Underappreciated Eagles: Jack Stoll

Vincent Carchietta, USA Today Sports

Leading up to the Eagles playing the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII on February 12, Sports Talk Philly and Eagledelphia will be taking a look at the underappreciated, unsung players on the Eagles roster that have made this NFC Championship and Super Bowl berth possible. Players who were often overlooked but have become key cogs in the machine despite the lack of recognition.

In this edition, we will focus on tight end Jack Stoll.

College Career

Jack Stoll went to the B1G’s Nebraska Cornhuskers as a three-start recruit. He received offers from Virginia, Air Force, Texas and some others, but the Colorado native ultimately decided to continue on with the Cornhuskers.

After redshirting in his freshman season and then appearing in each game in 2017, Stoll was the presumptive starter in 2018 for Nebraska from day one. Of course, there was a new coach in town (Scott Frost) who had implemented a new offense, leading to Stoll having spent the previous season doing more prep for in-line blocking and now being expected to do more blocking on the outside. It’s something he credits with helping him learn the position more completely.

He told 247 Sports’ Brian Christopherson:

A big reason why I did come to Nebraska was initially the pro-style system under Coach Riley and Coach (Danny) Langsdorf. Obviously, I was thrown a curve ball two years later when Coach Frost comes in and it’s a whole different offense. Initially I didn’t know what to think of it. But to me, I’m extremely grateful because I do feel like both offenses and both coaching systems got me ready for the next level.

Jack Stoll to Brian Christopherson, 2021

Appearing in all 12 games, Stoll registered 245 yards and three touchdowns. While that may not seem great, you have to keep in mind he was playing for 4-8 Nebraska. It was a BAD team and that actually put Stoll in third place for most receiving yards behind two receivers. Despite only having three touchdowns, it should be noted that Nebraska averaged fewer than two touchdowns per game (closer to 1.5 average).

He returned in 2019 to an improved 5-7 Nebraska team, registering 234 yards and a touchdown in 11 games. It was not the step forward that he’d been hoping for, but the offense was actually even worse despite the improved record. The passing offense fell by nearly 40 fewer yards per game and they threw for just 12 touchdowns in as many games.

During both seasons Nebraska was more of a running threat than a passing one, so Stoll’s contributions are not all in number form as the Cornhuskers averaged somewhere around 205 rushing yards and over two rushing touchdowns per game in those seasons.

While Stoll figured to be a fixture for Nebraska in 2020, he suffered a knee injury in the season opener that year and essentially lost his entire senior season.

2021 Philadelphia Eagles Campaign

Stoll made the decision to bank on his tape and not return to Nebraska in 2021, instead opting to enter the draft. On one hand, it may have been wise considering the Cornhuskers continued to be a disaster of an offense under Scott Frost. On the other hand, Stoll was a player returning from an injury without much recent tape to push him up draft boards.

With tight end being a position not high in value and without the eye-popping pass catching ability that tends to move tight ends up in the draft, Stoll was toward the bottom of the bunch in the draft. Ultimately, he was not selected but he did receive a phone call with some good money. Guaranteed $122,500 to sign with them, the Eagles brought in Stoll as an undrafted free agent and looked for him to compete for a spot as the team’s third tight end behind Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. This was a thin room for the competition that was basically a two-horse race between Stoll and Richard Rodgers.

Ultimately, Stoll’s abilities in the run and screen game proved to be useful as he made the roster out of camp. As the third tight end, however, Stoll rarely saw the field outside of special teams play.

That was, until closer to the trade deadline, when the Eagles traded Zach Ertz to the Cardinals. That move put Stoll in the position of the second tight end, but it was still for a team that did not utilize two tight ends often. Combine that with Nick Sirianni handing off some play calling duties and Stoll found himself playing a significant amount of snaps starting in week eight. Though he only caught four passes for 22 yards, Stoll had found a way onto the field with regularity.

2022 Philadelphia Eagles Campaign

Entering 2022, Stoll seemed to have the clear grip on the second tight end spot for the Eagles.

Once again, Stoll has been a solid pass catcher when called upon (12 receptions for 128 yards) but with the receiving options that the Eagles have with AJ Brown joining the team he has not been needed in that area much.

Instead, Stoll has been a critical component of the Eagles suffocating run game with his ability to get out and make blocks, helping to make the Eagles a top rushing team with by far the most touchdowns coming on the ground. It also shouldn’t be overlooked that his work has helped the passing offense and players like Dallas Goedert by assisting with the screen game.

While Stoll had already made five starts in this new role for the Eagles, when Dallas Goedert suffered and injury in week 10 as a result of an uncalled facemask penalty, it was Stoll who took over the role of starter. He started the next five games in Goedert’s absence and helped the Eagles on to five straight wins that about clinched the one seed for the Eagles.

Head coach Nick Sirianni spoke about Stoll in a press conference following the Eagles first win over the Giants:

He had a really nice shallow that we threw him yesterday, had a nice stiff arm off of that. He’s really savvy on how to get to the guy he’s supposed to block, whether that’s a D-end, whether that’s a linebacker, whether that’s a safety, whether that’s a corner, on how he gets there and how he adjusts to the picture not being completely clean. He’s just got great feel, great instincts, great toughness. This guy is playing really good football, and he’s really developing nicely.

Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni

Stoll was a starter and made a five-yard catch for the Eagles in the NFC Championship game, playing key snaps as the Eagles ran away with the game in the third quarter with long, sustained drives that killed the clock and put up points.

With a Chiefs defense that has had it’s share of struggles against the run, Stoll would figure to see a significant amount of snaps in the Super Bowl as the Eagles try to capitalize on that and keep Patrick Mahomes off the field.