Mr. Beast said
There are certain TEs (like Jimmy Graham) which I argue are not TEs but large WRs. So I'm with you there.
He was not the receiver Graham was, but as poor of a blocker.
But I disagree that the primary function of a TE is to block. I this their primary function is the be a mismatch in anyway possible, from being a receiver or blocker.
TE need to be able to block like a small tackle, and should be able to handle most OLB one on one on run plays. But in terms of primary function, it depends on the play mix...if you want to be a run first team, his primary role is blocking.
Tonyan was a good large possession zone receiver, find the zone and sit down in it. Or if a bad coverage LB got put on him with no help over the top. Limited but he was very efficient in that limited role with few drops or major errors.
Those skills are not exactly scintillating. If thats all he was good, I am glad he is gone.
Mr. Cuddles said
To me, the main drawback in losing Tonyan, is he was a stopgap until we can get a new guy up to speed.
This is a good draft class for TEs, but it almost always takes 2 years to develop guys at this position. Maybe you can luck out like we did with Doubs last year, but no way we can count on that.
I am so tired of these low expectations for draft choices...perhaps if we did not draft slow learners, they could contribute more quickly. Regardless, Dequara and Davis should be contributing now. Adding Mayer and another lower round pick (or FA) plus Lewis would make us very solid at that position