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Jets Rumors: Rookie TE Chris Herndon 'Absolutely' Loved by Coaching Staff

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2018

New York Jets' Chris Herndon participates during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Florham Park, N.J., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Fourth-round draft picks aren't typically headline-grabbers in their first NFL training camp, but New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon is reportedly making quite the impression.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reported Monday that the "Jets absolutely love Herndon, according to folks familiar with the team's affinity for the rookie."

Herndon has a golden opportunity to earn playing time during his rookie season after Austin Seferian-Jenkins joined the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason.

Mehta went on to note the Jets believe the University of Miami product will see the field in 2018 and is someone who "can be a part of the offensive core for many years to come" as a versatile 6'4" playmaker who can serve as a red-zone threat in the passing attack and clear the way for the ground game with his strong blocking.

Herndon finished his final season at Miami with a solid but unspectacular 40 catches for 477 yards and four touchdowns, but an MCL injury forced him off the field at times.

Mehta pointed to his ability to pick up yards after the catch in addition to his blocking as reasons for optimism, and tight ends coach Jimmie Johnson is already impressed.

"He's all ball," Johnson said. "He's always focused on football. He's more of a focused or serious dude. He doesn't have a whole lot of nonsense... doesn't want to play (around) too much. I try to lighten the mood with him every now and then, but he just loves to compete. He loves playing football. That's good to have that type of person in the room."

The positive reviews from the coaching staff are a welcome change of headlines for Herndon after he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in June. Mehta noted he could be suspended, but the punishment may not come until 2019 if the case is still in the courts during the 2018 season.

For now, Herndon is impressing on the field and flashing his talent as someone who can develop alongside quarterback Sam Darnold as the Jets attempt to build a sustained winner after missing the playoffs the last seven seasons.

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