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Prominent NFL offseason camp features surprising lack of NY Jets

Kenny Yeboah, Jeremy Ruckert, NY Jets, NFL, Tight Ends
Kenny Yeboah, New York Jets, Getty Images

The lack of New York Jets players at 2024’s Tight End University is a surprise

As the New York Jets head into 2024, the TE2 spot features one of the team’s most interesting position battles. With Tyler Conklin securing the TE1 role, Jeremy Ruckert and Kenny Yeboah will compete to line up next to Conklin in 12 personnel sets. Because of that, it’s a surprise that not a single player on the Jets will be attending Tight End University this summer.

Tight End University was founded in 2021 by former NFL tight end Greg Olsen, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce, and the San Francisco 49ers’ George Kittle. The immersive three-day program brings together members of the position group (as well as some quarterbacks) throughout the league. The summit includes film study, on-field drills, rehabilitation, and a bonding process for players to better themselves.

In 2022, former Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and the aforementioned Conklin attended the event, as did then-Jets tight end C.J. Uzomah. That experience was profound for Conklin, with the Jets’ tight end citing the importance of learning from a player as talented as Kittle.

“I got to talk to George [Kittle] a little bit and what makes him successful in the run game in this system along with the pass game,” Conklin said in 2022. “That was one of the things I was most excited about going down there, talking to him, getting insight, with the staff coming from San Francisco.”

Because of that, it seems odd that none of the other Jets tight ends on the current roster are taking advantage of this program.

Per our own Robby Sabo, the fourth-year Yeboah and the third-year Ruckert are expected to take leaps in responsibility this season.

Up to this point, neither has made a lasting impact with the Jets. Yeboah has surpassed a 60 percent snap count in only two games in his career, with four total receptions. Meanwhile, Ruckert has never hit that 60 percent threshold, and he has only 17 career receptions in 24 games.

With such little experience, one would think that training and learning from some of the best at the position would only benefit the Jets’ tight ends, especially when factoring in that blocking will be a much more important part of Ruckert and Yeboah’s roles than that of their TE1 counterpart. Blocking is something both players struggle with. At Pro Football Focus, Ruckert had a 36.3 pass-block grade and 55.0 run-block grade in 2023, while Yeboah held grades of 54.8 and 60.8, respectively.

Ruckert and Yeboah’s absence at the TE summit is surprising, to say the least. With the Jets looking to break their playoff drought, it’s a valuable experience that both players could have benefited from.

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