Each of Miami’s top two tight ends had a defined role throughout the 2022 season. Mike Gesicki, who spent 228 snaps as Miami’s “big slot” receiver and another 106 snaps out wide, caught 32 of 52 targets for 362 yards.
On the other hand, Durham Smythe was inline — lined up in a three-point stance on the line of scrimmage — for 453 of his 735 snaps last season. according to Pro Football Focus.
While Miami’s offense runs through Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, general manager Chris Grier wasted little time before adding a tight end in free agency. The Dolphins identified Erc Saubert as someone who could have an impact inline like Smythe. While Gesicki offered a unique skill set that can’t necessarily be matched, the former Denver Broncos tight end also provides quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with a safety net underneath.
Saubert, 29, caught 15 of his 24 targets for 148 yards last year in a Broncos offense that scored 16.9 points per game — the league’s lowest mark. Despite a struggling offense, the fifth-year vet doubled his previous career-high in targets while averaging nearly ten yards a reception.
With an improved impact as a receiver, Saubert showcased a level of reliability that matched his success as a blocker. He was inline for 268 snaps last season and allowed no sacks as a blocker. In fact, he allowed just one hit and two pressures.
“I don’t view my game as 80 percent, 90 percent,” Saubert said when asked if he had an ideal mix of blocking and receiving earlier this offseason. “I think I’m a person that can do it all. Obviously, statistics are something that you can get hung up on. I’m definitely improving in the production aspect of my game and I look to continue improving.
“I take a lot of pride in my ability to be a receiver and a blocker. If I get labeled as a blocking tight end, that is what it is. But I know my ability and I’m looking to shed some light on that when I when I get here. I’m just excited to work.”