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Zachary Adam Ertz (born November 10, 1990) is an American football tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft and later won Super Bowl LII with the team over the New England Patriots. He played college football at Stanford, where he was recognized as a unanimous All-American.

Zach Ertz
refer to caption
Ertz in 2017
No. 86 – Philadelphia Eagles
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1990-11-10) November 10, 1990 (age 28)
Orange, California
Height:6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Monte Vista
(Danville, California)
College:Stanford
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 2 / Pick: 35
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2019
Receptions:470
Receiving yards:5,193
Receiving touchdowns:30
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early yearsEdit

Born in Orange, California, Ertz grew up as the oldest of four children. His father played for the Lehigh University football team from 1981 to 1984.[1] Ertz played high school football and basketball at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California.[2] As a senior, he had 56 receptions, 756 receiving yards, and 14 receiving touchdowns for the football team and was named to the All-East Bay Athletic League first team.[1]

College careerEdit

Ertz attended Stanford University, where he played for the Stanford Cardinal football team from 2009 to 2012.[3] He redshirted the 2009 season.[4] In 2010, he played 13 games and had 16 catches for 190 yards and five touchdowns.[5] He had two receptions, including a touchdown, in the Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech that year.[6]

Ertz had 27 receptions, 343 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns in 2011, despite missing three games due to a knee injury.[7] In the Fiesta Bowl, he had four catches and one touchdown against Oklahoma State.[8] The following season, as a junior, Ertz had 69 catches, 898 receiving yards, and six touchdowns.[4] He had three catches for 61 yards in the Rose Bowl.[9] His 898 receiving yards was the most by an FBS tight end that season.[10] He was a consensus All-American, a finalist for the Mackey Award, and an All-Pac-12 first team selection.[4][11]

After the 2012 season, Ertz announced that he would enter the NFL Draft.[12]

Collegiate statisticsEdit

Zach Ertz Receiving
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD
2010 Stanford Pac-10 SO TE 13 16 190 11.9 5
2011 Stanford Pac-12 JR TE 10 27 346 12.8 4
2012 Stanford Pac-12 SR TE 14 69 898 13.0 6
Career Stanford 37 112 1,434 12.8 15

Professional careerEdit

On January 8, 2013, Ertz announced, through a statement released by Stanford, his decision to forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. He was ranked as the second best tight end prospect in the draft by ESPN Scouts Inc.[13] He was one of 19 tight ends to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He completed all of the combine and positional drills and finished second in the bench press, third in the three-cone drill, and finished ninth, among all tight ends, in the 40-yard dash.[14]

External video
  Zach Ertz's NFL Combine workout
  Zach Ertz: Draft Prospect interview

On March 24, 2013, Ertz attended Stanford's pro day and opted to perform some of the drills again in an attempt to shorten some of his times and increase his vertical and broad jump. He successfully posted better numbers in the 40-yard dash (4.67s), 20-yard dash (2.74s), 10-yard dash (1.64s), vertical jump (35.5"), and broad jump (9'6").[15] During the pre-draft process, he attended private visits and workouts with the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.[16] At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Ertz was projected to be a late first round pick or second round pick in the draft by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked the second best tight end prospect in the draft by Sports Illustrated, DraftScout.com, SBNation, and NFL analysts Mike Mayock, Mel Kiper, and Rob Rang.[17][18][19] Ertz was also ranked the fifth best tight end by NFL analyst Josh Norris.[20]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 5 in
(1.96 m)
249 lb
(113 kg)
31 34 in
(0.81 m)
9 34 in
(0.25 m)
4.76 s 1.68 s 2.77 s 4.47 s 7.08 s 30.5 in
(0.77 m)
9 ft 3 in
(2.82 m)
24 reps
NFL Combine[4]

2013Edit

The Philadelphia Eagles selected Ertz in the second round (35th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.[21] He was the second tight end drafted behind Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert, but ahead of future Pro-Bowlers Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed and fellow Stanford teammate Levine Toilolo.[22] Head coach Chip Kelly explained the selection of Ertz and his plan to use three-tight end sets that have been successfully used by the New England Patriots.[23]

External video
  Eagles draft Zach Ertz 35th overall

On May 9, 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Ertz to a four-year, $5.37 million contract that includes $3.65 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $2.29 million.[24][25]

Ertz was unable to attend organized team activities due to the NFL's policy on players completing their college semester before joining their team's off-season programs. He arrived in June and joined the team in time to participate in the Eagles' minicamp.[26] Throughout training camp, he competed to be the No. 2 tight end on the depth chart against veterans James Casey and Clay Harbor. Head coach Chip Kelly named Ertz the third tight end on the depth chart to begin the regular season, behind Brent Celek and James Casey.[27]

He made his professional regular season debut in the Philadelphia Eagles' season-opener at the Washington Redskins and made his first career reception on an 11-yard pass by Michael Vick in the first quarter of their 33–27 victory. He was targeted three times, but only finished with one reception.[28] On September 29, 2013, Ertz earned his first career start after surpassing James Casey on the depth chart and was designated as the top receiving option at tight end. He finished the Eagles' 52–20 loss at the Denver Broncos with one reception for 38-yards.[29] In Week 9, he made five receptions for 42-yards and caught his first career touchdown during a 49–20 victory at the Oakland Raiders. He scored his first career touchdown on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Nick Foles in the second quarter and caught the fourth of the NFL-record tying seven touchdown passes thrown by Foles during the game.[30] On December 1, 2013, Ertz made five catches for a season-high 68 receiving yards and two touchdowns during a 24–21 win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13.[31] It marked his first career game with multiple touchdown receptions. In Week 15, he caught a season-high six passes for 57-yard in the Eagles' 48–30 loss at the Minnesota Vikings.[32] He finished his rookie season in 2013 with 36 receptions for 469 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 16 games and three starts.[33][34]

The Philadelphia Eagles finished first in the NFC East with a 10–6 record in their first season under head coach Chip Kelly.[35] On January 4, 2014, Ertz appeared in his first career playoff game and made three receptions for 22-yards and caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Foles in the Eagles' 26–24 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card Round.[36]

2014Edit

Ertz returned as the primary receiving tight end in 2014, but remained second on the Eagles' depth chart behind Brent Celek who was more well rounded and able to receive, but was used primarily as a blocking tight end.[37][38] In Week 14, he made two receptions for 39-yards and caught a season-long 35-yard touchdown in the Eagles' 24–14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.[39] On December 20, 2014, Ertz caught a career-high 15 receptions for 115 receiving yards during a 27–24 loss at the Washington Redskins in Week 16.[40] He finished his second season with 58 receptions for 702 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games and five starts.[39] Although the Philadelphia Eagles finished with a 10–6 record, they did not qualify for the playoffs.[41]

2015Edit

Ertz remained the second tight end on the Eagles' depth chart, behind Brent Celek, for the third consecutive season. On November 22, 2015, Ertz caught two passes for 12-yards before exiting the Eagles' 45–17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter after sustaining an injury.[42] During the course of the play, he caught a pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez, hurdled cornerback Sterling Moore, and was immediately hit by linebacker Lavonte David. The impact with David turned Ertz around and caused him to fall directly on his neck. He was able to avoid any serious injuries to his neck, but sustained a concussion and was sidelined for the Eagles' Week 12 loss at the Detroit Lions.[43] On December 22, 2015, Ertz caught a season-high 13 passes for 122 receiving yards in the Eagles' 38–24 loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 16.[42] On December 29, 2015, the Philadelphia Eagles fired head coach Chip Kelly after their loss to Washington left them with a 6–9 record. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur was named interim coach for the season's final game,[44] a 35–30 victory at the New York Giants in which Ertz had nine receptions for a career-high 152-yards.[45][46] Ertz finished his third season with 75 receptions for 853 receiving yards and two touchdowns in 15 games and seven starts. His 75 receptions finished second on the team.[47] Although Celek remained the No. 1 tight end throughout the majority of the season, Ertz received more snaps, finishing with 789 offensive snaps (68.25%) to Celek's 600 snaps (51.9%).[48]

2016Edit

On January 25, 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Ertz to a five-year, $42.5 million contract extension that includes $21 million guaranteed and a $8 million signing bonus.[49]

Head coach Doug Pederson named Ertz the starting tight end for the start of the 2016 regular season.[50] He started in the Philadelphia Eagles' season-opener against the Cleveland Browns and caught six passes for 58-yards during a 29–10 victory. He displaced a rib by his collarbone during the game and was sidelined for the next two games (Weeks 2–3).[51] On December 12, 2016, Ertz made ten receptions for 112 receiving yards in the Eagles' 27–22 loss against the Washington Redskins in Week 14.[52] In Week 17, he caught a season-high 13 passes for 139-yards and two touchdowns in their 27–13 win against the Dallas Cowboys.[53] Ertz finished the 2016 season with 78 receptions for 816 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 14 games and 14 starts.[52] He led the Eagles in touchdown receptions, receiving yards, and receptions.[54]

