ARIZONA CARDINALS

PFF’s Treash: Arizona Cardinals’ Zach Ertz ranked 15th among NFL TEs

Jun 11, 2022, 11:30 AM

Tight end Zach Ertz saw just 11 regular-season games with the Arizona Cardinals following a midseason trade last season, but quickly turned into a key contributor in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

It was a fresh start the tight end needed after watching himself get phased out of the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive plans.

Those outside the desert have taken notice of Ertz’s production since heading to the Valley, too, with Pro Football Focus’ Anthony Treash ranking Ertz 15th among NFL tight ends.

Ertz’s production dropped off a cliff in 2020. After finishing as one of the NFL’s 10 most valuable tight ends in each season from 2014 through 2019, the former Philadephia Eagle turned in a 57.3 PFF grade for his 2020 campaign. It was the lowest of his career by over 13 grading points. The woes carried into 2021 with Philly, culminating in his trade to Arizona after Week 6.

Fortunately for Ertz, he bounced back with a change of scenery. While it was far from his prime form, the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder produced the 11th-best receiving grade at the position from Week 11 on (70.1).

It didn’t take long for Ertz to go from basically a non-option in Philadelphia’s offense to a key contributor in Arizona’s.

In his Cardinals debut in a Week 7 win over the Houston Texans, Ertz caught three of his five targets for 66 yards and a touchdown. All told, Ertz finished with 56 receptions (81 targets) for 574 yards and three touchdowns over 11 games played.

Now, Ertz gets a full offseason to better understand the offense and continue to grow his rapport with quarterback Kyler Murray.

Ertz isn’t the only Cardinals TE to keep tabs on, either.

When looking at the Cardinals’ position groups, it’s hard to find one more solidified than the tight ends room.

Aside from Ertz, Arizona also has Maxx Williams and rookie Trey McBride as other options on the roster.

Williams was on his way to his best statistical year as a pass catcher in 2021 before a knee injury cut his season short to just five weeks. Depending on his rehab, Williams figures to be an important piece to the offensive equation, especially as a blocker.

McBride gives the team another premium pass-catching option that also brings with him some blocking prowess.

Last season as a senior at Colorado State, McBride set career highs in receiving yards (1,121) and catches (90) to go along with one touchdown.

Life Changer Loans
Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt in between drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals RB James Conner warms up ahead of OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green warms up ahead of OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Nate Brooks runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S James Wiggins runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Breon Borders runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy Jr. runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Christian Matthew runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy Jr. runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy Jr. runs through drills during OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals ILB Zaven Collins speaks with the media after OTAs on Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals RB Darrel Williams warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals RB Darrel Williams warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Kingsley Keke looks on during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Michael Dogbe looks on during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL coach Matt Burke looks on during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt takes a water break during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Matt Dickerson looks on during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals RB T.J. Pledger warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks with the media following OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks with the media following OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt speaks with the media following OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals OL D.J. Humphries speaks with the media following OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals OL D.J. Humphries speaks with the media following OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

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PFF’s Treash: Arizona Cardinals’ Zach Ertz ranked 15th among NFL TEs