Home | Articles | Analytics | NY Jets draft scouting report: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

NY Jets draft scouting report: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

Brock Bowers
Brock Bowers

Brock Bowers could be the best player available for the New York Jets

Could the New York Jets shock the world for the second consecutive year?

The announcement of Will McDonald’s name as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft stunned Jets fans and the NFL. That was one position the Jets did not seem to need.

This season, the two main positions the Jets need to target are offensive tackle and wide receiver. Depending on what the Jets do in free agency, at least one of those is likely to be their primary target with their first-round pick.

Still, what if they decide to go a different route and take the best playmaker available at No. 10? That’s where Georgia tight end Brock Bowers comes into play.

Bio

A four-star prospect coming out of Napa High School in California, Bowers is considered one of the most prolific tight ends in college football history. He has been named an All-American in all three of his seasons at Georgia, only the second tight end ever to make the All-American team three times. He won the John Mackey Award twice, the only player ever to win college football’s top tight end award more than once.

Bowers is 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. He just turned 21 years old.

Pro Football Focus called Bowers the greatest tight end in college football history. He did miss four games due to injury and an opt-out in 2023.

Statistics

Bowers is the career leader among Power 5 tight ends in receiving yards (2,541), touchdowns (26), yards after contact (689), and missed tackles forced (44) since PFF began tracking the data in 2014.

Bowers’ absurd athleticism was on display here.

In his college career, Bowers played 51.9% of his snaps from the slot and 37% inline. In 2023, ranked fourth among 73 qualified tight ends (min. 30 targets) with 8.6 yards after catch per reception despite the fifth-highest average depth of target (11.5); in other words, he was not turning screens upfield but generating YAC on deeper targets.

He also had the sixth-highest catch rate (81%) even with that high ADOT. He ranked third in yards per route run at 2.74. His 5.6% drop rate was middle-of-the-pack (36th), but his 25% contested catch rate (2-for-8) ranked 59th. He also fumbled twice.

Bowers also had the sixth-highest PFF pass-blocking grade among tight ends at 75.7, albeit on just 23 reps. His 69.6 run-blocking grade ranked 16th out of 153 tight ends with at least 175 run-blocking snaps.

Would Bowers be WR2?

The Jets’ biggest need right now is a No. 2 receiving threat. While Tyler Conklin is a very solid player, he alone is not enough to draw coverage away from Garrett Wilson.

But what if the Jets also had Bowers? Could he take that spot if the Jets acquire a more mid-tier receiver this offseason rather than splurging on Mike Evans, Davante Adams, Tee Higgins, or Michael Pittman?

Bowers’ high catch rate despite a high ADOT is very intriguing. Despite his low contested catch rate in 2023, he caught 14 of 20 contested balls from 2021-22 with a 5% career drop rate, indicating that his hands are strong overall. He and Conklin together would be able to fill in for Wilson’s lesser ability in that area.

Meanwhile, Bowers’ YAC ability could turn the Jets into a YAC machine. Between the speed of Wilson, the receiving ability of Breece Hall, and Bowers’ electric receiving, the Jets would have multiple threats to score from any part of the field on any play.

The Chiefs long made do with Travis Kelce and one top receiver. The Lions have Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta as their two main receiving targets this season. The Bills’ offense opened up once Dalton Kincaid became the main complement to Stefon Diggs. Several of those teams use their running backs as a de facto No. 3 receiver.

Field stretcher?

The other thing the Jets lack right now is a legitimate deep threat. Wilson has not established himself in that area thus far. Tight ends are generally less likely to be deep threats, and Bowers does not have that many targets of over 20 yards in his college career. In three seasons, Bowers caught 8 of 17 deep balls (47.1%) for 293 yards and three touchdowns. For reference, Wilson had 35 deep targets in his three college seasons.

This is one area in which relying on a tight end as a second target might not be ideal for the Jets. Perhaps they can compensate for it by bringing in a deep threat such as Hollywood Brown, Calvin Ridley, Gabe Davis, Noah Brown, or Rashid Shaheed at the right price if they plan to possibly pursue Bowers.

The Jets have never had a tight end quite like Bowers in their history. The last time they drafted a tight end in the first round, Dustin Keller put up a nice run from 2008-11, posting 2,559 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Bowers has the potential to be a lot more than that, though.

What about Ruckert?

Drafting Bowers would relegate Jeremy Ruckert to the No. 3 tight end role. He was elevated to the No. 2 role after the Jets benched C.J. Uzomah.

Although it may not seem like an ideal use of resources, Ruckert was a third-round pick. His receiving skills may be underutilized, but they don’t (and never will) hold a candle to Bowers’. Perhaps the Jets could keep him around as a future Conklin replacement, as Conklin is heading into the final year of his deal. However, after the season, Ruckert himself would be going into the final year of his deal.

Ultimately, best player available may not mean the absolute best team fit available, but Bowers would be an undeniable upgrade over Ruckert. Given the multiple needs he could fill, he’s still worth taking. The Jets also ran a fair number of three-tight end sets this season and could probably continue with it in 2024.

The problem

There’s a hint of Bowers’ issues in his low contested catch rate from 2023. Joe Blewett watched Bowers’ film and called him overrated. According to Blewett, Bowers is a “souped-up Mike Gesicki who is willing to block and has good YAC [ability].” He added that Bowers’ hands are okay at best and cannot block one-on-one in the NFL unless the matchup is very advantageous. Blewett has a habit of being right when it comes to draft prospects (see: Evan Neal, Treylon Burks).

Bowers is considered the consensus sixth-best prospect in the draft according to NFL Mock Draft Database. His current projection is to go at No. 5 to the Chargers. If he does go off the board before the Jets pick, it increases the likelihood that one of the top tackles might be on the board at No. 10. If he’s there, though, he could very well end up the Jets’ pick, especially since they were reportedly interested in Michael Mayer at No. 15 last season.

That could end up coming back to bite them if Blewett is correct.

Want More Jet X?

Subscribe to become a Jet X Member to unlock every piece of Jets X-Factor content (film breakdowns, analytics, Sabo with the Jets, etc.), get audio versions of each article, receive the ability to comment within our community, and experience an ad-free platform experience.

Download the free Jet X Mobile App to get customizable notifications directly to your iOS (App Store) or Android (Google Play) device.

Sign up for Jet X Daily, our daily newsletter that's delivered to your inbox every morning at 8:00 a.m. ET.

Add Jets X-Factor to your Google News feed and/or find us on Apple News to stay updated with the New York Jets.

Follow us on X (Formerly Twitter) @jetsxfactor for all the latest New York Jets news, Facebook for even more, Instagram for some of the top NY Jets images, and YouTube for original Jets X-Factor videos.

Related Articles

About the Author

More From Author

Comments

4.5 2 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
5 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jets71
Jets71
5 months ago

This guy may be a great player but VERY few TE’s change a game as much as good pass protection or even a solid playmaker at WR….heck or someone who sacks the QB. I’d rather they go in a different direction but I believe in “best player.”

Jets’ fans are going to HATE this but…if they can’t move out of 10, I’d rather they take the best player than a position of need. Everybody is going to point to McDonald and say it was a wasted pick but let’s give it some time.

I accept that very well could be Bowers, so if he’s the best player…I’m in.

dudizt
dudizt
5 months ago

These can’t miss highly drafted TEs almost never pan out to what people think they are going to be. Pitts, Fant, Hurst, OJ Howard, Eric Ebron. Njoku has come in lately, and engram and Hockenson aren’t even in their same team. Bowers maybe be the exception to the rule, but do you want to gamble on that.

dudizt
dudizt
5 months ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

Kincaid showed good potential but was also 25th picked. Laporta and Musgrave were both 2nd rounders. Just seems you can find good TEs later than top 15.

Jets71
Jets71
5 months ago
Reply to  Rivka Boord

He’s also been hurt. Like Becton, Pitts believes this was a good year because he was healthy.

5
0
REPLY TO THIS ARTICLE HERE:x
()
x