him because he can be the lead blocker on runs or slip out for dump-off passes as well as being motioned out and thrown screens. As I said with Sean Culkin, Josh Henson has been working directly with the tight ends this fall -- a change from previous years -- and if Mizzou sees a resurgence in production from that position I think the credit will likely belong to him.
- Sean Culkin: 5 targets, 2 catches, 15 yards (60% of targets with 1st string)
- Jason Reese: 4 targets, 3 catches, 20 yards, TD (all targets with 2nd string)
- Kendall Blanton: 3 targets, 2 catches, 16 yards (all targets with 3rd string)
- Clayton Echard: 3 targets, 3 catches, 31 yards (all targets with 3rd string)
First, that gives us a pretty clear look at the current tight end hierarchy -- Culkin was the only one targeted with the first-string offense and had the most overall. But Reese's numbers were decent, and he made a nice catch-and-plunge in catching a pass from Drew Lock short of the endzone, turning, and scoring.
I think both Culkin and Reese will get used more frequently than last season in the passing game, but despite the fact that he, too, had a couple of drops last year (and in far fewer targets than Culkin), for some reason I just trust Reese a little more as a receiver. It might simply be because I have a pretty decent read for Culkin's upside, and Reese is more unknown.
Alas, my opinion doesn't really matter. We'll see plenty of both of them. And I'm pretty excited to see what Reese can do.