John Mundt absolutely exploded onto the scene last year in the game against Tennessee when he had 5 receptions for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mundt would finish the season with 16 catches, 281 yards through the air, and 3 touchdowns. The view on him is significantly better than if it were in a vacuum because of just how fast he rose.
Due to the lack of cell phone reception and the complete lack of real-time information fans in Autzen Stadium were in the dark for most of the game about who #83 was. The tight end who was running away from linebackers and stiff-arming safeties was a mystery man for at least 30 minutes of the game.
Mundt finished the season as the fourth leading receiver on the team but with less than stellar numbers. His season cooled after the Tennessee games when opponents knew that they had to key on him or get burned. However, the role for this season, along with other tight ends Pharaoh Brown and Evan Baylis, has to be increased and create more options for Marcus Mariota.
Colt Lyerla was an athletic freak and allowed Oregon to flex him out to the slide and wide. The warp speed that Oregon’s offense runs at is all the more dangerous when players can line up all over the field. John Mundt has added size this off-season and hopefully the speed to go with it.
A common phrase that people hear throughout life is that it’s now how you start but how you finish. Oregon’s football program has used the mantra "Fast. Hard. Finish." for years as well as " Next Man Up." Mundt now has the opportunity to reach a peak at the tight end position along with his other teammates, who exist in relative obscurity of thankless blocking and short receptions, to make their position as one of the more dangerous units in the country.
In the pre-season and the long month of July it is easy to get excited about the upcoming season and players to a level that borderlines on hyperbole and delusion. But that won’t stop me from doing so.
With the ability of players to get bigger and faster we might see the birth of warp speed using two tight ends. The ability to play at warp speed in a phone booth hasn’t really been seen before in football. If there is one team that has the possibility to push the limits of how we view up-tempo offenses it is Oregon but it will only be functional and as smooth as the players running the system.
With Johnny Mundt, Pharaoh Brown, and Evan Baylis who is sneaky good, Oregon just might be able to change how we view tight ends in up-tempo offenses.