2017Edit

In Week 6, Ertz caught two passes for 18-yards and two touchdowns from Carson Wentz during a 28–23 victory at the Carolina Panthers.[55] He brought his season touchdown total to four, already tying his most touchdown catches in a single season.[56] Through Week 7, Ertz led all NFL tight ends in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.[57][58] On October 29, 2017, Ertz caught four passes for 34 receiving yards and a touchdown in the Eagles' 33–10 win against the San Francisco 49ers.[55] From Weeks 5–8 he caught five touchdown receptions and had six touchdowns total. He sustained a hamstring injury during their game against the 49ers and was sidelined for the following week (Week 9).[59] In Week 12, he caught ten passes for 103-yards and a touchdown during a 31–3 victory against the Chicago Bears.[55] He became the first player on the Eagles' roster to catch ten passes and have a over 100 receiving yards in 2017.[60][61] On December 3, 2017, Ertz caught two passes for 24-yards before exiting the Eagles' 24-10 loss at the Seattle Seahawks in the third quarter after sustaining a concussion while attempting to make a catch that was defended by Bradley McDougald. He remained in concussion protocol and was sidelined for their Week 14 victory at the Los Angeles Rams.[62] On December 19, 2017, Ertz was named to his first Pro Bowl, but was unable to participate due to the Eagles playoff success.[63] He finished the 2017 season with 74 receptions for 824 receiving yards and a career-high eight touchdowns in 14 games and 14 starts.[55] Pro Football Focus gave Ertz an overall grade of 82.5, ranking him fifth among all qualifying tight ends.[64] He has been ranked 68th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[65]

 
Ertz after catching a touchdown in Super Bowl LII

The Philadelphia Eagles finished atop the NFC East with a 13–3 record, clinching a first round bye and home-field advantage.[66] In the 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the Divisional Round, he had three receptions for 32 yards. On January 21, 2018, Ertz made his first career start in the playoffs and caught eight passes for 93-yards during a 38–7 victory against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship.[55]

External video
  Ertz catches go-ahead TD
  Zach Ertz TD gives the Eagles the lead

On February 4, 2018, Ertz started in Super Bowl LII and caught seven passes for 67-yards and a touchdown. During the fourth quarter, he caught the go-ahead touchdown reception on a seven-yard pass by Nick Foles, after beating safety Devin McCourty on a slant route, to put the Eagles up 38–33. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41–33 to win Super Bowl LII, marking their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history.[67][68]

2018Edit

Ertz's sixth season with the Eagles began with five receptions for 48 yards in a 18-12 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football, but he had 11 receptions for 94 yards in a Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[69][70] During Week 4, Ertz totaled 10 receptions for 112 yards in an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans.[71] He followed that up with 10 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5.[72] After another touchdown in a win over the New York Giants, a Week 7 loss to the Carolina Panthers saw Ertz record nine receptions for 138 receiving yards.[73] He topped that two games later, with 14 receptions for 145 yards (both career second-bests), and two touchdowns, both of which tied the game in the second half though the Eagles ultimately lost to the Dallas Cowboys.[74] During the Eagles' Week 16 win over the Houston Texans, Ertz broke Jason Witten's NFL record for most receptions by a tight end with 113.[75] He ended the game with 12 receptions for 110 yards, along with two receiving touchdowns for the fifth time in his career. He also had a 20-yard reception with 1:29 left to set up the game-winning and playoff-hope-preserving field goal.[76] He ended the season with 116 receptions, 1,163 yards, and eight touchdowns.[77] The Eagles returned to the playoffs and faced off against the Chicago Bears in the Wild Card Round. In the 16-15 victory, he had five receptions for 52 yards.[78] In the Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints, he had five receptions for 50 yards in the 20-14 loss.[79]

NFL statisticsEdit

Legend
NFL record for tight end

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS REC YDS AVG LNG TD
2013 PHI 16 3 36 469 13.0 38 4
2014 PHI 16 5 58 702 12.1 35 3
2015 PHI 15 7 75 853 11.4 60 2
2016 PHI 14 12 78 816 10.5 30 4
2017 PHI 14 13 74 824 11.1 53 8
2018 PHI 16 16 116 1,163 10.0 34 8
2019 PHI 6 6 33 366 11.1 26 1
Total 97 62 470 5,193 11.0 60 30

PostseasonEdit

Year Team GP GS REC YDS AVG LNG TD
2013 PHI 1 0 3 22 7.3 15 1
2017 PHI 3 2 18 192 10.7 36 1
2018 PHI 2 2 10 102 10.2 17 0
Total 6 4 31 316 10.2 36 2

NFL recordsEdit

  • Most receptions in a single season by a tight end: 116 (2018)

Eagles franchise recordsEdit

  • Most receptions in a single game: 14 (November 11, 2018)
  • Most receptions in a single season: 116 (2018)

Personal lifeEdit

Ertz is a Christian.[80] He is married to professional soccer player Julie Ertz (née Johnston), starting defensive midfielder for the U.S. women’s national team and for the Chicago Red Stars; they met in 2012 at a Stanford baseball game.[81] On February 26, 2016, Ertz proposed to Johnston at Klein Field, the Stanford University baseball stadium where they first met.[82] They married on March 26, 2017, in Goleta, California.[83] Julie and Zach Ertz were featured in ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue 2017.[84]

Ertz lives in Center City, Philadelphia.[85]

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit