When talking about Notre Dame rookie tight end Tyler Eifert, it’s been mostly about how he’ll upgrade the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Others have pointed out how he’ll make the enigmatic Jermaine Gresham perform better, or risk losing his starting job. The most common belief is he’ll improve the red zone offense and help increase the 3rd-down conversion rate after the Bengals finished among the league’s worst in both of those categories.
But it’s not all about what Eifert brings to the Bengals. As Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated points out, Eifert should see his level of play and ability to showcase his maximum potential increase dramatically after going from an average Notre Dame offense in college to a much better situation with the Bengals:
QB Andy Dalton, for starters, represents a substantial upgrade over Notre Dame starter Everett Golson, who led the Irish to the BCS title game but completed just 58 percent of his passes and often utilized a run-first mentality. Eifert also now gets to play alongside proven tight end Jermaine Gresham, a legitimate No. 1 tight end and producer of 64 catches last season; the next most productive TE behind Eifert (50 catches) on the Notre Dame roster last season was Troy Niklas, with five grabs. Then there is also the presence of wide receiver A.J. Green. He alone often commands attention from multiple defenders, clearing space on the rest of the field.
All of that should work to Eifert’s advantage in his rookie season.