In this series of articles, our resident tape wizard Greg Cosell will take an in-depth look at some of the more interesting fantasy players for the 2020 NFL season. It’s a peek behind the curtain of the film room, as these are Greg’s raw, unfiltered notes he takes as he watches a player.
Though future Hall of Famer Jason Witten didn’t retire again this off-season (he signed with the Raiders), the Cowboys apparently are ready to hand over the keys to their starting tight end job to Blake Jarwin, who has had some flashes here and there of a potentially dynamic playmaker. The Cowboys evidently think he can develop into that kind of contributor on a consistent basis, signing him to a four-year extension worth up to $22 million in March. He’s one of many mouths to feed in the Dallas offense, so the tape should be interesting. Does it show a player ready to make a bigger fantasy impact?
Jarwin stats: 31/365/3 (11.8 YPR, 41 targets)
Jarwin is a big, athletic TE who lined up both in the conventional line-of-scrimmage TE position and detached from the formation. There were snaps on which he was the boundary X in 1x3 sets out of 11 personnel.
Jarwin is a strider with excellent build up speed who can run the vertical seam and work the intermediate levels effectively. His 35-yard reception against the Saints came on a vertical seam from LOS TE alignment off shotgun play action against Cover 2.
Jarwin is a straight-line, linear athlete who is at his best running vertical routes and crossing routes. He can be effective with his run-after-catch when he has space in front of him to open his stride.
Jarwin is a little tight-hipped, and that negatively impacts his ability to win consistently against man-to-man coverage by quality linebackers and safeties.
Jarwin is much more of a vertical and speed-cut receiver than a sink-your-hips, quick in-and-out of breaks receiver.
At times, Jarwin was the intermediate receiver in the flood (three-level stretch) concept.
When Jarwin had free access into his route, his size and stride length was evident. He ate up ground quickly.
Some of Jarwin’s explosive plays came on second reaction throws by Dak Prescott where Jarwin was in space and had room to run after the catch.
On many of Jarwin’s targets he was not the primary receiver. He was not a featured player in the Cowboys passing game.
My sense watching tape was that Jarwin has the needed traits to become effective as a boundary X on the backside of trips out of 11 personnel. He has the vertical ability to get on top of linebackers and safeties.
Cowboys were a WR-based offense in 2019, with the result being that Jarwin did not get many targets – will that change at all in 2020 in Kellen Moore’s second year as OC? I don’t see that as likely, given the drafting of CeeDee Lamb in the first round. But there is no question Jarwin has a specific skill set that can produce big plays in the Cowboys’ passing game.