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OAYP: 2019 Sun Belt Tight End Rankings

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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The new OAYP advanced metric ranks the Sun Belt's returning tight ends.

In case you missed any of the previous positional rankings, click the links below. The quarterback rankings also have a more thorough explanation of the formula.

QB | RB | WR

As we did with the quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers, and will do with all of the other position groups, let’s tier them out into ‘superstars’ (marginal OAYP >1), ‘second tier’ (marginal OAYP between 0.5-1.0), and potential breakout stars (players that didn’t get enough reps to qualify, but posted high OAYP scores on a smaller sample size).

With just ten teams in the league, and only seven qualified returnees, these numbers could move a lot when compared to the national scores, but for the time being there is still value in comparing them just to their Sun Belt counterparts.

*marginal OAYP in parentheses*

Superstar

-Javonis Isaac, Arkansas State (2.52)

After an up and down sophomore campaign in which Isaac missed three games, and produced sporadically but with flashes of dominance, 2019 could see him breakout out like Blake Mack did his junior year. Arkansas State’s offense may not be all that stylistically different, even with all of the coaching changes, but having to replace Justice Hansen behind center is a tall task. Then again, what can make a new quarterback’s life easier better than a big vertical threat at tight end, like Isaac, who led the Red Wolves last year in yards per catch, yards per target, success rate, marginal efficiency and explosiveness, and returns more touchdowns than any of their pass catchers, save Kirk Merritt?

Second Tier

-Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina (0.63)

Likely burst onto the scene in 2018 as a freshman, tying Keenen Brown atop the Sun Belt leaderboard for receiving scores by a tight end. Used sparingly over the first three quarters of the year, Likely broke out late, compiling four of his five scores in the last three games of the season. Targeted just 15 times, his 12 receptions gave him the highest catch rate on the team, and he should factor in much more heavily this season, especially after the Chanticleers lost their top wideout, Malcolm Williams.

Potential Breakout Star

-Shadell Bell, Coastal Carolina (0.16)

Coastal’s other tight end, Shadell Bell, was the only non-qualifying tight end from 2018 that posted a positive marginal OAYP score. His breakout potential will be limited by Likely’s anticipated emergence within the offense, but there really wasn’t a better pick at this spot. Here’s to 12 personnel, I guess.

Full Marginal OAYP Rankings for Qualifying Sun Belt Tight Ends

1. Javonis Isaac, Arkansas State (2.52)
2. Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina (0.63)
3. Collin Reed, App State (0.33)
4. Henry Pearson, App State (-0.15)
5. Josh Pederson, ULM (-0.26)
6. Roger Carter, Georgia State (-1.18)
7. Reed Tyler, Arkansas State (-1.89)

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP