There was a ton of buzz about the Buffalo Bills making a splash signing at tight end and you can definitely say they signed a tight end. Former New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks tight end, Jacob Hollister. Hollister was a college teammate of Josh Allen, which is a different type of familiarity than the “former Panther” version Bills fans are used to in the news. Let’s hit the “film” to see what Hollister should bring to Western New York.
So clearly no tight end is capable of blocking half the defense by his lonesome and predictably Jacob Hollister can’t ward off everyone. What stands out here though is how fast he’s lead blocking and that he adjusts to make sure the one block he can make is a good one.
This is something I hope the Bills were thinking of when they signed Hollister. Seattle had him out wide and running routes on a routine basis and there’s nothing to tip off that he’s heading to the second level to block until he’s doing it. This is for a shorter pass, but it’s easy to visualize this happening with a pass over the middle or a little deeper.
Hollister does a good job on Josh Sweat (94) and passes the block with good timing to slip out as the safety valve. Russell Wilson goes elsewhere with the ball, but Hollister is pretty good at timing these and finding a soft spot underneath.
This has a lot of similarities to the last play but quite a bit more complex when it comes to timing. I’m not sure what happened with the pass. Wilson was called for intentional grounding it was so far off the mark. Hollister was the only Seahawk on that side of the field too.
Though he runs routes often, Hollister doesn’t run anything crazy. Wilson makes this catch harder than it needed to be and doesn’t lead his tight end. Jacob Hollister still pulls it down.
But don’t expect elite production in the passing game. Hollister has had a lukewarm catch rate in his four years in the NFL. And that’s playing with Russell Wilson and Tom Brady. Some of the misses were on Wilson, but overall the pair seemed to have trouble with chemistry in 2020.
I do like to end on a high note and Jacob Hollister seems capable of juggling a fairly complex play book. His ability to time this is a result of being able to execute a wide variety of plays/routes.
Jacob Hollister seems to be a well-balanced tight end. He doesn’t excel as a pass catcher or blocker, but he sets a decent floor. He has some potential that I don’t think has been realized yet and he could become a more dynamic pass catcher. Blocking seemed to be adequate all around. His ability to lead block at a near sprint and to block downfield is impressive and could be a wrinkle to watch for with the Bills. This isn’t a sexy signing, but it is a good one for a team that just lost two of their top tight ends.