Historically, the Ravens had utilised a tight end plenty and they have been a key feature in their offense, from Shannon Sharp to Todd Heap, then Dennis Pitta – briefly, admittedly – to a new, young crop who currently have a very large amount of expectation on their shoulders. That young crop is fronted by Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams.
Gillmore, a 3rd round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, looked like he was about to break out last season. With Pitta out injured and two rookies behind him, he started the season hot. He is an underrated pass catcher and threat after the catch. What’s more, he is a good blocking tight end, is very physical and tough and is straight up mean on the field. On some plays he even looked a little Gronk-ish.
However, injuries got in the way of his season and he was out for a number of games. If he can stay healthy, even with such a deep group of tight ends, he figures to take up a large portion of snaps.
Next up is Maxx Williams. A 2nd round pick in last year’s NFL Draft showed signs of being an impact player in the second half of the season after Gillmore went down. Coming out of Minnesota he was ranked fairly comfortably as the best tight end in that draft class and was considered a great value pick by the Ravens.
Now, going into his second year, he should be primed and ready to breakout. Tight end is a notoriously difficult transition from college to the NFL, but the second year is typically when it clicks. Couple that with his evident talent and he shouldn’t have reason to not be a big part of the offense. I mean, just look at what he was doing in college:
In fact, I think he and Gillmore will make such an impact during training camp and the preseason that we could see the Ravens roll out a two tight end formation as their base look with Gillmore and Williams. As a result, it may result in neither players having that stats of a typical breakout year, but as a duo I think they could become one of the NFL’s premier tight end pairing.