© Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports

It's Not Too Early to Put Mark Andrews in the Top Tight End Conversation

Vinny & Haynie
September 17, 2019 - 10:40 am
Categories: 

By Joe Schiller

Mark Andrews told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport in August that he has a "super unique" connection with Lamar Jackson. Through two weeks of the 2019 NFL season, that's proving to be the case. 

Andrews leads all tight ends in receiving yards (221) and ranks seventh among all receivers. Travis Kelce is the next closest tight end with 195 receiving yards. 

Andrews has been targeted 17 times through two games and is clearly one of Jackson's favorite targets along with rookie wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown. And it's not too early to start putting Andrews in the top tight end conversation. 

Back-to-back 100-yard performances signal a breakout year for Andrews, but let's not forget he was extremely productive as a rookie. The third-round pick set the Ravens' franchise record for receiving yards last season (552) and added three touchdowns. He's currently on pace to shatter those numbers this season and earn Pro Bowl honors. 

The Ravens have faced two of the NFL's worst defenses, but Andrews isn't getting lucky breaks. He's finding open receiving lanes and producing big plays for the offense. His athleticism and physicality makes him a matchup disadvantage for opposing defensive backs. 

Jackson clearly has an affinity for throwing to his tight end. Andrews has served as the ultimate security blanket for Jackson, a sure-handed target the second-year quarterback can rely on. 

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by Andrews' performance so far this season. After all, he won the John Mackey Award as college football's best tight end and had an impressive offseason from OTAs to training camp. 

Obviously it's early and we're just two weeks through the season, but Andrews is quickly developing into a top tight end in the NFL and it's appropriate to put him in that conversation.